Taste of Korea: In Land of Morning Calm, corn dogs are called hot dogs

Photo by 123RF
Photo by 123RF

Taste of Korea: In Land of Morning Calm, corn dogs are called hot dogs

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

The Korean corn dog is very nostalgic food for me. When the sweet and savory smell from the deep-fried batter wafts through the air, I’m immediately transported to my childhood, to my old neighborhood and to summer vacation visits to the nearby amusement park.

Recently, the corn dog treats I remember growing up started to become a food trend outside of Korea. Many think mukbang food videos on social media is the reason why Korean corn dogs are having their moment. Whatever the reason, one thing for sure is that these dogs are delicious!


Corn dog or hot dog?

 While young folks who are familiar with U.S. culture tend to call hot dogs just hot dogs, some elderly call hot dogs so-se-ji-ppang. However, if you look for so-se-ji-ppang at a Korean bakery, you’ll most likely get a pizza-like sausage bread (or pizza ppang) that has sliced sausages covered with toppings and cheese.

Before you try your hand at ordering a corn dog at any of the food stalls you come across in South Korea, it is important to use the correct name. In Korea, corn dogs are actually called hot dogs.

I was witness to the potential problem that may arise with using the wrong name. I was at my favorite dumpling shop waiting to pick up an order and an American customer was in line ahead of me. He ordered a corn dog and fried chicken but the granny behind the counter only prepared the chicken. I saw the customer’s desperation as he continued to ask for a corn dog, but with no sign or corn dog to point to, he was not getting anywhere with the cook.

I jumped in and let her know that he wanted a hot dog, and the customer was relieved that he would soon be biting into the crispy treat. The lesson here is to make sure you know that Koreans call them hot dogs (pronounced “hat-do-geu”)! 

Photo by 123RF

Photo by ChiHon Kim: Korean sausage bread

What’s the difference between Korean corn dog and an American corn dog?

If you’re American, you’re familiar with the standard hot dog on a stick coated with the thick layer of sweetened cornmeal batter and deep fried to golden brown perfection.

Korean corn dogs are similar but the batter is made of wheat flour and the sausage quality is different. One stark difference is that Korean corn dogs are served with a little sprinkle of sugar on top.

Photo by 123RF

What makes Korean corn dogs special?

Though the main difference still lies in the batter, these days Korean corn dogs have undergone a slight makeover. Instead of wheat flour batter, you’ll find many corn dogs in Korea are now coated in batter with either rice flour or glutinous rice flour and a special frying powder which gives the finished product a chewy and extra crispy consistency.

You’ll also find a variety of fillings from classic sausages to mozzarella, cheddar, rice cakes, ground pork and more.

Photo courtesy of Myungrang Hotdog

My favorite corn dog place

Corn dogs aren’t just at food stands, festivals or amusement parks anymore. Go in any grocery store’s frozen food section and you’ll find many corn dog options to make at home. But, if you’re craving the freshly made fried stuff, you can head to chain stores like Myungrang Hotdog(명랑핫도그) or ChungChun Rice Hot Dog(청춘핫도그).


Photo by 123RF

Photo by 123RF

Korean corn dog places near Camp Humphreys

• # NAVER Map pin: Myungrang hot dog - Asan store

• HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• PHONE: 041-531-4001

You’ll find corn dog stalls in many corners of the peninsula as their popularity at home and abroad mounts. Myungrang Hotdog is probably the most common and largest chain you’ll find in South Korea. Originating in Busan, the company has grown to 660 stores since opening in 2016.

At Myungrang, you can order from a plethora of options of hot dogs that have different toppings and fillings, ranging from 1,500 won to 2,000 won. Start with an original sausage. If you love cheese like me, grab a mozzarella & cheddar hot dog. Their sweet potato & mozzarella version is my go-to menu item and comes coated with fried potato bits. And don’t forget to choose from the three to four sauces to dip your corn dog.

So, next time you’re looking for a quick bite or a delicious treat, give the Korean hot dog a try!


Speakin’ korean

What’s your favorite Korean street food? Ga-jang joa-ha-neun gil-geo-ri eum-sigeun mwoeyo?

My favorite street food is a hot dog. Jeo-neun hat-do-geu-reul jeil joa-haeyo.

Do you want to go and eat a hot dog? Hat-do-geu meo-geu-reo gal-lae-yo?

Can I get a hot dog? Hat-do-geu hana juseyo.

Would you like to sprinkle sugar on your hot dog? Seol-tang ppu-ryeo-deu-ril-kka-yo?

No, thanks. Aniyo. Gwaen-chanayo.

This is so delicious! Igeo jinjja masisseoyo.


Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web