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Japadog: Not Your Average Hot Dog

Japadog: Not Your Average Hot Dog

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Japadog’s Japanese-inspired hot dogs are a welcome break from the usual hot dog with ketchup and mustard. In 2005, a Japanese couple moved to Vancouver from Japan with the goal of creating a successful hot dog stand, according to their website. Fortunately, their goals came true and Japadog now has four hot dog stands and one store in Vancouver, as well as a shop in New York City.

Their signature hot dog, “Terimayo,” is drizzled with teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise, and then covered with a heap of shredded seaweed. The buns are grilled to order so they’re crispy and warm. The hot dog is slightly sliced so that the sauce can seep into the meat. It may be a bit messy to eat and the generous serving is bound to keep you full.

If one hot dog is not enough, there are many more to choose from. The “Okonomi” is a juicy Kurobuta sausage with bonito flakes. The “Yakisoba,” which is an arabiki sausage topped with Japanese noodles, might be worth a try. Have a hot dog with their most popular fries, “Butter & Shoyu.”

Finish off your meal with the “Ice Age,” which is a deep fried bun filled with your choice of ice cream (vanilla, mango, strawberry, black sesame, or matcha). This is comfort food at its best.

Japadog: Not Your Average Hot Dog - Recipes

Located toward the end of Robson street, just a few blocks from BC Place is the brick-n-mortar version of the Japadog food cart. Made even more famous by the exposure during the Olympics, this place usually has a line, even at 1100 pm.

For a first timer: Do not think of this as a hot dog with Japanese toppings. You should keep your mind open that it will taste more japanese than a dog you eat at the ballpark because not all the hot dogs are made in the traditional way.

I ordered the Love Meat and the Karabuta pork Terimayo (teriyaki, mayo, nori) combo, with the Shoyu and butter fries. The Love Meat is a gourmet version of a chili cheese dog. It was very meaty and good. However, My favorite is still the Karabuta dog, which I fell in love with on my street corner visit. What is nice about this place is you don't necessarily have to be a fan of the hot dog. I personally try not to eat a hot dog, but I will stop here and get the karabuta pork one because its not a hot dog tasting meal. The pork is juicy and taste more like a pork loin than a sausage.

The average price for one is $6 but if you come with friends and share, you can sample the menu and not set your wallet back too much.

Dragged Through the Garden Hot Dog Hash

Chicago is serious about hot dogs. There are rules. Vienna Beef, minimum 6 to the pound natural casing. Poppy-seed bun. The Seven Samurai of toppings: tomatoes, onion, neon green pickle relish, dill pickle spear, yellow mustard, sport peppers, celery salt. It&rsquos a full meal: protein, starch, and vegetables in a quick to eat single package. Particularly good with crispy fries, crinkle cuts preferred. It is not required that you eat your Chicago Dogs with all of these, as long as anyone over the age of ten promises to eschew ketchup.

The great thing about a classic Chicago Dog is that it is so balanced. Deep, beefy umami from the dog itself, brightness from the mustard, salt from the pickle, acid from the tomato, crunch from the onion, sweetness from the relish, heat from the peppers&mdashit hits all of your mouth at once. This breakfast twist breaks the dog down into its component parts to reimagine it. I refuse to use the word "deconstructed" on principle.

2. Frito Dogs

The Fritos add a satisfying crunch to these tasty hot dogs.

  • 8 beef hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 1 can (15 ounce) chili (with beans)
  • 1 ½ cups Frito chips, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese
  • Jalapeno slices (optional)

Cook your chili over medium-low heat until heated through and cook your hot dogs over the campfire to your liking.

You can put your buns on the grill (cut side down) for a light toasting.

After you put your hot dogs in the buns, top them with chili, cheese, jalapeno slices, and Frito chips.

Michael Suddard

Of course while visiting Vancouver one does have to try out some of the more popular food locales. Over the past couple of years many have raved about Japadog and it's unique culinary take on the average hot dog. Japadog takes the average hot dog and tops it with various unique toppings like meat, seaweed and other gourmet toppings. Starting out with a single hot dog cart, this restaurant chain has grown into several more carts and a storefront location in the Vancouver area plus a couple of carts in California.

Japadog has been noticed by many food blogs and tourist guidebooks since it's first cart that routinely had long line ups. Hence, my interest in trying at least once an culinary sensation from this popular restaurant family. With a Japadog storefront nearby at 530 Robson Street, it wasn't to hard to find my candidate location.

Japadog Storefront overlooking Robson Street

I visited on a weeknight for dinner figuring it would be less lined up than on a lost tourist infused weekend crowd. I was correct in my assumption and only found a relative handful of people there. Being only second in line upon entering things moved fast especially considering the relatively cramped quarters of the restaurant compared to the more spacious Five Guys Burgers & Fries across the street.

The Order: 1 Love Meat Hot Dog (Japadog's home made meat sauce is fused together with melted cheese).

After ordering and paying for the meal, customers are issued a receipt with an order number on it. Next customers wait for their orders to be prepared by the Japadog staff team. This can take anywhere from a five minutes up to, I imagine, on busy days twenty minutes. With a cramped kitchen area due to the small retail space, there are only so many staff members that can assemble orders.

My order was easily assembled and picked up in less than ten minutes. I left for the nearby condominium to grab a drink and other assortment of sides. I could have ordered a side, but at $5.99 plus tax for my hot dog alone, it was a little steep.

Love Meat Hot Dog

The Love Meat Hot Dog was o.k. the hot dog itself was an average street sausage you could easily find at the nearby Costco Food Court. The most interesting part was the meat toppings. Interesting taste similar to a chili dog. But perhaps the most impressive thing was before I was given the order, the Japadog staff member used a blow torch to melt the cheese sprinkled on top.

Overall, was the hot dog worth $6.00 plus tax? Not really, but it was a good one time experience that I can say I did while in Vancouver. I wouldn't make this a regular trip as for the price of food for the amount received is a little lacking. But for novelty sake, it is worth a trip if you're playing tourist.

Hot food: Hotdogs

Pimped dogs: Not your average sausage in a bun. Photo: Edwina Pickles

To pimp: to excessively customise. Ergo, a pimped hot dog is not your average sausage in a bun. This is a "hot" dog, customised with anything from miso and kim-chi to curry and fries, and found everywhere from New York's cult Japadog to London's Bubbledogs. Even Donna Hay has been known to pimp the odd dog, with smoky bacon and a bourbon barbecue sauce.

Where is it?

In Sydney's Surry Hills, the Soda Factory does a roaring trade in $10 pimped dogs most nights, but on Tuesdays, when the bar has a reduced-size $1 special, it goes ballistic. "We easily sell a thousand on a Tuesday," says events manager Samantha Wood. "People love our Johnny Drama, a bacon-wrapped and fried dog topped with guacamole and salsa."

Tom Gibson founded Woofys Gourmet Food Cart Co by buying three hotdog carts on for $5000. "We use grass-fed angus-beef sausages from Argyle Meats in soft, buttery buns," he says, fresh from serving 900 hotdogs at a festival in Wynyard Park. Woofys Nacho Dog is served with guacamole, sour cream, chilli sauce, grated cheese and crushed corn chips. "It's nachos, in dog form," he says. "It's like stoner food in a bun."

At Massive Wieners in Prahran, Liam Magee does three sizes of dog at his cheeky "hotdog stand" – the 12" Massive, the 6" Average Joe, and the 3" Little Pecker. The one thing he won't do, however, is pimp. "In America they'll serve hotdogs with peanut butter, and in Germany they do currywurst," he says, "but my best seller is the Average Joe Classic, a real pork frankfurt with ketchup and mustard."

Why do I care?

Let's be frank. If you just want a hotdog in your roll, then you won't care.

Miso Glazed Hot Dogs

Hey there,
Yup. Today you can stuff your face with hot dogs and not feel an ounce of guilt, because hey it’s international hot dog day. What else are you going to do?

Whenever we’re in Vancouver, we scout out Japadog – delicious, Japanese inspired street cart hot dogs. If you’re in Vancouver, you will know their deliciousness. If you live in LA, you’re in luck! They’ve opened a food truck there and have plans for two more. I’m excited for you!
While LA is a 4 hour flight, Vancouver is only a 90 minute ferry ride. Despite this, we don’t get over as much as we’d like. A $200 with car round trip isn’t exactly a budget weekend adventures. Thanks BC Ferries (note sarcasm).

So, instead of travelling over to the mainland and biting into a delicious Oroshi or Kurobuta, I decided to make our own. Behold, the miso glazed hot dog, complete with various Japanese toppings!
The toppings are endless – you can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like. Each hot dog got a miso glaze mix, then was topped with varying combinations of japanese mayo (the only mayo I’ll ever eat), crispy seaweed, kurogoma (black sesame seeds), and crispy dried ramen noodles.

  • Kimchi (technically Korean, but it’s all over Japan)
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Wasabi
  • Pickled ginger

The options are endless.

Need more hot dog ideas? Check out Not Yo’ Average Dog, 8 unusual and delicious hot dog recipes, from July 23rd of last year.

Japadog: A Disgusting Fusion of Corporate and Ethnic Racism

Japadog? Really? Is The Los Angeles Times really promoting racism by playfully using a racist slur in their headlines to highlight a fusion of Japanese food and hot dog? What is a Japadog? Wasn’t the reporter, Jenn Harris, even thinking when she wrote the story that Japadog would be offensive? Obviously she’s Asian American, and possibly Japanese American, but doesn’t she realize that Japadog is offensive?

I wonder, if an African American reporter would have done a story in South Los Angeles, (a predominately black and African American neighborhood) about a person from the continent of Africa who created a fusion delicacy: Southern food with hot dogs and called it N*ggadog? I’m sure the editors would throw the story away and wouldn’t think about posting this online.

Yet the story Harris wrote, she being Asian and all, and the word Jap does not have the same bite as the “N” word…which would be OK. Well it’s not. We are not Japs and neither the editors nor some immigrants from Japan can speak for Japanese Americans and assume that Japadog is OK.

This is what happens when the so-called model minority is placed in second class status. We are either a successful ethnic group that transcends racism or our culture is no longer a culture but so Americanized that using the word Jap in Japadog is not a big deal.

Another thing that bothers me is when an immigrant from Africa wishes to be creative, they are silenced but it’s OK for an immigrant from Japan to be racist? Why, are black folks that weak? Well, they are not. Racism from any group is racism and must end. When Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone said —

“Since there are black people, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans in the United States,” he said, according to Japanese TV and newspaper reports,  ”its level of intelligence is lower on the average.”

— there was a giant uproar. Now, by pointing out the racism from The Los Angeles Times‘ article, I’m sure I’ll be accused of pulling out the race card like my last story —

— when I pointed out the racism by the Republicans. Apparently, there is a two-tiered system when it comes to racism, either out on main street or in the corporate world…like The Los Angeles Times.

Japanese Americans are People of Color and we are also minorities. We experience racism and violence and, get this, we are the second largest ethnic group behind whites when it comes to using social services.

Also, Asian American women and girls have the highest suicide rate according to the CDC…so much for the model minority, right? The damage is already done. The story is out and now people wanting to try this fusion of traditional Japanese food on a hot dog will now ask for a Japadog. Sadly, the term Jap will be acceptable and not a pejorative that needs to be removed from the U.S. and now world language lexicon.

Tim’s first experience into journalism was at East Los Angeles College. Then Tim was a stringer for a local Japanese American Newspaper in Los Angeles. He then completed his Bachelors in Business and RECEIVED his MBA, but his desire to seek the truth has not been assuaged by fear of the 1% or their followers. When Tim isn’t doing his liberal thing, he enjoys sitting back, relaxing and listening to Rush…the band folks!

Japadog: Not Your Average Hot Dog - Recipes

Many different hot dogs offered. They were made to order. Very different from your average dog. Fun to try new things.
Good friendly service. Very popular hot dog stand.

2 - 6 of 88 reviews

Interesting and delicious take on hot dogs. Almost too much for the taste buds, especially with the seasoned fries. Worth a try, tasty.

Bizarre but tasty hot dogs, once you have one you will be back for more when the craving hits. Quick and tasty, I will take a trip across the water once in a while just to have one.

These guys are here or at the airpot . Love their terimayo everytime. This is a new Vancouver institution. A new type of hotdog that cannot be missed. JUST DO IT!!

If hotdogs take your fancy, true American hotdogs and you like Japanese then try this. Originally in a food truck now also in a store front this is taking Japanese flavors and putting them on hotdogs. If you don't like both of these things you probably wont like them put together but it is definitely worth a try.

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