Back in 2006 blogger Newley Purnell introduced the world to a French fry-coated hot dog on a stick he had encountered in Korea. Word spread, and other bloggers, including the now Melbourne-based Phil Lees, were posting their own sightings of the dish. Eventually, Lees took the concept a step further and improvised a recipe for the dish (as well as a subsequent bacon version). Here in Bangkok were so taken by the inherent genius of the dish, not to mention Lees’s breathtaking reverse engineering feat, that we decided to attempt our own ‘modern’ interpretation of the French fry-coated hot dog on a stick.
Our contribution to the genre? The dish pictured above: sous-vide potato confit with panko crust and hot dog foam. Unlike Lees, Hock has a modern kitchen at his disposal, and he took full advantage of this to apply cooking techniques that would best highlight each of the dish’s individual ingredients while not losing sight of the dish’s street origins. I think you’ll agree that we succeeded in this.
The lengthy process began by cooking hot dogs and potatoes sous-vide; the hot dogs at a carefully calculated temperature and time ratio of 53.2ºC for 73 hours and 22 minutes, the potatoes at 84.7C for 2 hours 17 minutes (Starch begins to break down at temperatures of 78C and above. Natural pectins, which are the molecular glue holding all plant cells together, do not begin to break down until 85C):
For that bit of extra luxury, the potatoes were prepared confit with the help of the finest street fat available, Crisco:
To prepare the hot dog foam Hock extracted the liquid from the sous-vided CP-brand hot dogs we sourced from our supplier (a nearby branch of 7-Eleven, think local, fools):
and combined it with .83% lecithin, using a hand blender to create a rich nitrate-laden foam:
The potatoes were prepared in an egg bath and subsequently coated with panko bread crumbs:
before being deep-fried:
A smear of ketchup* and a dollop of the hot dog foam finish the dish:
A few ‘behind the scenes’ pics can be seen here.
*Our original conceptualization of the dish included a ketchup ‘ribbon’, but Hock’s methylcellulose was no match for Heinz, and after several failed attempts we gave up; plus Hock had a terrible case of Bangkok belly (probably from all the hot dog research) and was growing weaker with every passing hour.