Vienna Sausage Bokkeum

Time20 minutes
YieldsServes 2 to 4
(Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)
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Vienna sausages, the thumb-size hot dogs that come in a can, star in a Korean dish called sausage yachae bokkeum — sso-ya for short — a sweet-spicy stir-fry often packed into schoolkids’ lunches along with rice and banchan.

The Vienna sausages found in Korea are different from those found in the U.S. They’re snappier with thicker skins and sometimes contain fish cake. But you can make a pretty dynamite version of sso-ya using the ones sold in blue cans at any supermarket.

First, use a knife to score the sausages on the outside, which will help them curl slightly as they sizzle and brown in the hot pan. Add whatever chopped vegetables you like — onions, peppers and carrots are a popular triumvirate — then whisk together a quick sauce-slash-glaze made with ketchup and gojuchang, Korean chile paste. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped scallions and sesame seeds before eating with rice.


Score each sausage crosswise several times along one side, cutting about a quarter of the way through, but not completely, which will help the sausages curl when cooked.


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the sausages and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, jalapeños, carrot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just begin to soften, about 3 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, gochujang, soy sauce and sugar with 1 tablespoon water into a smooth sauce.


Reduce the heat under the pan to medium. Add the sauce to the sausages and vegetables and toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces slightly and forms a glaze, about 2 minutes.


Remove the pan from the heat and divide among serving bowls. Garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds and serve with rice.