How to Build a Sonoran Hot Dog with Jalapeño Salsa


Posted on June 19, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 19 at 9:51 AM

Sonoran Hot Dog

Here’s a primer on how to build a hot dog Sonoran style. If you happened to be at El Güero Canelo, you would, dog in hand, adjourn to the condiment bar where all manner of extras, from sliced mushrooms to griddled green onions, await. If you were at Taqueria Sammy El Sinaloense, you would find similar accompaniments. If, however, you eat these dogs at home, I suggest that you do so while perched over the sink.

Makes 6

6 bolillo buns (see Note)

6 slices of cheap bacon

6 cheap hot dogs

1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and heated through

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup diced tomatoes


Yellow mustard

Jalapeño Salsa (recipe follows)


  1. Slit the top of each bun, cutting into the middle and leaving an inch on each end uncut. If the buns are especially doughy, make a pocket in each by pulling tufts of dough out of the centers. Toast the buns slightly or steam them; Tucson’s hot dog vendors do both.
  2. Take one end of a slice of bacon, hold it against one end of a hot dog, and wrap the bacon around the dog like the stripe on a candy cane. Repeat with the remaining slices of bacon and hot dogs.
  3. Arrange the bacon-wrapped hot dogs in a small skillet, making sure that all of the dogs are touching. Cook the hot dogs over medium heat on one side until the bacon is crisp and fused to the dogs. Carefully turn all of the hot dogs over at once and cook the second side until all of the bacon is brown and fused to the hot dogs.
  4. Place a hot dog in a bun. Add the beans, along with a scattering of onions and tomatoes. Using squirt bottles, if possible, pipe thin lines of mayonnaise across the dog, followed by mustard and the Jalapeño Salsa. Repeat with the remaining buns and hot dogs.

Note: The bun is all–important. What you want is a Mexican bolillo, the soft version, not the crusty one. Check a panadería—a Mexican bakery—or a bodega. At the bodega, look for an oversize plastic box near the register; that’s where the breads are usually stashed. If you can’t find bolillos, you can use regular hot dog buns that are already split.

Jalapeño Salsa

This stuff is key. Otherwise you’re just dressing your hot dog with mayo and mustard. And what good is that going to do? That’s better for a turkey on wheat than a bacon-wrapped weenie with Sonoran aspirations. If you want to cheat and sub, buy the hottest commercial salsa verde you can find and thin it a bit with a mix of water and lime juice.

Makes about 1/2 cup

1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons olive oil

10 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or more as needed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the onion in a cast-iron skillet over high heat and cook until slightly charred, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer, making sure the garlic does not burn. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the jalapeños to the hot skillet and cook until the jalapeños are slightly charred, then add the lime juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the oregano and salt and cook until the jalapeños are softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the jalapeño mixture and the onions and garlic to a blender and puree until smooth. If you plan to apply the salsa with a squirt bottle, add a little more lime juice and some water to thin it.