It starts with a love of Costco corn dogs, a daily ritual of microwaving and savoring their salty sweetness with a dab of ketchup after school. It’s paired with a craving for distinctly sweet Chinese sausages, always the best surprise at the center of a zongzi (glutinous sticky rice stuffed with a meat filling) or in a spoonful of fried rice. It’s a tale of two ingredients from different worlds, yet a dream pairing of cornbread batter and Chinese sausage—destined to be together in the mind of a young Asian American kid from suburban Ohio.
10 corn dogs
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the lap cheong and boil for 15 minutes (or cook according to package instructions). Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk until smooth. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt, eggs, almond milk, and maple syrup until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together to create the corn dog batter. Pour the batter into a skinny glass, taller than the sausage is long.
- Once the sausages are cooked through, rinse them in cold water to cool down. Skewer each sausage with a wooden skewer, starting from the bottom and pushing through until it reaches three-quarters of the way up.
- Set out a wire cooling rack, or cover a work surface with paper towels. Pour the vegetable oil into a large pot to a depth of 4 inches and warm over medium heat until the oil reaches 375°F. (Use a deep-fry thermometer to check the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, use a chopstick: the oil is ready when a light simmering of bubbles rises to the top when you dip the chopstick into the oil. If the bubbles are aggressive like a Jacuzzi jet, turn the heat down to reduce the temperature.)
- Once the oil has reached frying temperature, dunk a sausage straight into the glass of batter, submerging it completely. Give it a spin in the batter to coat evenly, then pull it back up. With tongs gripping the end of a skewer, very carefully place the corn dog into the oil and fry until the batter has become a light golden brown, turning as needed to brown evenly, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the corn dog from the oil and place onto the rack or paper towels to cool. Repeat with the remaining skewered sausages. Serve immediately, with a drizzle of chili ketchup and scallion cream.