A staple in Indian home cooking
Hot dog toppings have been a controversial topic since, well, the beginnings of hot dogs. Some people are ketchup-only purists, while others are big fans of a briney, pickle-loaded hot dog. If you’re one of the people who love the combination of pickled flavors and hot dogs, then get ready to have your mind absolutely blown. My latest submission for my series on hot dogs across the world takes the classic briney dog to the next level.
Muslima sent me all the information for her favorite hot dog aka a hot dog with morkovcha. Living in Uzbekistan, Muslima grew up eating morkovcha, which is a type of marinated carrot salad. For morkovcha, carrots are julienned and then mixed together with a blend of spices like red pepper, coriander, garlic, vinegar, and oil. It’s a delicious dish that also has a very storied history. In 1937, the Soviet Union forcibly deported around 200,000 Koreans from their homes in the eastern area of the Soviet Union to other areas like modern day Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Unfortunately, conditions were hard for the Koreans in these areas and they were forced to become resourceful and creative with ingredients.
Morkovcha is a result of this resourcefulness. The carrot salad is a variation on kimchi, but using the more accessible carrots over napa cabbage. Even though morkovcha has clear Korean ties, you would be hard pressed to find it on any Korean menu. It’s a dish that remains uniquely tied to its Soviet-Korean history and geography. For Muslima in Uzbekistan, that meant that morkovcha was a frequent part of life. In fact, growing up Muslima believed that a hot dog topped with morkovcha was truly the only way people had hot dogs. After tasting it for myself, I could happily embrace this as the only hot dog option.
To make your own hot dog topped with morkovcha, you’ll of course need to have a batch of morkovcha handy. Then, you’ll sear the hot dog of your choosing and crisp up the bun. Everything is then topped with a ton of morkovcha and a drizzle of both ketchup and mayonnaise on top. The carrot salad gives the hot dog just a bit of crunch, along with the tangy and creamy flavors of the salad, ketchup, and mayo together. Pickled food on hot dogs is always going to be a win for me, but hot dogs topped with morkovcha is a fun new way to think about that classic combination.
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