I'm a recent convert to the fermented cabbage dish Sauerkraut which I know is popular in Germany and Poland. On TV I've seen this served on hot dogs in The States and was wondering whether it is traditionally washed to produce a milder flavour before being used?

  • 4
    No, saurkraut is not traditionally washed, but there are an infinite number of hot dog eating traditions. I am not sure that there is any single answer to what else goes with saurkraut on a hot dog.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 19:46
  • 1
    I add mustard, even though both Sauerkraut/zuurkool and mustard are already sour.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 21:34
  • 1
    American Sauerkraut is milder tasting not because it's washed, but because it is pasteurized to extend shelf life, which kills the live cultures. Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


It really comes down to taste. In this usage, you're treating sauerkraut like a condiment so there's not really a "correct" answer.. A lot of hot dog places have traditions - for instance, Nathan's Famous hot dogs (the original "Coney Island" hot dog) uses these combinations with kraut:

-Sauerkraut, spicey brown mustard (New York style) -Thousand island dressing, sauerkraut, swiss cheese (Reuben style)

A famous hot dog maker in Pennsylvania, Yocco's Famous Dogs, uses sauerkraut and a thin bean chili combination to make their hot dogs.

The sauerkraut will often be very strong tasting, but not as "funky" as kimchi. It pairs well with a lot of different foods, usually other strong flavors (either strong tart like the spicey mustard, or strong sweet like the thousand island dressing or sweet relish).

Personally, I just eat sauerkraut with a fork. But if I have it on a dog, I pile it on with dill relish, country style dijon mustard, a dash of sriracha, and some diced onion. I recommend not kissing anyone for awhile after eating.

  • Thanks for the information, some interesting suggestions to try! Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 8:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.