Say what you will about savory tubes of cooked flesh: Hot dogs belong in the pantheon of great America food items. What can be more democratic than a meal that allows people to eat what they want, the way they want? Try these five dogs that celebrate America's melting pot culture.

kimchi sriracha hot dog
Kimchi Dogs with Sriracha
Origins unknown. Outcome delicious. In Southern California, fusion-style cooking turns ethnic street food into tacos or hot dogs.

Prep time: 5 minutes  

Total time: 10 minutes  

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces mayonnaise
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce to taste
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 4 all-beef hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
Cooking directions
  1. To make condiment, combine mayonnaise and Sriracha in small bowl. Stir and set aside.
  2. To make kimchi relish, place kimchi, honey and vinegar in food processor. Process until shredded, about 15 seconds.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Add hot dogs. Reduce heat and cook 5 to 6 minutes. Place buns in colander, place colander in pot and steam for about 1 minute.
  4. Remove hot dogs from pot. Place in steamed buns and dress with sriracha and kimchi.

***

dirty hot dog
Dirty Dogs
A New York City staple, dirty water hot dogs are sold from a pushcart after bobbing in water all day. It's the kind of food your mother warned you about but you ate anyway.

Prep time: 30 minutes  

Total time: 40 minutes  

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cumin
  • 4 all-beef hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • Squirt yellow mustard, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons green relish
Cooking directions
  1. Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add onions and saute five to six minutes. Reduce heat. Add salt and cumin. Continue cooking 20 to 30 minutes more. Stirring occasionally to prevent onions from burning, cook until light brown.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Add hot dogs. Reduce heat and cook 5 to 6 minutes. Place buns in colander, place colander in pot and steam for about 1 minute.
  3. Remove hot dogs from pot. Place in steamed buns and dress with mustard, onions and relish.

***

garden hot dog
Garden Dogs
Chicago-style hot dogs are "dragged through the garden," inspiring a vegetarian dog for non-meat eaters.

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 20 minutes  

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 medium-sized red or white onion, diced
  • Pinch celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon vinaigrette
  • 4 soy-based hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • Squirt yellow mustard, to taste
  • 1 dill pickle, cut into spears
Cooking directions
  1. Combine tomato, onion, celery salt and vinaigrette in a small bowl. Toss and set aside.
  2. Cook hot dogs on indoor or outdoor grill for 5 to 6 minutes, until skins begins to darken and brown.
  3. Remove hot dogs from grill. Place in steamed buns and dress with mustard, salad, dill pickle.

***

traditional hot dog
Traditional Dogs
The saying goes you can't teach old dogs new tricks and sometimes that's not such a bad thing.

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 10 minutes  

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 all-beef hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • Squirt spicy brown mustard, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut
Cooking directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add hot dogs. Reduce heat and cook 5 to 6 minutes. Place buns in colander, place colander atop pot and steam for about 1 minute.
  2. Remove hot dogs from pot. Place in steamed buns and dress with mustard and sauerkraut.

***

border hot dog
Border Dogs
In the Lucha Libre-style hot dog of border culture, Sonoran-style dogs mix and match Mexican spices with American toppings. The only rule is there are no rules, except hot dogs are wrapped in bacon and grilled.

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 20 minutes  

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle puree, to taste
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 4 all-beef hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 4 tablespoons jalapeño relish
Cooking directions
  1. To make condiment, combine mayonnaise with chipotle puree in small mixing bowl. Stir and set aside.
  2. Wrap bacon around hot dog. Pin with toothpicks to prevent slipping. Place dogs on grill and heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until bacon is done.
  3. Place hot dogs in buns. Dress with chipotle condiment and jalapeño relish.

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