The Hot Dog Cutting Technique That Makes Them Almost Too Cute To Eat

As obsessed as we are with hot dogs, most of that focus tends to be on hot dog toppings and not on how the sausages themselves are prepared. That's because aside from steaming, pan-frying, boiling, and grilling them, there's not a ton of other options, aside maybe from jabbing them on a stick and roasting them over an open fire during the summer.

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But there is one often overlooked method when it comes to preparing hot dogs, and it mainly comes down to aesthetics. If you cut hot dogs in half crosswise, cut multiple vertical slits on the freshly-cut end, stopping partway up the half-dog until you get eight dangly hot dog ribbons, and then cook them (pan-frying works perfectly), you'll end up with an endearingly cute bunch of curled-up hot dog pieces that look like octopuses.

@kiahmongxican

No kid can resist these fun octopus hotdogs, at least not in our house. So easy to do and fun to eat for everyone. #octopushotdogs #octopushotdog #hotdog #hotdogwithrice #hmongfood #mixedrace #mixedracekids

♬ Cooking – Children's Music

I realize these written directions can sound wholly confusing, which is why videos of the technique come in handy. Fortunately, there are plenty of demonstrations on social to help you out. Just use the search term "octopus hot dogs" and you'll find many videos showing you how to make them. 

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Cooking hot dogs this way results in food that's particularly fun for kids (and okay, maybe a few adults too), especially if you add little eyes on top. They might even look a little too endearing to eat.

How to serve octopus hot dogs

No matter what some people insist, one cannot live on hot dogs alone. That means you're probably wondering what to do with these adorable hot dogs once you've cooked them. 

If you're feeding kids, one way to feature these octopus hot dogs is in a bento-style lunch, with the octopus-shaped sausages serving as the main protein. They go well with sticky white rice because their salt and seasoning offsets its otherwise plain flavor. You're also free to serve the dogs with any dipping sauces, veggies, fruit, or sides. Their shape makes them easy finger food. For something more substantial, you can use the octopus hot dogs as toppers for main dishes like macaroni and cheese. Or you can use them for a variation on dishes that use hot dogs as a main ingredient, like beanie weenies, which is simply baked beans with hot dogs mixed in. 

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Then there are other dishes you can consider like salchipapas, which is a street food from Peru consisting of sausages and french fries served with dipping sauces like ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and ají pepper chile sauce. Salchipapas have become popular to the point where you can find them in other South American countries, or in my case in Chicago, just down the street at one of the restaurants in my neighborhood. However you choose to serve them, these octopus hot dogs are guaranteed to add a little more cheer to whatever you're eating. And all it takes is just a tiny bit of knife work to bring a little extra smile to lunch.

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