Vegan Chili Cheese Dog

Thai-Influenced—and not your mama’s chili cheese dogs!

The chili refers to the red chili peppers in Thai red curry paste (available at Asian markets and in the international aisle of many grocery stores). And the “cheese” refers to Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese. These two ingredients combine (even with few other ingredients) to make a knock out sauce for you dog—and juicy crunch is provided by a Fresh Cucumber-Carrot Slaw.

You will want these Thai-American top dogs to “sit” and “stay” at all your picnics, indoors or out!

Cucumber-Carrot Slaw(make first and set aside)
*1 medium cucumber, seeded, but not peeled, and julienned or shredded
*1 medium carrot, julienned or shredded
**2 tablespoons finely chopped Thai basil
2 tablespoons vegan “fish” sauce (sold as “vegetarian” in Asian markets)
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium non-reactive bowl and allow to sit for 5 or so minutes. Transfer mixture to a strainer or sieve, and place over the same bowl. Allow to drain while you continue with recipe.

Gently press on the vegetables with the back of a spoon before using. Save the juice for another purpose because even though the sauce calls for the same ingredients, here they are diluted with vegetable juice and, hence, not potent enough for the sauce.

*Use a food processor with a grater attachment for these tasks.

**Italian basil can substituted, but it will not have the pronounced anise-like flavor of Thai basil.

Thai Chili-”Cheese”
3 tablespoons Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, softened
3 tablespoons Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
2 tablespoons vegan “fish” sauce (sold as “vegetarian” in Asian markets)
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Thai Red Curry Paste

In a small non-reactive bowl, whish together all ingredients until very smooth, then transfer to a plastic squirt bottle from the dollar store for dispensing.

“Hotdogs” & buns
4 lightly oiled and grilled or toasted hot dog buns (potato rolls are great too)
4 grilled or broiled vegan “hot dogs” (available in the organic aisles of most grocery stores)
Garnish: 4 teaspoons lightly roasted, salted and chopped cashews or peanuts plus 4 fresh Thai basil sprigs (widely available in Asian markets)

To assemble each dog, squirt or spread about 1/8th of sauce onto a grilled or toasted bun. Layer with 1/4 of the slaw, and top with a grilled dog. Then zig-zag about another 1/8 of the sauce over the top—-squirting or drizzling–and garnish with about a teaspoon of chopped nuts and a Thai basil sprig. Serve immediately.

Yields 4 “dogs.” Woof!

Created exclusively for Tofutti Brands, Inc. by Betsy DiJulio over at The Blooming Platter.

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