Crunchy, flaky, greasy and hearty are just some of the words I could use to describe the new Korean corn dogs battered, fried and served warm to tables at the Vietnamese cafe and bakery located on Northwest 13th Street, Paris Banh Mi.

MaryRose Soto

The location launched its new menu item on Nov. 17, with corn dogs prepared and flavored in 12 different varieties – including one encrusted in Hot Cheeto crumbs.

These unique corn dogs were a staple among Korean street vendors in the 1980s, but they later became a global social media trend with the expansion of Myungrang Hot Dog, a restaurant that grew out of Busan, South Korea, into the United States starting in 2018.

Among the rice dogs – which get their name from the rice flour they are battered in – I sampled this weekend was the original, the mozzarella, the potato and the crispy ramen.

The Original

Starting with the original rice dog, I was thoroughly impressed by the tenderness of the sausage inside. Both flavorful and incredibly juicy, I appreciated the savory snap as I bit into it.  The outside was crispy and much flakier than the shell of your standard corn dog.

MaryRose Soto

The Whole Mozzarella 

The next on my list was the mozzarella rice dog. What was unique about this dog was that, in fact, it was not a dog at all. Behind the crispy golden fried batter was a pool of melted mozzarella cheese that could stretch from the table to your mouth. Although fun to eat, the flavor of the “dog” did not stand out as much as the others and could have used a tangy marinara sauce or something to cut the rich cheese.

MaryRose Soto

The Potato 

Moving on to the potato rice dog, this was the one I was most excited about – which only set me up for mild disappointment upon my first bite. The hot dog, although perfectly savory, was enclosed in unseasoned, small square potatoes fried into the rice flour. The batter on this was definitely the thickest of the dogs and was hard to get down without biting into small pieces.

MaryRose Soto

The Crispy Ramen

The last of the rice was dogs was the crispy ramen Korean corn dog. To me, this one had the flavor the potato hot dog was missing. The taste of the small crunchy ramen pieces decorating the batter was reminiscent of the fried wonton strips you get on the side of your soup in your Chinese takeout order.

MaryRose Soto

Final Thoughts

Overall, these Korean-inspired rice hot dogs did not all hit the way I was expecting them to. Some of them felt like more batter than sausage, and none of the corn dogs had a distinct flavor I could really differentiate from the others. Nevertheless, they were still mesmerizing to look at as you broke through the inside.