Hot Dogs with Cucumber-Mango Slaw and Homemade Srirachup
Sadly, I very rarely consume hot dogs because their ingredients are borderline terrifying. However, a few hot dogs here and there won’t kill me, and every once in a while I throw caution to the wind and crush a delicious dog with reckless abandon. These occasions usually take place during the summer months because everyone knows that a hot dog and a cold beer on a porch/beach somewhere is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I actually had my first hot dog of the year a couple Sundays ago at Madison Square Eats, the best semi-annual pop-up food market in downtown NYC. I had unleashed my roommate on the unsuspecting vendors while I locked down a table, and truth be told, I was nervous. Logan sometimes makes odd choices when he gets overly excited, and I was sure he was going to return with an obscene BBQ smorgasbord or some three pounds of dumplings, so you can imagine my surprise when he came back bearing a single, intriguing hot dog.
Logan giddily informed me that he had hit up the Asia Dog stand, and that this was the most money dog on the menu. All I can say is, Dude did good. Topped with some sort of mango slaw, crushed peanuts, and lots of fresh cilantro, it was unlike any hot dog I had ever seen. A revelation, if you will. And by some miracle, the thing tasted even better than it looked. All the awesomeness of a good hot dog, plus an explosion of Thai flavors (I detected a hint of fish sauce somewhere) and texture out the ying-yang. I made a mental note to recreate it in the coming week, but I got sidetracked by Hawaiian Grilled Cheese and grilling recipes, and promptly forgot about it.
Thankfully, I was reminded of that life-changing dog while attending a Phil Lesh and Friends concert in Central Park on Wednesday evening. (No, I am not a Grateful Dead fan, but my roommate is, and I went because I like him and anything is better than Widespread Panic.) I was doing some light noodling, when I saw a number of hippies eating fancy hot dogs. I excitedly scanned the area, and lo and behold, an Asia Dog stand appeared. Unfortunately, I had already eaten dinner, but I promised myself that I’d make a version of the Asia Dog the very next day.
Because I hate to break promises to myself, that is exactly what I did. Hot Dogs with Cucumber-Mango Slaw and Homemade Srirachup were created and crushed yesterday afternoon, and it was unreal…
I mean, just look at these beasts. Juicy grilled hot dogs nestled in toasted potato buns and topped with spicy Srirachup, zesty cucumber-mango slaw, and crunchy peanuts? Straight fire, friends. The ridiculous array of flavors and textures marry perfectly to create a beautifully layered, sweet and savory flavor bomb that puts your average ketchup and mustard-laden dog to SHAME. I may never be able to eat a normal hot dog again.
Let’s take a hot second to discuss the wonders of Srirachup, which may be the most magical condiment of all time. The blend of tomato-based sweetness and chile-induced heat is a full-blown rager for your taste buds. And no, it’s not just Heinz and Sriracha mixed together (although that is also bomb). It’s obviously much fancier than that because the ketchup is homemade. Don’t panic, making small-batch ketchup is a total breeze. All you need is a handful of pantry essentials and 15 minutes. You don’t even have to break out the food processor.
Just a heads up, the recipe makes about 1½ cups of Srirachup, which is significantly more than you’ll need for the dogs. You should be pumped about this because you’re going to want to put Srirachup on EVERYTHING, peeps. Dip your fries, chicken fingers, and grilled cheese in it, smother it on burgers, and drizzle it on eggs, hash, mac and cheese, and cheesesteaks. The possibilities for this fiery deliciousness are infinite and glorious.
Not gonna lie, I had a “Quinotto” moment yesterday, when I thought I had invented a new condiment. Devastatingly, Google dashed my dreams again by informing me that Srirachup already exists, but whatever. Let’s pretend for today that I made it up. I really like the thought of being a culinary innovator.
I had grand plans to make these bad boys with Kobe beef dogs, but I wasn’t feeling my best after the aforementioned Phil Lesh festivities, and the 12-block trek to Eataly felt akin to climbing Kilimanjaro. Instead, I used some dope organic 100% beef dogs, which was probably a smart choice because Kobe beef is frivolously expensive (but insanely delicious). That said, these would be equally delightful with chicken, turkey, or even veggie dogs. As always, you do you.
And if you insist on being vehemently anti-hot dog (blergh), go ahead and substitute dogs for burgers.
Sidenote: I’m currently en route to my five-year college reunion, and I really feel like these hot dogs are going to be a great conversation starter. When people try to show me pictures of their actual dogs/husbands/babies, I’m going to be whip out my phone and be like “Want to see my dogs?” Wish me luck.
Hot Dogs with Cucumber-Mango Slaw and Srirachup: (Serves 4)
For the Srirachup:
1 6-ounce can organic tomato paste
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 packed tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Sriracha
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt to taste
For the Cucumber-Mango Slaw:
1/3 large English cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and julienned
½ mango, julienned
¼ red onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
For the Hot Dogs:
4 beef hot dogs (Try to buy no-nitrate and uncured)
4 hot dog buns
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
Preparing your Hot Dogs with Cucumber-Mango Slaw and Srirachup:
-Start by making the Srirachup. In a medium saucepan, whisk together all of the ingredients for the Srirachup over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low (it should be barely simmering) and cook for ten minutes, stirring regularly. (If it gets too thick, add an extra tablespoon or two of water until you reach the desired consistency.)
-Moving on to the cucumber-mango slaw! In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the slaw. Season with salt to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.
-Now it’s time to assemble these dogs. Place each hot dog in a bun and top with a generous spoonful of Srirachup.
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