Chinatown Food Highlight: Korean Corn Dogs

K-Pop, K-Dramas and now…K-Dogs! Far from being a passing trend, Korean-style street food is addictive and delicious. SanFran Burritos N Fryz is one of several Korean eateries located inside Chinatown Supermarket. They specialize in K-style street food, including the ever famous fluffy-breaded Korean corn dogs on a stick. 

Richard Kim, the owner SanFran Burritos N Fryz, is newer to Salt Lake City but is no stranger to restaurants. He owned a Mexican restaurant with some Asian-fusion touches in San Francisco, as the name might suggest. Eventually, he says,  “We tried to retire but realized we weren’t ready.” He and his wife bounced around a bit before landing in Utah.

When they opened their restaurant inside the Chinatown Supermarket, they started serving Mexican-style burritos with some Korean flair. Then, inspiration hit. “Six months after we opened, I noticed that K-food was booming everywhere, in the whole world,” he says. “So I asked my wife, who is a good cook and has a good sense of the taste of food, ‘Hey, maybe we can add a hot dog to the menu, but not an American-style hot dog.’ Everybody likes hot dogs, but I wanted to do something different.”

The Hot Dog, K-Style

Korean-style hot dogs, or gamja hot dogs, are different. They are dipped in batter and fried, but it’s not a corn dog. Most Korean hot dogs are coated in a slightly sweet yeasted dough or rice flour dough, then rolled in panko-style breadcrumbs, before taking a turn in the fryer for extra crunch. The outside is extra crisp and crunchy as a result, and the batter is almost pillowy once cooked. 

Corn dogs originally made their way to Korea and landed in the street food scene sometime in the ’80s. Then, in the mid-2010s, K-dogs started cropping up in Korea’s food halls and night markets, with flavorful new toppings and extra crispy exteriors. Once they began making appearances in K-dramas and YouTube videos, it was inevitable that they would migrate back in their new and improved form. 

“We didn’t get a recipe from anyone,” explains Richard. “We tried this way, that way and we wasted lots of flour. Then finally, we got the recipe right for the pastry.” 

Also unique to SanFran Burritos N Fryz are the additions of cheddar cheese or jalapeño cheddar cheese sausage choices. And, you can get BOTH a hot dog and a mozzarella cheese stick stuffed into the same battered goodness. The cheese melts to gooey perfection and stays melted through some kind of magic.

Korean Corn Dog
Richard Kim (right) owned a Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco prior to moving to Salt Lake City and opening SanFran Burritos N Fryz. Photo by Adam Finkle

You Want Fries With That?

Another uniquely Korean-style street food? The cheesy potato. Picture a generous baton of cheese wrapped in that sweet, fluffy dough. Now, embed that dough with cubed French fries right before you pop it in the hot oil. It comes out looking like cubist art and tastes like deep-fried heaven. “Some places use pre-made French fries,” says Richard. “But we tried that a couple of times and didn’t like how it turned out. So we decided to buy fresh potatoes. People love it.”

Don’t Forget The Sauce

There’s a wide swath of sauces and toppings to go along with K-dogs. Basic ketchup is in the lineup, but it’s joined by spicy mayo, honey mustard, sweet mayo, parmesan cheese and sugar. (Yes, sugar.) Combining several toppings is the norm. When your order arrives, Richard will ask you which sauces you want and will custom-dress your dog to your taste. I went for the spicy mayo, mustard, and sugar on my cheesy potato, and my entire palate was happy with my choices.  

PRO TIP: Get the sugar, if nothing else. Something about a dusting of simple white sugar over deep fried, crispy, savory hot dog promotes everything up to master level street-food.

If You Go

SanFran Burritos N Fryz is located inside Chinatown Supermarket at 3309 S. State St., South SL, 801-368-2018


See more stories like this and all of our food and drink coverage. And while you’re here, why not subscribe and get six annual issues of Salt Lake magazine’s curated guide to the best of life in Utah. 

Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinezhttp://www.saltlakemgazine.com
Lydia Martinez is a freelance food, travel, and culture writer. She has written for Salt Lake Magazine, Suitcase Foodist, and Utah Stories. She is a reluctantly stationary nomad who mostly travels to eat great food. She is a sucker for anything made with lots of butter and has been known to stay in bed until someone brings her coffee. Do you have food news? Send tips to lydia@saltlakemagazine.com

Similar Articles

Most Popular