American Vs Korean Corn Dogs: What's The Difference?

American corn dogs are synonymous with fairs, ball games, and street food. As famous and ubiquitous as they are in America, there is another variation — the Korean corn dog. Korean corn dogs are booming in popularity and are giving battered hot dog lovers new and exciting options at food stands and restaurants all over America.

While it may be unfair to consider the two rivals, it is fair to say that the baseline of both recipes is the same — it's generally a battered hot dog placed on a stick — but this is where the similarities grind to a halting stop. Both versions are popular for different reasons, but people love the playfulness and endless options of Korean corn dogs. It's like a classic corn dog on steroids. The traditional sausage filling can be changed to cheese or vegetables and even the batter can be infused with Doritos, potatoes, or even uncooked instant ramen for added crunch and texture.

American corn dogs

The American corn dog has many claims to where it originated, but it's fair to say that its glorious invention is pure Americana, finding its way into state fairs around the mid 20th century. American corn dogs are deep fried and handheld, which is why they are a street food staple in the U.S. The basic recipe is simple, and not much has changed over the years except that now they can also be found in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket.

The American corn dog is a hot dog dipped in cornmeal batter that uses egg as a binder and is skewered with a stick to help its delighted epicure devour the doughy creation. Sausages, which add fat and a savory note of pepper, are used in ideal circumstances, but hot dogs are frequent substitutes. The batter is slightly sweet, and the traditional condiments are ketchup, mustard, and relish, which balance the dough's sweetness.

Of course, there are restaurants and roadside stands throughout America that have developed their own unique variations of the corn dog. Some alter the batter for a savory flavor and crunchiness, some use beef or sausage for the filling, and the condiments can be just about anything you can imagine. Even though there are varieties, the unmistakable taste of the original corn dog stands out.

Korean corn dogs

Unlike its American counterpart, the Korean corn dog is a blank slate that is open to any and all flavor creations. The batter is made of wheat or rice dough instead of cornmeal batter and it gives the corn dog a more pronounced crunch. The dough is usually rolled in panko breadcrumbs before it is deep fried, but other breading can be used. The crunchiness alone is enough to separate it from the American version, but everything else is different as well.

One of the more popular corn dogs is the gamja, or french fry dog. Small, diced potatoes are stuck to the batter instead of panko before deep frying for a french fry coating, which is made more delicious when the corn dog is stuffed with mozzarella cheese as the filling. The batter can also be rolled in ramen noodles or even Hot Cheetos for a spicier version.

The hot dog filling can be replaced with fish, sausage, cheese, rice cakes, or a wild combination of these fillings. The condiments lean toward the sweeter side with sugar or cinnamon usually being dusted on top of the mustard or mayo. Although the corn dog concept is the same for the Korean version, it's the wild and varying ingredients that make it different from the American corn dog.