Vegetarian and vegan hot dogs made using sweet potato and gluten. The frankfurter mixture is also oil-free.
The theme for this month on the blog was supposed to be ‘orange’. But it appears the real theme was ‘unexplained absence’. Apologies for the temporary hiatus. Since this blog is my fun, on-the-side hobby, it sometimes gets pushed to the bottom of my to-do list.
Oddly enough, after that random absence, I’m back with a recipe that has nothing to do with breakfast. It does, however, involve a very orange ingredient: sweet potato.
Fun Fact: In 1939, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt served hot dogs and beer to Britain’s King George VI at a state dinner.
Hot dogs, or frankfurters (or wieners, for those of us who can say that with a straight face) are typically made with an endless list of unpronounceable ingredients. These veggie ‘hot dogs’ are entirely plant-based – so they’re vegan as well as vegetarian – and are made primarily with sweet potato puree, vegetable broth and vital wheat gluten.
What is ‘vital wheat gluten’? It’s literally gluten. It looks like flour, but is 75% protein. I used Bob’s Red Mill vital wheat gluten,* but other brands are available. Sometimes it’s called ‘gluten flour’ – but make sure you’re buying actual gluten, and not merely a high-gluten flour.
*Bob’s Red Mill is not sponsoring this post, nor are they affiliated with this blog in any way. It’s just the brand I used.
The ingredients list for these veggie frankfurters was, unfortunately, expanded by the number of spices and seasonings required. I experimented with various spices, and quantities of spices, in my quest to create that characteristic ‘hot dog’ flavor. In the end, I found I needed a mixture of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, nutmeg, white pepper and celery salt.
I should admit here that it has literally been over a decade since I’ve eaten a ‘real’ hot dog. However, I have had quite a few veggie dogs over the years. And does one ever truly forget what a hot dog tastes like?
By the way, if you’re looking for a more breakfast-style veggie sausage – or just don’t like hot dogs – a while ago I shared a recipe for Smoky Maple Veggie Sausages, which uses the same sweet potato and gluten base.
Fun Fact: Apparently, the frankfurter was invented in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1484. Although some people claim Vienna, Austria, was the birthplace of the ‘wienerwurst’.
- ½ cup (120g) sweet potato puree
- 1 tablespoons (15mL) maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon celery salt
- ¾ cup (180mL) cold vegetable broth
- 1 cup (135g) vital wheat gluten
- ½ cup (45g) oat flour
- Prepare your steaming equipment, such as a saucepan with a steamer insert and lid.
- In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato puree, maple syrup, liquid smoke, soy sauce, yellow mustard, ground paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground nutmeg, white pepper and celery salt. Add the vegetable broth, and mix until well combined.
- Add the vital wheat gluten and oat flour. Mix until fully incorporated, using your hands if necessary, until the mixture forms a thick, moist dough.
- Knead the dough for about 1 – 2 minutes to develop the gluten, which creates a chewier sausage. Omit this step if a softer sausage is desired.
- Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Roll the first piece of dough into the shape of a sausage link, and place on a sheet of aluminium foil. Roll the dough up in the foil and twist the ends. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Steam the sausages for 35 – 45 minutes, or until they feel relatively firm to touch. Cool for 5 minutes before removing the foil.
- Preheat a skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil, or add some olive oil. Cook the sausages in the skillet for approximately 2 – 5 minutes, turning occasionally, to brown the outsides.
- Leftover sausages can be stored in the fridge or frozen.
I used a large saucepan with a steamer insert and a lid. For this kind of steam, fill the saucepan about three-quarters full with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a low boil just before placing the sausages in the steamer insert. Keep an eye on the saucepan and ensure it does not run out of water while steaming the sausages.
Sweet potato puree
Making your own sweet potato puree from roasted sweet potatoes is ideal, as the puree will be sweeter. I roasted two small sweet potatoes at 375°F (190°C) for about an hour, removed the skins, and then blended them.
Recipe inspired and adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz