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Banh mi veggie dogs

Banh mi veggie dogs - a fun twist for your next barbecue! They're topped with pickled carrots, fresh cilantro, sliced cucumbers and sriracha mayo. Get the recipe: http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/mains/banh-mi-veggie-dogs/

I kind of feel bad for hot dogs. The original American street food, tasty hot dogs are a staple at baseball games, barbecues, kids’ parties, amusement parks, carnivals, food carts and iconic restaurants like Papaya King in New York City. In other words, they’re found at pretty much every fun summer venue ever invented.

Just about everyone loves a good ol’ hot dog now and then, especially in the summer, but unfortunately they have a pretty terrible rap as far as health and nutrition go. As a hot dog lover since childhood, this makes me a bit sad!

Banh mi veggie dogs - a fun twist for your next barbecue!  They're topped with pickled carrots, fresh cilantro, sliced cucumbers and sriracha mayo.  Get the recipe: http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/mains/banh-mi-veggie-dogs/

If you were to rate foods using a traffic light system–meaning green for go, yellow for slow down and red for stop–hot dogs would definitely have you slamming on the brakes. Most varieties are made from processed meat scraps and contain potentially harmful preservatives like sodium nitrite. They’re also high in saturated fats and sodium which have negative impacts on health.

I don’t have the heart to bash hot dogs too much, so I’ll stop there. But I will tell you this – veggie dogs are a pretty decent option if you’re looking for a healthier (and meat-free) alternative to the classic hot dog.

If meat substitutes aren’t your cup of tea, it might help to know that veggie dogs have pretty much the same taste and texture than normal hot dogs. In a blind taste test I don’t think I’d be able to tell the difference. Both have that delectable smoky flavour that makes hot dogs so enticing and char up nicely on the barbecue.

Banh mi veggie dogs - a fun twist for your next barbecue!  They're topped with pickled carrots, fresh cilantro, sliced cucumbers and sriracha mayo.  Get the recipe: http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/mains/banh-mi-veggie-dogs/

My inspiration for this veggie dog recipe was the classic and über-popular Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. There are a variety of different banh mi recipes out there, but the most well known version in North America is made with meat (typically pork), paté, pickled vegetables (usually a combination of carrots and daikon), sliced cucumber and fresh cilantro sprigs, served on a baguette with or without mayo.

For this recipe I used thin whole wheat hot dog buns rather than a baguette as is typical of the banh mi sandwich, so by definition it isn’t overly authentic.  But the main ingredients and flavours are still there, and they go exceptionally well with the veggie dog.

Banh mi veggie dogs - a fun twist for your next barbecue!  They're topped with pickled carrots, fresh cilantro, sliced cucumbers and sriracha mayo.  Get the recipe: http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/mains/banh-mi-veggie-dogs/

Despite their poor nutritional value, I still plan on enjoying a regular hot dog every now and then. But having the option to go veggie anytime and nix some of the negative health effects is reassuring. When choosing a veggie dog, make sure to still check the nutrition information as some brands can be pretty high in sodium.

Banh mi veggie dogs - a fun twist for your next barbecue!  They're topped with pickled carrots, fresh cilantro, sliced cucumbers and sriracha mayo.  Get the recipe: http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/mains/banh-mi-veggie-dogs/

Banh mi veggie dogs
Serves 4
Inspired by the classic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich, these veggie dogs are topped with fresh cilantro, pickled carrots, cucumbers and sriracha mayo.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium carrots, shaved into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  2. 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 tsp coarse salt
  5. 1/2 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  6. 2 tbsp sriracha, or more to taste
  7. 4 veggie dog wieners
  8. 4 whole grain thin hot dog buns
  9. 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthwise
  10. 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  11. 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
For the pickled carrots
  1. In a small pot combine the vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, remove from heat and let sit until cooled. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For the veggie dogs
  1. In a small bowl combine the mayo (or Miracle Whip) and sriracha and stir to combine evenly. Grill the veggie dogs over medium-high heat until grill marks form, turning halfway through cooking, about 5 minutes. Place each in a bun and top with the sriracha mayo, cucumber and jalapeno slices, a small handful of pickled carrots and a sprig of cilantro. Serve immediately.
Ricotta & Radishes http://www.ricottaandradishes.com/

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