Meet the Makers: Korean Corn Dog

Never had a Korean Corn Dog? Anne Hor of Greenwich Market’s Korean Corn Dogs wants to put that right! A popular street food in its native country, the Korean Corn Dog takes the American fair-ground staple and runs with it. Invented in the 1980s, it builds on the American essentials – a hot dog dipped in corn batter and deep fried – adding fermented bread dough and a range of different coatings.

The pleasure of a Corn Dog comes from the interplay of textures: juicy and yielding within; crisp and hot without. Where the American original uses only corn batter to achieve the crunchy exterior, the Korean spin-off gets imaginative. Cubed ‘French fries’ and flaky panko breadcrumbs are Anne’s coatings of choice. Left-of-centre additions (including crushed Cheetos!) also pop up in weekly special menus.

The Korean palate welcomes bold flavours, and Korean Corn Dogs are no different – hence the lavish use of chilli and sugar. While a Corn Dog in Seoul would be rolled in sugar before cooking, Anne had to dial down the sweetness in deference to her London clientele. Chilli, however, is still front and centre, especially in sauces such as sriracha chilli and spicy buldak (the sticky chilli used for Korean fried chicken).

Anne has got excellent feedback from American customers who rate her version more highly than the original. ‘Everyone loves hot dogs. Everyone loves mozzarella and French fries. It’s all your favourite ingredients together, deep fried until crispy, with your favourite sauce on top. Nothing can go wrong!’

Anne’s stall, like the Korean Corn Dog itself, is relatively new to the Market. She opened for business with partner Danny Van in 2022, immediately drawing a clientele that was at first curious, but soon devoted. ‘We’ve had very good feedback. Sometimes people can’t stop at one but come back for another. When they say, ‘thank you’ and I see kids with smiles on their faces, it’s really nice!’, bubbles Anne.

Anne and Dann’s stall has quickly become a fixture in Cutty Sark Gardens, where they trade seven days a week. Even on rainy days, when business is a little slower, Anne and Danny relish chatting with other Market traders. ‘All the traders are very friendly!’

Greenwich Market was a natural choice for Anne. ‘My boyfriend’s from up North. On our first date, we went to Greenwich Market, and I fell in love! There are a lot of talented people here, especially in art and food.’ A Greenwich local from Plumstead, Anne clearly loves her borough: ‘You’ve got the river, the architecture, the parks. It’s a great place to catch up with friends, grab some food and go for a walk by the Thames!’

Tik Tok and Instagram have really built the hype around Korean Corn Dogs. Now, so popular has her food become, Anne’s eyeing off festivals, planning to take a van on the summer circuit. She’d also love to move to a permanent shop in Greenwich Market, the place where it all began!

Interview by Hugh McNaughtan | Photos by Ed Simmons