NY City Hot Dog with Onion Sauce

Walk along the streets of New York City and on every other corner you’ll find hot dog push carts with yellow-and-blue striped umbrellas with “Sabrett” written on them. A steady stream customers stop by to get a snappy boiled dog in a steamed bun with their choice of mustard, sauerkraut, onion sauce, dill pickle relish, or some combination of them. This recipe is for that iconic onion sauce that is unique to New York city and its hot dog carts.

New York City Street Hot Dog Onion Sauce

Bring the New York city experience to your table. This tomatoey onion sauce, when combined with a squirt of mustard and warm sauerkraut, nestled in a steamed bun will make any boiled hot dog taste like you're eating on the streets of Manhattan. Just add the constant beeping of taxi horns and screaming sirens and you've got the real thing.
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Course: Condiment, Sauce, Street Food
Cuisine: American, American Mid-Atlantic, New York, North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 hot dogs
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • large saucepan with lid
  • Food processor with slicing blade (optional)


  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 4 medium Onion, thinly sliced (by hand or food processor)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 8 oz Can of smooth tomato sauce
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Corn syrup
  • 2 tsp White vinegar
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ½ tsp Dried mustard
  • tsp Cayenne pepper
  • tsp Ground cloves

Hot Dog

  • 12 Hot dog buns
  • 12 thin Frankfurters with casings
  • 2 cups Sauerkraut
  • 3 cups Onion sauce (about ¼ cup per dog)
  • 12 tbsp Dill pickle relish (optional)


  • Cook Onions – Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be soft but not browned.
  • Make Onion Sauce – Mix flour into the cooked onions. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, water, corn syrup, vinegar, bay leaves, mustard powder, cayenne, and allspice. Stir well to blend and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook very slowly for 45 minutes. Stir from time-to-time and add a little water if it has become too thick.

Assemble Hot Dog

  • Pan fry hot dogs over medium heat until they are cooked through and browning, about 6-8 minutes. Steam buns by microwaving them for 15 seconds. If using sauerkraut, microwave covered for 30 seconds. To assemble hot dogs, place a frankfurter in a steamed bun and top with squirt of mustard, sauerkraut, onion sauce, Relish may be added or not.


  • Frankfurters with casings are important in reproducing the snap these dogs are known for.


Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 0.5mg | Sodium: 468mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 97IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg

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