It was battle of the celebrity hotdogs tonight here in mi casa. For ages I have eaten countless hotdogs usually the same way: grilled, a squirt of ketchup and topped with diced onions…. hold the mustard. But nowadays hotdog making is practically an art! Take for example La Perrada de Edgar in Miami, FL. As I sat watching Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover” show, I saw him scarf down hotdogs from this famous weiner restaurant that included: the Colombian hotdog, the Edgar Special hotdog, and the Super Edgar Special hotdog. (Seriously… you have to check out their website, folks! They take hotdogs to a whole new level).
By the end of the episode, even I, a mostly-vegetarian hippie, was jonsing for a hotdog. But my need for a good ballpark dog didn’t stop there. Oh no. Then came along Celebrity Chef David Chang. In “Mind of a Chef” David Chang takes us through many of his favorite New York spots, including secret bar, PDT. Not only is he close friends with the bar owners, but they even named a hotdog after him. This hotdog is appropriately named the “Momofuku Hotdog”. Just in case you didn’t know, Chef Chang founded the Momofuku Restaurant that eventually branched out to many more locations. This hotdog is a large, all-Beef frank wrapped in bacon that is fried and then topped with Kimchi. I wanted to lick the TV screen.
Now I am far from the Big Apple so getting my hands on an authentic Momofuku hotdog would be a bit tricky so I decided to make my own version. Coincidentally I recently just purchased the “Kimchi Chronicles” cookbook written by Celebrity Chef Jean-Georges Vongreichten and his wife, Marja. In their cookbook, they too have a Kimchi hotdog. Then it dawned on me: What if I prepare both hotdogs according to the recipes and have a hotdog face off? The Battle of the Celebrity Hotdogs was born!
For both hotdogs I used a Hebrew National 100% Beef Frank. Both Kimchi toppings came from a standard store-bought kimchi jar, but, the Kimchi Chronicles hotdog has a twist to it (from their recipe) which I will detail below.
For the Momofuku hotdog I began by wrapping two pieces of maple bacon around the hotdog and skewering it. Next I placed it on a broiling pan on HIGH and cooked it until it was nice and crispy. While it was broiling, I diced up some Kimchi and toasted a hoagie roll. While I could not find what (if any) spread was put onto the bun, I decided to put Mayonnaise on the bun because Chef Chang loved hotdogs with Mayonnaise. (Watch “Mind of a Chef” on Netflix to hear him rave about how much he loved mayo. on hotdogs).
For the Kimchi Chronicles hotdog I began by skewering the hotdog and broiling it on HIGH until it was cooked through. Meanwhile I prepared the Kimchi. First, dice up 1/2 cup of Kimchi. In a mixing bowl add 2 teaspoons of honey, and 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar. Slather the hotdog bun with Korean hot mustard, place the hotdog in the bun, and top with the kimchi mixture.
According to my better half (who tried and thoroughly enjoyed both), the Korean hot mustard is very hot, so consumers beware. However, if you have a love for all things spicy you might lean towards the Kimchi Chronicles hotdog because the honey puts a nice sweet, punch into the otherwise sour Kimchi. However, the mayonnaise was a nice smooth, contrast to the sour Kimchi on the Momofuku hotdog. When asked which one he would eat again the winner was clear:
WINNER: The Momofuku Hotdog.