K-dogs: Have you tried the latest food craze to hit Cambridge?
They’re the talk of Tik Tok but have only just made it to Cambridge – now city folk can try the K-dog combo of sausage and cheese wrapped in doughnut batter, deep fried and covered in sugar and then squirted with spicy sauce.
Korean corn dogs have been selling out every week from Ian and Lan Williamson’s food van after the couple decided to start selling the speciality, which originated in Lan’s home town of Seoul.
Foodies have previously had to trek to London in order to buy the crispy snack, which has been a popular street food in South Korea for more than 40 years but is virtually unheard of in the UK.
Now Ian and Lan Williamson, who trade under the name Manna Seoul, are looking for a permanent pitch for their airstream van, which currently rocks up at the Gog Farm Shop every Sunday.
Ian said: “We were inspired to make these as Lan is such a brilliant cook and is fantastic at making all Korean food, especially K-dogs and crispy chicken and Korean barbecues.
“But we realised we couldn’t get K-dogs in Cambridge – as far as we know – and even when we visited London, Lan would explain that the taste wasn’t quite right. So she has perfected her own.
“When people taste these snacks they absolutely love them and it’s become a bit of a craze on Tik Tok to bite into them and see how far you can pull the cheese inside and then post the video.
“We’ve had great feedback from the people who have bought them from our van and we’re hoping to be able to pop up in the centre of Cambridge.”
The couple, who met on holiday in Las Vegas in 2018 and married two years ago, have not had an easy journey to being together.
Ian, 45, is a 1500m European champion runner who represented Scotland and Lan, 41, ran a beauty spa in South Korea, but when they realised they wanted to be together, two lockdowns got in the way.
“Now Lan is finally here after spending so long in a long-distance relationship, we’re excited to be working together,” says Ian.
“I wasn’t sure about this as a taste combination at first, especially the sugar, but it’s really delicious. It is like eating sausage topped with cheese inside a doughnut.
“It is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.”
The pair offer a version with potato chunks embedded in the dough to make them more filling. And then they top them with spicy gochujang sauce, mustard or mayo. As a side order, they make kimchi and cheese-loaded fries.
However, because K-dogs are virtually unknown in the UK, the business has been forced to commission a special fryer to make the food.
Ian explained: “In Korea, you can buy the special deep fat fryer attachments needed to hold the Korean corn dogs in the hot oil but they weren’t available here.
“So we had to order parts from Korea then get Mackay’s hardware store in Cambridge to convert our fryer so it makes 12 K-dogs at once.”
Find out where Ian and Lan will be selling their K-dogs next @MannaSeoul on Instagram.