Kimchi and Crispy Garlic Dogs

published May 27, 2022
4th of july
Kimchi and Crispy Garlic Dogs Recipe

All-beef hot dogs with kimchi, kimchi mayo, and crispy garlic pieces.

Makes8 hot dogs

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

My life as a transient chef is fun. One minute, I’m grilling freshly caught coho salmon at a wedding in Sandy, Oregon; the next I’m creating kimchi burgers and hot dogs for Mama O’s 10th anniversary Kimchipalooza.

My friend Kheedim Oh, the founder of Mama O’s, celebrates the glory of kimchi every year with series of challenges: a kimchi-eating contest, homemade kimchi judged by Mama Oh herself, and a kimchi cooking competition. The winners of each challenge are awarded a giant blingy necklace rivaling WWE championship belts.

I slung grilled kimchi dogs all day for this event and loved the combination so much that I started serving them at Wonderville, a local Brooklyn arcade gallery and bar where I do a weekly hot dog special. It became the first signature hot dog on their bar menu.

For this version, I’ve scored the ends of the hot dogs so they explode out of the bun like firecrackers. The salty, snappy hot dogs are served hot off the grill with sliced kimchi and kimchi-tinged Kewpie mayo, which balances out the fiery crunch of fermented kimchi. And then there’s the crunchy garlic.

Credit: Photo: Jason Rampe; Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

When I’m at events I’ll use premade fried garlic, which you can buy at Asian markets, because it’s faster to serve. But when I’m at home, I prefer frying larger smashed garlic pieces. Frying the garlic yourself is a bit more involved, but it can be done ahead and is worth the effort. The smashed garlic is fried for 5 minutes in 300°F degree oil until the edges get crisp and brown but the middles stay golden and sweet.

If You Make Kimchi and Crispy Garlic Dogs, a Few Tips

  • Choose your own kimchi adventure. Feel free to celebrate other kinds of kimchi besides cabbage, but make sure to julienne or mince the pieces small enough so they can stay on top of the hot dog.
  • Keep an eye on the garlic. You want to pull the garlic out of the oil when it’s golden-brown on the outside. There’s no going back once garlic burns, so just keep a close eye on it.
  • Hang on to the garlic oil. The fried garlic is delicious, but so is the garlic-infused oil that’s left over. Use it to roast vegetables, fry eggs, or add to any stir-fry for a hint of garlic flavor.

Kimchi and Crispy Garlic Dogs Recipe

All-beef hot dogs with kimchi, kimchi mayo, and crispy garlic pieces.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 8 hot dogs

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 14

    cloves garlic (from about 1 head)

  • 1 cup

    vegetable oil

  • 1 cup

    Napa cabbage kimchi

  • 1/2 cup

    Kewpie mayonnaise (see Recipe Notes)

  • 8

    all-beef hot dogs

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 8

    hot dog buns, preferably split-top

Instructions

  1. Heat an outdoor grill for direct, medium-high heat (about 375ºF). Meanwhile, prepare the garlic and hot dogs.

  2. Separate and peel the cloves from 1 head garlic (about 14 cloves). Cut each clove in half lengthwise. Using the side of a knife, pestle, or blunt end of a wooden spoon, lightly smash each garlic piece, but not with too much force that it breaks apart.

  3. Heat 1 cup vegetable in a small saucepan over medium heat until 300ºF. Meanwhile, fit a fine-mesh strainer onto a small heatproof bowl.

  4. Add the garlic to the hot oil and fry, stirring and flipping the pieces occasionally, until they stop sizzling as much and start to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. If the temperature is too high, move the pan off the heat until it comes back down to 300ºF.

  5. Pour through the strainer. Let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce and kimchi and cut the dogs.

  6. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice from the kimchi into a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup Kewpie mayonnaise and stir to combine. Stack 1 cup cabbage kimchi on a cutting board and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside until ready to serve.

  7. Cut “octopus legs” into each end of 8 hot dogs: Starting about 1 inch from one end of a hot dog, cut in half toward the end with the tip of a knife. Roll the hot dog a quarter turn and repeat making a second cut. Cut each “leg” in half again to now make 8 legs. Repeat on the other end of the hot dog.

  8. Sprinkle the fried garlic with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and toss to combine. Reserve the garlic oil for another use.

  9. Place the hot dogs on the grill and grill uncovered until the ends curl outward, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the upper rack of the grill, a cooler spot on the grill, or a baking sheet tented loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  10. Working in batches if needed, place 8 hot dog buns on a cut side (for split-top buns) or cut-side down (for regular) on the grill. Grill uncovered until toasted (flip the split-top buns halfway through to toast both sides), 30 seconds to 2 minutes total.

  11. To assemble, place a hot dog in a bun. Top each with the spicy mayonnaise (about 1 tablespoon), 2 tablespoons sliced kimchi, and 3 or 4 fried garlic pieces.

Recipe Notes

Kimchi: You can use any kind of vegetable kimchi. Daikon should be julienned since they come in cubes.

Kewpie mayonnaise substitute: Mix 1/2 cup regular mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, or just use regular mayonnaise.

Fried garlic substitute: You can also substitute store-bought fried garlic, onion, or shallot from Asian markets for the fried garlic.

Storage: Leftover fried garlic can be refrigerated on a paper towel in an airtight container for up to 1 week.