Taking L.A. Street Food to Manila!

Homemade Ghetto Hot Dogs

All over the world, food differs from country to country and city to city. Street food is a prime example of this, especially here in Manila. It can be hard to find the tasty cultural favourites of the United States here, but there are tons of good replacements to keep my hunger at bay.  There has been a craving I haven’t been able to satiate lately, however. I have been craving a Ghetto Dog, one of the tastiest guilty pleasures of L.A. This is basically street food at its finest; combining a bacon wrapped hotdog with grilled jalapeño peppers, grilled onions and cilantro. This contraption is then messily topped with tons of ketchup, mayo, mustard and if you’re lucky, sriracha. If you like hotdogs, then try this out for sure. Just be careful or you may need to change your shirt afterwards.

Credit goes to http://marketurbanism.com for this photo.

Ghetto Dog Stands are usually situated right on the side walk and tend to hover near bars and late night hang outs to abuse drunkards’ late night cravings for greasy food.  In my opinion, the grimier the stand and more uncomplicated the vendors’ set up is, the better the food usually is. Basic street food logic.


These things are incredible tasting and extremely easy to make. If someone with a makeshift hotplate can dish them out as L.A. street food, you certainly can pull it off in your kitchen.

Clean Slate Ghetto Dog Recipe:


  • Hotdogs
  • Buns
  • Chili Peppers (Jalapeños preferably)
  • White Onion
  • Bell Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Thick Cut Bacon (It takes 2-3 pieces of bacon per hotdog)
  • Condiments: Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonaise


There are several different schools of thought behind the dirty dog. The majority of the street vendors wrap the raw bacon around the hotdog and cook everything at once. I have had bad experiences with this on several occasions (raw bacon on the inner side) so to save you the stomachache, just cook your bacon separately. If you keep the bacon in its grease. it will stay soft and pliable to wrap later when it cools through. If your pan is too hot and dry, the bacon will become too crispy.

I used a cast iron griddle on my stovetop and I grilled the veggies first and set them aside. I knew there would be a lot of extra grease from the bacon, so if I prepared them raw after the hot dogs the veggies would be a soggy mess. I did warm them up in the bacon grease right before serving for that extra ‘flavor’, 🙂 but don’t tell on me.

  1. Slice all of the Veggies.
  2. Grill them until slightly charred and soft over medium high heat.
  3. Remove veggies and set aside.
  4. Grill the Hotdogs until fully cooked and set aside.
  5. Grill the bacon until fully cooked, keeping it soft enough to twist up later.
  6. When the bacon is done, try to make coils while it is still hot using tongs and place this aside to cool.
  7. Reduce heat to low on griddle.
  8. Toast buns.
  9. After the bacon is cool enough to handle, wrap it around the hotdogs.
  10. Place the veggies and bacon wrapped hotdogs back on the griddle to warm.
  11. Proceed with normal “hotdogging” procedure and place on buns.
  12. Unhinge jaw and feast.



When grilling, the veggies that are spread apart will char. Group them together in a pile to keep them moist and soft.







Add the garlic last to the veggie mix as it will cook much faster.




I used toothpicks to keep my bacon coiled while it cooled.



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