I recently got back from my first trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, and in addition to all the bicycles, Scandinavian architecture, and Vikings, I found they have some of the best food I’ve ever had. While much of that food is modern Nordic cuisine (as prepared by Michelin star restaurants that later get featured in Netflix shows), you don’t have to spend 3000DKK to have a great meal. One of my favorites was picking up a hot dog (or two) at one of the ubiquitous pølser (Danish for sausages) carts. When I returned home, I knew I had to recreate them for myself.
No matter which cart we got our hot dogs from, “the works” was always the same: bun, hot dog, remoulade sauce, Dijon mustard, AND ketchup (Danes are really into condiments), raw diced onions AND fried onions, and slightly sweet very thinly sliced pickles. Somehow the vendors fit all that on there, and I tried my best.
Because I was trying to recreate a dish, I was very CONFINED by the components of a true Copenhagen dog. Therefore all I had to do was pay attention while eating the real thing, and do my best to create the best versions of those components.
Below, the recipe:
Copenhagen Hot Dogs
Based on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 pound cucumbers, very thinly sliced on a mandolin
- ¼ cup Diamond kosher salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers and salt. Mix well.
- Cover the mixture with ice and let stand at room temperature for two hours.
- In a pot, bring sugar, vinegar and spices to a boil.
- Drain cucumbers. Add to vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil.
- Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
- 1 large yellow onion, small dice
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium pot over med-hi
- Toss half the onions and flour in a small bowl until coated. Save the other half of the onions raw for serving.
- Fry onions in the oil 1-2 min until quite brown, but not burned
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate and immediately season with salt
- ¾ c mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 5 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (to taste)
- 2 tsp drained capers, chopped
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 scallion, very thinly sliced
- Combine everything and add Tabasco sauce to slightly spicy
- Season with salt and pepper
- Hot dog buns – try making your own (like I did) with this recipe
- Hot dogs – cook however you like, but grilled (ristet) is ideal
- Remoulade, ketchup, Dijon mustard
- Fried onions and diced raw white onions
- I served these alongside roasted new potatoes with a chipotle mayo dipping sauce, which seemed to be more popular in Copenhagen than thin French fries
These hot dogs really are great and give me such fond memories of Copenhagen. If there was anything I would change, the pickles were not really right. I didn’t like either the coriander or the turmeric in this application. In the future, I would use a more simple mix of vinegar, salt, and sugar.