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Are Korean Corn Dogs Sweet?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Published on:

Korean Corn Dogs are becoming quite viral online and capturing the hearts of Western nations, like the USA.

If you watch a few social media videos, you see this wonderful pull of cheese after the delightful sound of a hearty crunch. 

These batter-wrapped beauties are delicious, with many of these videos describing their sweet taste.

So, are Korean Corn Dogs sweet? Yes, they are! Some can be super sugary sweet, covered with fruity cereal puffs over the batter. However, others can be more savory, with very little sweetness to them at all. 

But, the traditional and classic version of a Korean Corn Dog has a slight bit of sweetness counteracted by some hot spiciness.

The Korean Corn Dog does come from the American version. 

But, the Koreans have taken their recipe for it above and beyond any expectations. In many ways, they’ve improved upon it.

Let’s dive deeper.

Korean Corn Dogs VS. American Corndogs

If you’ve never tried a Korean Corn Dog, you’re in for a treat! It’s not like the American kind at all. 

While American corndogs do have fried sweetness, they’re often very dry. 

You have to dip them consistently in condiments to avoid the cottonmouth effect.

Actually, the Koreans have improved upon this American classic in ways that blow the American version out of the water. 

They play with flavors and make it moister, which means they are far more addictive.

Korean Corn Dogs are not dry in this way, but they are sweeter. 

They don’t use cornmeal like the American versions. Cornmeal is notorious for absorbing all moisture it comes into contact with, including your stomach.  

About Korean Corn Dogs

Korean Corn Dogs typically use a rice flour batter. However, many combine both rice and all-purpose wheat flour. 

The batter will also have added sugar, and when it finishes frying, it rolls in an additional light dusting of sugar. 

But this isn’t over yet, there’s much more.

Then, they slather it in ketchup mixed with chile paste, spicy mustard, mayonnaise that has a kick or some other such condiment. 

The whole experience is a party in your mouth, and you’re the only one invited.

American-Style Corndogs

American corndogs, on the other hand, pale in comparison. In many cases, an American corndog is rather underwhelming. 

They are quite basic and plain without any amount of excitement at all.

Having said that, while they are good with a nice light crunch and a tad of sweetness, the flavor play isn’t the same as with a Korean Corn Dog. 

Unless you have a tub of ketchup or mustard next to it along with a large beverage on hand, it’s very parching.

Reasons for Sugar in Korean Corn Dogs

The reason why Korean Corn Dogs are so famously sweet is that Koreans have an insufferable sweet tooth. 

Many of their traditional and street dishes come filled with sugar. From soups and stews to wraps and sauces, there is often sugar in the recipe to some degree or another.

After the Korean War, there was much exposure to western cuisines, specifically American. 

Once the American corndog came into the borders of South Korea, they ran with the recipe. 

This resulted in dressing it up according to how they like food to taste.

So, it’s only natural that they would also put it in the batter and subsequent coating for their version of Corn Dogs. 

Adding sugar is the Korean way, after all!

Sugar Counteracts Spicy Condiments

So, the sweetness is definitely a strong component to the flavor of a Korean Corn Dog. But that’s not all that comes with the flavor. 

Oftentimes, there are one or more spicy condiments like Siracha mayonnaise, spicy mustard, hot ketchup and etc. 

The sweetness within and around the corndog itself controls the spiked heat of the condiments.

Some people use regular white sugar, and others incorporate brown sugar. 

Yet, there are some with powdered honey instead, making it slightly healthier in this regard. 

But, sugar is not a requirement, especially when making it at home. 

This is ideal for diabetics, where added sugars cannot be part of the menu.

Where to Find Super Sugary Korean Corn Dogs

For those who could live with an IV of sugar in their veins, many restaurants throughout the world have your fix. 

While there is a standard way of making Korean Corn Dogs, there are many new and experimental offerings.

From NYC to Orlando, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois to San Francisco, California, there’s a Korean Corn Dog place with crazy amounts of sugar on its menu items. 

Many places offer an additional topping to the batter, and this can come in many forms. It definitely sends the sugar levels through the roof.

To illustrate, Kongdog in NYC has Korean Corn Dogs that are churro style (cinnamon and chocolate), puffed fruity rice or sweet chili. 

Unicorndog in Texas rolls all of their corndogs in sugar, and it comes with condiments like honey garlic, sweet and soy or sweet and spicy.

Locating Crazy Korean Corn Dogs

If you are dying to try a crazy sweet Korean Corn Dog, you will have to do a search online. 

If there isn’t a place near you, you can make them at home.


So, Korean Corn Dogs are very sweet. Classic ones have a slight bit of sweetness, which comes in handy when combined with spicy condiments. 

But, newer versions that experiment with toppings can be incredibly sugary, as is the case with churro-flavored or fruity puffed rice at Kongdog in NYC.

Regardless, these are quite tasty and give the Americans a run for their money. 

The classic corndog in the United States is nothing near what a Korean Corn Dog does in your mouth. 

The flavors pop and surprise you while you struggle with a massive string of cheese at the same time.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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