Cancun Style Hot Dog with Caramelized Bacon, Corn and Onions

Cancun Hot Dog with bacon
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Cancun Style Hot Dog with Caramelized Bacon, Corn and Onions

My family and I spend a wonderful week in Cancun, Mexico a few years ago.  We were wandering around in downtown Cancun one evening and came across a charming tiled square filled with families enjoying a summer evening.  There were hanging cords of Christmas lights crisscrossing the open spaces and lights in the trees.  Children were running around playing and there were dozens of vendors selling everything from ice cream to tacos to a fantastic Cancun style hot dog that I’ve never had anywhere else.  The caramelized bacon, corn and onions were the perfect backdrop for the spicy hot dog.  Here is my attempt to recreate that great Cancun Style Hot Dog.


3 slices thick cut bacon, cut into small 1/2 in. squares
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 ears corn, kernels removed
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 all-beef hot dogs
1 tablespoon Mexican hot sauce (I recommended Cholula Original Hot Sauce or Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce for a more authentic taste)
4 hot dog buns
4 tablespoons butter, melted to toast the buns
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup Mexican crumbling cheese or Cotija cheese broken into small bits
4 sprinkles of cayenne pepper
1 lime, quartered


To make a Cancun style hot dog, cut the bacon into 1″ squares, saute the bacon squares in a frying pan over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon bits and keep the bacon fat in the pan to cook the onions.To caramelized the onions, put the onions into frying pan with the bacon fat, season with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to draw out moisture and cook gently over medium heat until the onions are caramelized, about 15 minutes. Remove and reserve for later.

To make the corn topping, put 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a hot pan over medium heat. When the oil starts to simmer, add the corn kernels 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Saute over high heat until the corn starts to caramelize, stirring often. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro. Reserve for later.

To make the hot dogs, heat your grill. Put the hot dogs on the grill and sear until slightly charred, but don’t over cook or the skins will rupture and not look good. Brush hot dogs with hot sauce while they are still on the grill. Meanwhile, butter the inside of the buns and arrange, butter side down, on the grill. Grill buns until lightly golden brown, about 30 seconds.

To assemble a Cancun Style Hot Dog, spread the mayonnaise and mustard on each bun. Then place a hot dog into each bun and sprinkle with a tablespoon of caramelized onions. Top with a tablespoon of bacon bits and 2 tablespoons of corn mixture. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of Cotija cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Squeeze a little lime on each hot dog and serve.

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