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If you are an indie music fan of a certain age that worked in record stores in the early ’80s, you’ll likely remember Hanoi Rocks. They were a Swedish glam rock knockoff of the NY Dolls or the low rent precursors to Guns ‘N’ Roses depending on your musical orientation. They were never really that successful in the States. I seem to remember them being a “direct-to-cutout” sort of band. Unless you have an interest in lesser known hair metal bands, which I did once have, you’ve probably never heard of Hanoi Rocks.
I had all but forgotten them until a few years ago when the owner of a Q joint I cooked in told me he was friends with Sami Yaffa. I guess I must have stared blankly because then he said, “You know – the bassist from Hanoi Rocks” and I was suddenly taken back to my college days slinging cut-outs in Ann Arbor. Ultimately, the owner booked Sami’s new band to play the Q joint and I ended up making a pulled pork sandwich with kimchi and peanut sauce and called it The Hanoi Rocks. Yes, I am well aware I basically went with Korean and Thai ingredients for a band referencing Vietnam. I’ve gotten better with my musical recipe references.
This is essentially a banh mi dog skipping the pate. I replace the cilantro with scallions because I am definitely Anti-Cilantro. You should make the pickled vegetables a few hours in advance to give them time to marinate. I never have Sriracha in the house as I am a die-hard Sabal Olek fan, but use Sriracha for the mayo if that is what you have.
I honestly did not know what to expect from this dog. It is nothing like a banh mi, but it is very clean and crisp. The vegetables, especially the cucumber, add a nice herbal balance to the spiciness of the mayo. It’s also one of the less messy dogs I’ve made since starting this series. Almost feels like you’re eating healthy except for that whole processed meat hot dog thing.
HANOI ROCKS HOT DOG
All beef hot dog, Sambal mayo, pickled vegetables, cucumber, jalapeno, scallions
Makes 2 sandwiches
2 All beef hot dogs
2 soft potato buns
Pickled Vegetables (recipe below)
Sambal mayo (recipe below)
1 jalapeno, sliced on diagonal
1 English cucumber, sliced on diagonal
Scallion greens, sliced thin
Toast the buns and set aside. Heat a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet if you don’t have cast iron) over high heat. Carefully split the hot dogs lengthwise, gently spread open and place cut side down in hot skillet. If you have a grill weigh, use it to press the dog into the pan. Otherwise, use a spatula to flatten the dog. Cook for a minute or so until it gets crispy and slightly charred. Flip dogs and cook for another minute until lightly charred.
Spread some Sambal mayo inside each bun then line the bun with cucumber slices. Place the dogs in the buns – split side up – and top with pickled vegetables. Drizzle a bit more Sambal mayo on top of the pickled veg then top with jalapenos and scallion greens.
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 poblano, cut into thin strips
1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
3 cups hot water
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 lime, juiced
Combine water, sugar, salt, rice vinegar and lime juice in a bowl. Whisk until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add vegetables and toss. Put in an airtight container and let sit for 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.
3 tablespoons Sambal
3 tablespoon mayo
1 teaspoon Soy sauce
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.