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Chicago Char Dog with Fresh Cucumber Relish

Photo: Tru Studio

Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 20 mins

Serves 8 (serving size: 1 hot dog)

Classic Chicago dogs are served in poppy seed buns. If you can't find them, lightly brush buns with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds; toast in the oven at 350° for 2 to 3 minutes.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 8 uncured all-beef hot dogs (such as Boar's Head Lite Beef with Natural Casing)
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 white whole-wheat hot dog buns
  • 8 tomato slices, halved
  • 4 kosher dill pickle sandwich slices, halved lengthwise
  • 4 pickled sport peppers or pepperoncini, halved
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 4 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard

Nutrition Information

  • calories 181
  • fat 8.7 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • monofat 3.3 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 12 g
  • carbohydrate 23 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • cholesterol 20 mg
  • iron 7 mg
  • sodium 711 mg
  • calcium 261 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oil and mustard seeds; cook 1 minute or until seeds begin to pop, stirring constantly. Add ginger, turmeric, and nutmeg; sauté 1 minute. Add vinegar and sugar; cook 2 minutes. Stir in cucumber, bell pepper, and dill; remove from heat.

  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

  3. Place hot dogs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes, turning occasionally.

  4. Place 1 hot dog on each bun. Place 2 tomato pieces, 1 pickle piece, and 1/2 sport pepper on each. Top each with about 2 tablespoons cucumber relish, 1 1/2 teaspoons onion, and 1/2 teaspoon mustard.

  5. Banh Mi Hot Dog: Shave 2 large carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Combine carrots, 1/2 cup sliced red onion, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup water, and 2 teaspoons sugar in a medium bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Drain and discard pickling brine. Grill 8 Boar's Head Lite Beef Frankfurters with Natural Casing according to instructions in step Spread each of 8 white whole-wheat hot dog buns with 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise. Place 1 hot dog on each bun; top evenly with carrot ribbons and onion. Top with 3 fresh jalapeño slices and 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves. Serves 8 (serving size: 1 hot dog) CALORIES 323; FAT 1g (sat 1g, mono 9g, poly 7g); PROTEIN 14g; CARB 38g; FIBER 2g; CHOL 28mg; IRON 3mg; SODIUM 781mg; CALC 5mg

  6. Mexican Hot Dog: Combine 2 cups sliced red cabbage, 1/4 cup sliced green onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Grill 8 Boar's Head Lite Beef Frankfurters with Natural Casing according to instructions in step Place 1/4 cup cabbage in each of 8 white whole-wheat hot dog buns; place 1 hot dog on each bun. Slice 1 peeled avocado; divide among hot dogs. Serves 8 (serving size: 1 hot dog) CALORIES 225; FAT 1g (sat 2g, mono 6g, poly 6g); PROTEIN 13g; CARB 22g; FIBER 6g; CHOL 25mg; IRON 4mg; SODIUM 527mg; CALC 261mg