A shrub is a beverage made from fruit, some sort of acid, and a sugar. They were popular in colonial America as a means of preserving fruit without refrigeration. The vinegar breaks down the fruit and the sugar sweetens everything up a bit. The result is a tangy, sweet, complex mixture that is very refreshing when mixed with soda water.
We like to mix up our hotdog toppings in the Grimmett house so that we feel a little less guilty about eating hotdogs. Sometimes it is cucumber kimchi. Sometimes chili, cheese, and fritos. Sometimes sauerkraut. Sometimes coleslaw. Sometimes ginger scallion sauce.
Last night it was quick-pickled cucumbers, radishes, and green onions with a spicy mayo.
Ingredients for the quick pickles
- 1 Kirby Cucumber
- 4 medium radishes
- 2 small green onions, greens and whites
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- Juice from 1 small lime
Instructions for the quick pickles
- Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/8 inch thick half disks.
- Slice the radishes in half, then slice each half into 1/8 inch thick half disks.
- Slice the green onions into 1/2 to 1 inch long segments at a 45 degree angle. (Or you can slice them however you want. It really doesn’t matter.)
- Toss these all in a bowl with the salt, sugar, and lime juice. Mix together thoroughly.
- Let sit for 15-20 minutes before you top your hotdogs with them.
Daikon radishes work great too, but I didn’t have any when I made this, so I used regular radishes.
Ingredients and Instructions for the spicy mayo
- Mix together 3 tablespoons of mayo with 1.5 tablespoons of whatever spicy asian-style sauce you have on hand.
Sriracha works fine. I prefer ABC Sambal sauce from Indonesia. You can get it on Amazon. This stuff is everything I wanted sriracha to be. It has more garlic, more spice, and is all-around tastier.
This is easy to scale up, too. Keep the ratio 2:1 mayo to hot sauce and you’ll be good to go.
You could make your own mayo, too. But let’s be honest: The reason you are making hotdogs tonight is because you probably didn’t want to cook a full meal. That jar in your fridge will do for now, but plan ahead next time. The homemade stuff is easy to make, keeps for at least a week, and is far superior to the Hellmann’s you are used to.
Since summer is almost here, you know you’ll make hotdogs soon. Do yourself a favor and make some interesting toppings. Write your favorites in the comments.