Updated: Mar 24, 2021
I grew up in Chicago, and the Chicago-style hot dog is in a league of it's own. Traditionally an all-beef dog, the star of the show isn't really the hot dog itself, but the "whole garden" of toppings (perhaps this was the start of my topping obsession?). With diced white onion, sweet relish, sliced tomatoes, sport peppers, mustard, and celery salt all on a poppy seed bun- it's a combination of savory, spicy, a little sweet and a lot of tang. Here you'll find my version of the dog: using tofu and all the traditional spices (just not the animal)!
Tofu Hot Dog
½ block extra firm tofu*
1 tsp. tamari
2 tsp. tamari
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dijon mustard
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp. marjoram
⅛ tsp. mace
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. mushroom powder (maitake or shiitake)
*High protein tofu, that comes pre-pressed, works best if available.
If you are using extra firm tofu, press excess water out by using a tofu press or placing between towels weighted down by a cast iron pan or other weight for 30 minutes. If using high protein tofu, there is no need to press.
In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients and pour into a plastic baggie.
Cut tofu into 2 hot dog-sized rectangles, the length of the block of tofu (~5”), and about 1-1 ½” in height and width. You will have some excess, reserve for other uses (or make tofu scramble!). You can also shape them more "round" if you like, by slicing off the corners, however, it is really easy to pan fry with 4 flat sides.
Pour ½ tsp. tamari slowly over the length of each rectangle, so that it evenly sinks into the tofu.
Place both “tofu dogs” into the plastic baggie with marinade. Marinade at least 1 hour, and up to overnight. The longer it marinades, the tastier it will be!
When ready, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Remove tofu dogs from marinade and pan fry until brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side.
Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings! If you're going for the classic Chicago dog, that means: diced white onion, sweet relish, sliced tomatoes, sport peppers, mustard, and celery salt all on a poppy seed bun :)