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Feb 24, 2013 06:37 AM

Sauerkraut Hot Dog Cart Style: Drain, Rinse, or Heat With Its Liquid?

I'm going to a baby shower where the food is simple hotdogs and chili.

I bought a package of sauerkraut to bring along, but I don't see any directions on the package. I've found lots of fancy recipes for choucroute or doctoring with such things as juniper berries, but all I want to know is whether a hot dog cart uses rinsed, drained sauerkraut or just heats in its juices.

What I want to do is to surround a bowl of homemade Sabrett-Style Onion Sauce ( ) with some hot sauerkraut.

The link above just suggests warming the sauerkraut in the microwave. Says nothing about rinsing. Anyone here know what's traditional New York / Sabrett Cart Style ?

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  1. Sauerkraut is preserved cabbage. I recommend no heat as feel would make it more soft, less crunch, and possibly mushy - the opposite of preserved freshness. How I enjoy kraut most is when I squeeze the moisture out with a coffee filter by hand. Could use a thin dish towel, possibly paper towels. Makes a bit of a mess so do it over a sink. I put an a clean new "basket style" 8-12 cup coffee filter in my hand then about 6-8 oz of sauerkraut on top wrap the filter around it and in one hand squeeze as hard as I can. Sometimes this process will rip the filter - no problem. Then peal the paper filter off the outside. Put the compressed kraut in a bowl and fluff with a fork to expand again. This way it is more crunchy (closer to fresh). Will absorb the juice (or sauce) with whatever you eat it on (similar to fine shredded lettuce).

    If eat kraut straight out of the jar on something find its watery juice does not taste good. In fact tastes kind of 'rotten' to me. The juice waters down the other sauces then a mess drips down my hand, arm, and everywhere. IMHO, kraut is better squeezed dry. This applies to a sandwich (Rubens are a personal favorite), sausage / braut, or a hot dog. On something eaten with a spoon or fork (like a chili dog) the sauce would not make a mess, but I personally do not like the overpowering taste of kraut juice. I love crunchy dry sauerkraut and once figured it out personally do not eat it any other way.

    Have fun at the baby shower!

    1 Reply
    1. re: smaki

      Thank you so much for the reply! I followed your directions & then tasted - decided to sprinkle a little vinegar on (had seasoned Marukan rice vinegar closest to the front of the cupboard, so used that) and served it without heating. The onion sauce got rave reviews as well.

      Baby shower was fun - I won 5 (non-winning) scratch-off lottery tickets for my "advice to new parents:"

      "Don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys." -Gandalf