Banh Mi Dogs

by Joseph Erdos
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bahnmidogsWho doesn't love a hot dog? They're an iconic American food and are a fixture at backyard barbecues. German immigrants brought hot dogs to America and made them famous by selling from stands at ball parks. Ever since, Americans have had a love affair with the frankfurter, as they were called then, and franks as we call them now. Summer grilling wouldn't be complete without hot dogs. It's always easy to throw some dogs on the grill—you have a crowd-pleasing outdoor dinner in no time.

When it comes to hot dog condiments there are those who prefer ketchup and those who swear by mustard. As a kid I drowned my hot dogs in ketchup. But now as an adult I have the mature taste buds to appreciate tangy mustard (preferably spicy brown) and a little sauerkraut. The toppings debate won't be decided upon anytime soon, but I'm always up for a twist on tradition with a new kind of topping that's sure to pique everyone's interest.

I top these hot dogs with spicy slaw made with the flavors of the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. Rice vinegar gives the slaw a tangy almost pickled flavor much like the pickled vegetables that top a banh mi. Cilantro and hot peppers add a refreshing jolt. Sesame oil and a bit of fish sauce round out the vinegary dressing--no mayonnaise in this recipe. This is a dog that's sure to delight even the most adamant cynic with tongue-tingling flavors.

Banh Mi Dogs

canola oil, for brushing grill
8 all-beef skinless hot dogs
8 whole-wheat hot dog buns
spicy brown mustard
4 cups Spicy Asian Slaw, recipe follows

Heat a gas grill at medium-high to high heat. Once hot, oil the grates using a paper towel moistened with oil.

Cut diagonal slits on hot dogs. Place on grill, periodically turning with tongs until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Toast outside of buns on grill just until marks form.

Place each hot dog in a bun and squeeze a line of mustard on dog. Top with about 1/2 cup slaw. Serve immediately. Yield: Serves 8.

Spicy Asian Slaw

for the dressing:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the slaw:
1/2 green cabbage, shredded
1/4 red cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, julienned
2 serrano chile peppers, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, honey, and coriander seeds. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together green and red cabbage, carrot, chile peppers, and cilantro. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 to 10 servings; about 8 cups.


Joseph Erdos is a New York–based writer and editor, butabove all a gastronomer and oenophile. He shares his passion for foodon his blog, Gastronomer's Guide , which features unique recipes and restaurant reviews among many other musings on the all-encompassing topic of food.

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