It’s Friday. It’s the first weekend of the Minnesota State Fair. It’s the debut of Mini Carrot Corn Dogs. Can life get any better right now?
Correct answer: nope, this is a pretty perfect setup.
Do you remember the Vegan Carrot Dogs I shared last year? A perfect veg-friendly option for summer BBQs! I had to take it a step further though.
Here’s a deep dark secret of mine: I LOVE corn dogs. It’s no secret that I love corn (I’m starting to think maybe I should have created a blog focused solely on corn recipes ?). So I love corn dogs. But I am super picky about eating meat, and we alllll know that hot dogs are notoriously sketchy. I get it. So I never get corn dogs.
The only exception being one from the fair every year. I CAN’T HELP IT, ok you guys?!? But! But I knew I HAD to create a veg-friendly option for when the mood strikes. I’ve gone far too long with unfulfilled corn dog cravings. No longer.
And what’s better than a regular veg-friendly corn dog? Mini Corn Dogs, of course. You’ll be obsessed with the size of these mini carrot corn dogs – they’re so cute and fun to eat! And hello, no weird mystery ingredients! *cheering emoji in excess*
So, what do we need to do?
- Give the baby carrots a soak in the soy/garlic/ginger/liquid smoke sauce that gives life to the magic transformation from regular baby carrots to mini “hot dogs”. Absolute magic.
- Let them do their thing for at least 12 hours, although I highly recommend going for 24!
- Boil, baby, boil!
- Stick ‘em! I cut lollipop sticks in half – they’re just the right size!
- When I dip you dip I did (I.e. start dipping in the thick corn dog batter)
- Fry ‘em up! It’s not fair food if it’s not fried.
On to more dipping! What’s your favorite corn dog condiment? You may know my other weakness: ketchup! Where my ketchup lovers at?! They’d also be tasty with some honey mustard, bourbon BBQ sauce, or whatever you want! Really, these are gonna knock-your-socks-off no matter what.
Before we go! This is the second (and final) state-fair-inspired recipe for this year’s run at it. Side note: did you see the Scalloped Corn Arancini?!? Go. Now. But before you do, about the state fair foods, I want to know what you try this year! Leave a comment or tag me on Instagram – I’d love to recreate your favorites!
Here’s to all things on a stick, and fried, and eating until you’re sick.
Mini Carrot Corn Dogs
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 20 baby carrots ~half of a package
- 10 lollipop sticks halved
- 3/4 cup medium-coarse cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- ~2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- Whisk together soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, liquid smoke, garlic, ginger, white pepper, onion powder, and sesame oil. Place baby carrots into container/bowl with lid, top with liquid (so most of the carrots are fully submerged), cover, and let marinate in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
- Once the carrots have marinated, place both the liquid and carrots into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 14-16 minutes until tender. Drain liquid and place carrots on a towel to absorb any excess liquid and to cool.
- Stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and egg until combined. Pour into a tall glass for dipping.
- Heat a dutch oven or stock pot with approximately 2 cups of oil until it reaches approximately 375°F (it will look like it's shimmering). Meanwhile, holding a baby carrot in one hand, gently press the end of one lollipop stick into the carrot, approximately 2/3 of the way inside.
- Dip carrots into the glass of cornmeal batter, letting the excess drip off. Place directly into oil (the lollipop sticks can be submerged in the oil too), let cook until golden brown, turning as needed, for 4-5 minutes. Be sure to turn down the heat on your stove, as the oil will continue to get hotter and hotter; you may only need to fry them for 2-3 minutes if the oil becomes too hot. Don't crowd the pan; I fry about 4-6 at a time with the pot I use.
- Remove from oil, place on paper towel or cooling rack for excess oil to drain. Serve immediately with condiment of choice.
This recipe is part of our State Fair Foods to Make at Home roundup. Check it out!