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Corn dogs

When I moved to Paris, one of the kind people who took me under their wing (as in, the kind that takes you out to Ikea), said to me – “You’re not a real Parisian until you’ve had a merguez sandwich stuffed with frites inside, at 3am.”

Well, it’s been nearly a decade and I’ve yet to have that merguez sandwich at three am. In fact, as the time marches on, the idea of staying up past midnight becomes an even more remote possibility with each passing year. Yet I do love merguez sausage, spicy wieners from North Africa, made of lamb, and enlivened with plenty of spices and a good dose of fiery harissa (hot chile paste). So when my equally piquante pal Matt came out with a book called On a Stick!, leafing through it, I landed on the all-American corn dogs, and decided to give them a Franco-African twist. Or dip.

merguez sausageCorn dogs - grilled merguez
Corn dogsCorn dogs

I’m not all that fond of deep-frying at home, since the professionals do it better, but I doubt I’d have much success finding a merguez corn dog on Paris. And you know – when you want a corn dog, you’ve just gotta have it. So along with cassoulet burritos, deep-fried panisses with chile-cumin salt, and bouillabaisse couscous bowls, I’m going to add merguez corn dogs to the list of things that if the food truck craze ever comes to Paris, someone needs to get on the stick with.

merguez corn dog recipe

Fortunately we can get merguez sausages at most markets, sold at the charcuterie stalls alongside chipolatas (herb sausages) which are terrific grilled and served on a plate along with fresh oysters. (Which gives me another ‘food truck’ idea to add to that list…)

Corn dogs Corn dogs

I still haven’t had that merguez sandwich with frites, but I can say I’ve had a merguez corn dog. And now it’s the rest of Paris that has some catching up to do.

Corn Dogs

From On A Stick! by Matt Armendariz I tried these with chickpea flour in place of the cornmeal, thinking that would add an extra touch of l’exotique, which it did. If you use it, you’ll need to add an extra tablespoon of milk to the batter, to thin it to the right consistency for dipping. You try them with any sausages that are available. Or just go with regular hot dogs. I cooked the merguez on a baking sheet prior to dipping and deep-frying, but they can be pan-fried as well, draining them well before using.
Servings 12 or 4 traditional corn dogs
  • 12 merguez sausages, cooked and sliced in half crosswise, or 4 hot dogs
  • 3/4 cup (110g) flour
  • 3/4 cup (105g) cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 quart (1L) vegetable oil, for frying
  • Slide the merguez sausage pieces onto wooden skewers. If using hot dogs, skewer them whole.
  • Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and black pepper in a bowl. Stir in the milk and egg until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-duty pot until is reaches 360ºF (182ºC).
  • Dip the hot dogs or sausage into the batter a few at time. Only dip as many as will fit into the fryer pot at once. Make sure the coating is relatively smooth. Fry the sausages or hot dogs until the coating is golden brown. Don’t overcook, as they will continue to brown as they cool.
  • Drain on paper towels and fry off the rest of the sausages or hot dogs.
  • Serve with mustard or ketchup, or harissa mayonnaise (mix harissa with mayonnaise, to taste).

Related Links and Recipes

Gluten-Free Corn Dogs (Gluten-Free Girl)

On a Stick! (Matt Bites)

Homemade Merguez (TasteFood)

Lamb Merguez Recipe (Food 52)

Merguez Sausage (Clifford A. Wright)

Cocoa Nib and Spiced Lamb Sausage

Le Camion qui Fume (Paris Hamburger Food Truck)

VéloCafé (Paris Coffee Cart)



    • Phil

    Hahaha! That’s hysterical! I have a bunch of French friends who are mildly obsessed with corndogs (or pogos as we call them in Canada).
    When we lived in Poitiers we put together a “pogo”party. It felt a little strange to be in France, surrounded by French people raving over what I had always considered as barely one step above Scottish deep-fried Mars bars!

    • Not Heidi

    Considering how much oil comes out of the average merguez when on the BBQ, I’d be rather worried about deep frying it! I did merguez in a (dry) frying pan once in the middle of the winter, and I had to deep-clean the entire kitchen- there was a film of orange grease everywhere.

    • American Cupcake in London

    I love Matt’s book! I made about 10 things from it and they’ve all come out perfect.

    • Olivia

    I nearly fell out of my chair, thinking these were cheese sticks. Anyone from Sydney, Australia would know what Im talking about. Each year, Sydney hosts the Sydney Royal Easter Show and there is always a vendor selling cheesesticks which seem to be dipped in a cornmeal batter. The result looks something like the picture of your corn dogs. I will have a go at the batter recipe you have provided and hope to re create the cheese sticks at home. In the meantime, if any Sydneysider can help my cravings with a supplier or distributor, I would forever be indebted. It seems unfair to have to wait for the show at Easter time every year to scoff these down. David, are you sure you are not a mind reader? You always seem to do a post about something that’s on my mind or something I have discussed with someone.

    • mazes

    super bir atıştırmalık,sağı ol Deyvid.

    • Meg from Paris by Mouth

    You’re killing me. I want this NOW.
    I’d settle for waiting until tonight….

    • Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    That looks DIVINE! I haven’t had a corn-dog in years and years…it’s one of those things you don’t really eat outside of US borders. But for this recipe I think I’d make the exception :)

    • Thanh @ eat, little bird

    My philosophy is that, anything deep-fried can only taste good :-)

    These corn dogs remind me of “Dagwood Dogs” which they sell in Australia, commonly at fairground shows like the Ekka in Brisbane. I had never thought of making them at home but I will certainly turn to your recipe if the desire arises!

    • Paris Paul

    I am SO totally going there. With (my own creation of) the Kebab-frites pizza, this seems like it would make a good appetizer. Or dessert. I’ll let you know.

    • Shaheen [The Purple Foodie]

    I don’t always manage to get an even coating of batter when deep frying. Will use these ration next time.

    • deana

    I am mad for corn dogs and merguez… genius to combine them. I have served them as appetizers at fancy dinners and people love them. As a midwestern girl, I loved them with sudsy root beers in mugs at a local drive-in. Can’t wait to try your version with my favorite Chez Panisse merguez recipe!

    • Karen

    How much baking powder, David? It says 1/ … was an HTML error-was experimenting with Google’s recipe search code, which is somewhat complicated …dl

    • Linda H

    I usually get one corn dog per year at the local fair. This past year the concession company didn’t bring the corn dog stand. So now I’ve had have a craving. I found a recipe for corn “dogettes” made with ring bologna, which mentioned making corn meal pancakes out of the leftover batter! I’m almost ashamed to say–it worked beautifully–the craving is satisfied (husband ate 6).

    • sillygirl

    Speaking of chickpea flour I thank you again for your recipe for socca. We had a France/Italian turkey-less turkey day yesterday – I made socca and kale chips and roasted Italian sausages and fresh mandarin oranges with, of course, cold rose wine – it was wonderful. I slipped and a bit more of cumin went into the batter – I must say it was the best I have made – so thanks again!

    • kale @ tastes good to me!

    Our tradition when visiting Paris is to grab un sandwich grecque (kebab style – no doubt known by other names as well, but that’s how I was introduced to it!) and consume it outside, on a bench for as long as it takes. It is gigantic, readily available throughout the city, and of course, stuffed with frites! But I’ve never had a merguez sandwich stuffed with frites. What kind of bread is used typically? It’s going on my list of food to try!

    • Shari

    I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good corndog! And what a great way to use up all that mustard. : )

    • Sharon

    If you’re a college football fan, the LSU team is for some reason associated with corn dogs and all kinds of faux insults get thrown there way because of it. But, yes, corn dogs belong to fall fairs and carnies and wonderful memories. But I think I might just have to wait till I go US-side again to indulge. With mustard.

    • Ariadne

    Woa woah woah WHAT!??

    • Delyth at

    In my home country of Wales, the local Chinese takeaway used to sell ‘sausage in batter’, the same thing basically, I think. I used to love them until, like saveloys, mean older and wiser kids told me what they were probably made from and I stopped eating them immediately. I’ve never eaten a corn dog, I always thought they were a solid mass, not two different components.

    • Alice

    Thanks for providing the link to Matt Bites so that your readers can follow Matt on his food trip to Vanacouver and Richmond BC

    • Gavrielle

    We call corn dogs hot dogs in New Zealand (the bun/sausage thing is an “American hot dog”), but it had never crossed my mind to think of making them at home at all, let alone with merguez! What an insanely delicious idea! We have some fantastic locally-produced merguez here – so tempting…

    • Amy Kamm

    That is evil genius at its best!

    • Justin Watt

    David, please tell me you’ve had at least one Sandwich Américain during your time in France?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It is funny that they call them sandwich Américain, since aside from the fact that they’re over-the-top, there’s nothing about them that’s really American. But perhaps if they dipped the whole sandwich in batter and deep-fried it….

    • John Box

    As a corn dog fan, I give this recipe a 10/10. A very nice recipe for batter. It is soft but really tasty and jells with the hotdog like a puzzle piece.

    • Shelly

    And I was wondering how to put to good use the the cornmeal I smuggled back to Tunisia after my last visit home!

    • Glenn

    Hot Dog! Want!

    • Brian Bossert

    Thanks for the recipe.
    corn dogs are my favorite.
    I just made them with our housemade andouille sausage and they turned out great.
    Next time I’m going to use our housemade toulouse sausage.

    • Stephanie

    I made some corn dogs at my 5-year old’s request this summer. I personally hate hot dogs, even artisanally made ones, so I made myself one with an andouille sausage. It was spicy and delicious with the corn jacket. I dipped it liberally into yellow mustard. I must admit that I was hooked!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Stephanie: It’s funny because I don’t really like hot dogs either. But I do love all the stuff that goes on them, like sauerkraut, relish, and mustard. Corn dogs are fun but I did like this version with merguez better than regular ol’ corn dogs.

    • Terry

    OK, I’m confused. Your recipe says:

    “12 merguez sausages, cooked and sliced in half crosswise, or 4 hot dogs”

    If you cut 12 sausages in half, wouldn’t that give you 24 pieces to make corn dogs with? How does that equate to “or 4 hot dogs”? Or are the merguez corn dogs like, really really tiny?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Merguez are rather small sausages, at least the ones we have in France. (Much smaller than American hot dogs.) And I cut them in half, so I got 12 corn dogs out of the quantity of batter provided.

    • stephanie

    This was a bit cruel of a post, as I thought that these were actually going to be available in Paris. I guess I’ll just have to hold my breath until they arrive at Picard.

    • Nicola @ unhip squirrel

    Interesting! I’ve never heard of these (though of course I’ve heard of typical corn dogs – a mystery food to me). I’d definitely give these a go.

    • Angelina

    This sounds like a delicious calorie bomb! I lived in Paris for a year before moving to Brussels, but I never had a “merguez frites” except once when I was in Bretagne during a festival. In Singapore, where I’m from, you can find “waffle hotdogs” made with a special waffle hotdog maker – an interesting mix of sweet and savoury!

    • Fiona

    Like posters 4 & 8, I too am from Aus so as soon as I saw the picture, even before I read the post, I thought ‘Dagwood Dog’. What’s great about these and, your entire post, is that a whole generation of entertainers are now perusing (I was going to say Cruising but…) their local butcher’s for unusual sausages to encase in batter. It’s coming up to the height of Summer here so what great fun to serve these at one of the myriad of Christmas events that have already kicked off. Nothing like seeing a spattering of bright orange oil on a pristine white Summery party outfit! You should mention these to Kylie Kwong and maybe she’ll mix you up a batch the next time you are back on our shores.

    • amy

    hello! I am looking for a baking-blogger or online resource to help me troubleshoot a sourdough bread issue! Could I describe my problem to you to ask for your advice? If not, can you recommend anyone who might field my question? thanks in advance!

    There’s lots of helpful bulletin boards and forums over at, so you might want to check over there. -dl

    • Olivia

    Thanh and Fiona, do you think Dagwood dogs are like Pluto Pups which is what they are called at our takeaway! Oh, and really what to dogs and pups have to do with it ?! Funny how things get their names.

    • Lori Vellinga

    The first time I tasted merguez sausage was on a “sandwich americain” in Dunkerque. I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve always wondered, too, where the name came from since I haven’t seen anything like it in the states. Do you know of a stateside source for merguez sausage? I’d like to try to recreate this sandwich for my husband who also loved it. And while I’m at it, I’ll try to whip up some merquez corn dogs, too.

    • Anna

    wow i’d never heard of merguez sausage, but it sounds incredible. can’t wait to make these!

    • Brandon Matzek

    The second recipe of yours today that is making me drool! I love merguez. So flavorful.

    • Elizabeth

    We don’t fry at home.

    Perhaps it would be better to say we didn’t use to. He loves corn dogs; I love merguez sausage. How can it go wrong?

    • Beth Somers

    This post actually makes me want to be hungover, so I can make these and lounge on the couch!

    • Nik S

    This could be the perfect the midnight snack !

    • Lissa

    I had merguez recently in Paris and it wasn’t as tasty as I remember. Perhaps I didn’t go to the right restaurant. This looks incredible; I intend to find me some real merguez here in Canada and make this twist on an American original. Thanks.

    • Katie @ saltpig canteen

    I absolutely adore corn dogs and wish they were readily available in London. No matter as I’ll be trying this recipe out at home for corn dog heaven!

    • Matt Jackson @

    I can’t wait to make these! Corn dogs are one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but this recipe looks like it makes them adult and kind of fancy. I’m so excited to try them.


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