Hot dogs and summer go hand in hand. They’re perfect for barbeques, ballgames, and camping. But when the heat just doesn’t let up for months on end, many in Japan can’t tolerate a piping hot frank any more.
A small bakery in Kobe, Boulangerie Marui, has found the solution by combining the cooling effects of cucumbers with all the fun or eating a hot dog. You can probably see where this is going.
They call it the “Tsukemono Dog” which is a pickled cucumber nestled in a hot dog bun. For those that think that’s too plain, fear not. There is also a layer of green shiso dressing spread onto the bun for an extra cooling feeling.
Beyond that it’d be up to your imagination as to what other toppings to add. Ketchup probably wouldn’t fly here. Lettuce would probably be nice. Perhaps throw on some potato chips, but I’d put potato chips on top of my waffles if it were more socially acceptable.
The “tsukemono” in the name means “pickled food” and for those less familiar with Japanese foods their version of pickled cucumber is a far cry from a gherkin. A tsukemono style pickled cucumber uses a different kind of brine more lightly, resulting in a more subtle flavoring and leaving much of the original flavor and texture of the original cucumber.
The bakery explains that the idea for this sandwich was from customers asking for vegetarian style foods. Originally they made both cucumber and daikon (Japanese radish) dogs, but the daikon dog didn’t take off despite the catchier name.
So if you find yourself suffering from the heat in Kobe, then head down to Boulangerie Marui. A Tsukemono Dog only runs you 140 yen (US$1.75). You better hurry though as it’s only available during summer, and after the beginning of September they’ll be gone till next summer.