Korea: French fry-coated hot dog

frenchfry coated hotdog

If Coney Island witnessed the birth of the hot dog, Seoul in saw subsequent generations mutate into a an entirely new genus of animal. An animal coated in a skin of batter and french fries then presented deep-fried on a stick.


After first witnessing this monstrosity on Newley Purnell‘s site, I thought that chasing it down would be difficult. That it would be the type of food that only demented South Korean carnies sold for a scant few days of a State Fair until their consumers ended up in the waiting queue for a heart bypass. The taste is about as obvious as it looks: greasy but still crispy fries glued to a hotdog with a thick, neutral batter.

Hot dog on a stick: variations

It turns out that Seoul is packed full of artisan hot dog vendors. Vendors wrap them in bacon, mashed potato, corn batter or what looked to be seaweed then invariably deep fry them. I spotted three french fry-coated hotdog vendors in the narrow alleys of Myeong-dong alone and a few more in the neighbouring Namdaemun Market.

budae jiggae
home-made budae jigae

I blame this mutation on the Korean War. When meat was scarce in the years during and after the war, Koreans made do with whatever they could scavenge from the surplus from the US armed forces bases – Spam and hotdogs. To make these items edible for Koreans, the locals mixed them together with the paste gochujang in a makeshift stew named “Budae jjigae” (부대찌개) – literally “base stew”. Over the subsequent fifty years, the locals have grown to love the processed meat-flavored soup and it now graces franchise restaurant menus, the only difference being that the stew now contains actual meat along with the mechanically-separated variety.

There seems to be no particular rules to making the stew, insofar that you need gochujang and hotdogs to start, and then whatever seems to be lying about the average Korean kitchen to continue: kimchi, frozen dumplings, greens, ramen, rice cake, actual meat. 50 years of hotdog flavoured broth has to do strange things to your palate and drive you towards experimenting with hotdogs in an obscene and deep-fried manner.


Try: French Fry Coated Hot Dog on a Stick Recipe

139 Comments Korea: French fry-coated hot dog

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  3. hervy

    I just couldn’t eat any food from that stand where that lady is reaching over it with no sleeves. All kinds of deodorant residue and other stuff from under her arms could be falling all in that. It’s a disgusting thought!

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  6. shai

    Well.. that’s not an everyday food. It’s just a snack. I think it’s much better than McDonalds. Actually they taste good.

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  10. Empress

    Oh I miss eating these at the public market in Uijongbu! I also miss those little corn shaped treats with the custard in them that you can buy at the train stations. :-<

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  13. Phat

    Can anyone tell me where I can get this in NYC? Seriously. When will restaurants in Koreatown start selling these??? It would be a best seller. I love anything with french fries.

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  16. toronto_chick

    that rocks!! fries wrapped around a corndog? it cant get any better than that!
    Do you think i can buy some off Ebay? lololol

  17. Chuck

    Oct 9th, 2007

    QUOTE: virginia
    i’d like 2 no how the fries r put on the hot dog 2 stay. i’d like 2 try that

    The dog on a stick is wrapped in a bread dough then rolled in the cut up potatos and deep fried. This recipe is as old as the hills, my Mother made these without the stick back in the fifties.

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  21. moehong

    Why should street vendors be illegal? They’re only illegal in LA because the city won’t grant them permits or licenses, because restaurant owners buy up most of those available to discourage competition.

    Why not regulate them so we know the food is fresh and clean?

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