Definitive Guide To Japanese Hot Dogs

Japanese Hot Dogs

When it comes to Western food in Japan, strange things have happened throughout the course of history. I’ve seen the likes of ketchup rice, pasta with mayonnaise or deep-fried hamburgers filled with potato salad being born out of the craze called yoshoku.

While Western food has been a phenomena in Japan for decades, seeing Japanese ingredients on Western dishes was never a big thing. Until now.

One of the earliest adopters of the current Asian fusion trend we are now experiencing all over the world was – and still is- based in Vancouver, Canada. Crossing the unspoken boundaries of east and west are Japanese hot dogs, taking on the traditional sausage and bun, sprinkling it with Japanese toppings. What started in the Pacific Northwest over a decade ago is now slowly positioning itself across Western food markets, even becoming the center of attention of newly opened restaurants.

So what is the intrigue? What qualities does it have that seems to win people over across the world?

I present to you the definitive guide.

The Definitive Guide To Japanese Hot Dogs Vancouver

How It All Started

Vancouver, cirka 2005. A swarm of hungry Vancouverites are gathered around the archetypical sidewalk hot dog stand during lunch time in downtown. But this is not your ordinary run of the mill hot dog stand. With a sprinkle of paper-thin seaweed toppings, a good amount of teriyaki sauce and kewpie mayo on top, the Japadog took the Pacific Northwest by storm.

Without a single doubt in anyone’s mind, the Japadog has been the largest innovation to land on the city’s street meat map since the Yves Famous Veggie Dog made its way in the late 90’s.

When it get introduced, the Japanese hot dog was just another fusion that became popular across urban centers around of British Columbia. Local pioneers like Rob Feenie had already introduced a variety of crossover fusions to Vancouver a decade back, so when the Japanese hot dog came into play, there were really no need to explain what it was. Vancouverites embraced it naturally.


How Hot Dogs Are Viewed In Japan

How Hot Dogs Are Viewed In Japan

Eating hot dogs in Japan is a different animal compared to Vancouver. The Japanese usually slice the hot dog like they slice fish cake and eat it straight out of a bento box as part of something else. In Japanese history, there has been a lot of adopted and tweaked dishes from the West that eventually became Japanese standards. This particular food is labeled as yoshuku. An omelet with fried rice and ketchup, croquettes, or sandwiches are among the foods that are yoshuku, but hot dogs topped with Japanese condiments were not considered that.h

What the Japanese hot dog indeed is, is a grab-and-go fusion dish born on the street that grew up over the internet. Social media has helped many foods like this (think of the Korean taco), and the local Vancover sensation Japadog certainly helped. What started as a unusual sidewalk hot dog stand expanded to several, and the Japanese hot dog, which really is a mystery in Japan, became a sensation. Since 2005, its inventor Noriki Tamura has been the undisputed champ of street food in Vancouver.

Different Variations Japanese Hot Dogs

Japanese Hot Dog Recipe

Start by choosing the right combination. Japanese hot dogs comes in so many variants it can be hard to choose. Have these key items in mind before you start making one.

  1. Make sure the bun is great
  2. Choose between beef or pork dogs
  3. Always think of the toppings, and how they combine with the hot dog


Served with an-all beef dog topped with fried onions, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and seaweed. 

Fried Onions

Japanese Mayo

Teriyaki Sauce

Japanese Hot Dog Seaweed



Fried cabbage, bonito flakes, Japanese mayo and soy sauce.

Fried Cabbage

Japanese Mayo

Soy Sauce


Pork bratwurst, Daikon, green onions and soy sauce.

Japanese Hot Dogs: Daikon

Green Onions

Soy Sauce

Love Meat

Homemade beef and pork meat sauce and flambeed cheese.

Japanese Hot Dogs: Beef

Pork Meat Sauce

Flambeed Cheese


Yakisoba noodles and slivers of pickled ginger, Arabiki sausage.

Yakisoba Noodles

Pickled Ginger

Arabiki Sausage

Negi Miso

Turkey dog with Miso sauce, topped with shredded cabbage.

Turkey Dog

Miso Sauce

Shredded Cabbage


Avocado, Cream cheese, Japanese mayo and soy sauce.

Japanese Hot Dog Topping Avocado

Cream Cheese

Japanese Mayo

Soy Sauce

Shrimpy Chili

Shrimp and signature chili sauce.

Japanese Hot Dog Topping Shrimp

Chili Sauce

Kurogoma Kimuchi

Turkey sausage with mild Kimchi, topped with Kurogoma (black sesame).

Turkey Dog

Japanese Hot Dog Kimchi Topping

Black Sesame Seeds


Deep fried pork cutlet marinated in tonkatsu sauce topped with fresh cabbage. 

Pork Cutlet

Fresh Cabbage


Sliced onion with special plum sauce. 

Sliced Onions

Plum Sauce



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  1. I am Japanese and live in Japan and didn’t know that there was something delicious out there called Japanese hot dogs (except for the yakisoba hot dog, which is a popular snack item). I will give the list a try!

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