Now available at most major supermarkets around Hawaii, Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs are sold in a vacuum-sealed 2 lbs. (32 oz.) package, which includes a total of 10 individual Portuguese Hot Dogs. Doing the easy math, that makes each hot dog 3.2 oz..
They’re $10.99 regular price, however I got them on sale last week at Don Quijote Kaheka for $8.59 per package. Which if you do the math again, breaks it down to about 86 cents per hot dog.
To give you a size comparison, shown above is how they stack-up to Purity’s larger 10 oz. size Portuguese Sausage “uncle” that sells for about $2.50 at most stores. Which to note is twice the size as the 5 oz. Portuguese Sausages that are also available in various brands for as little as 99 cents on sale at most local supermarkets.
Shown above is the back of Purity’s Portuguese Hot Dogs package, shown in comparison to KTA’s Mountain Apple brand “hung” style 10 oz. size Portuguese Sausage (still frozen as shown), from the Big Island of Hawaii.
Bent on specifics, right out the package, each Purity Portuguese Hot dog measures 6½” length by 1″ diameter in thickness, + or – 1/16″. That said, I was curious how much they would plump up after REALLY cooking them, which we’ll find out shortly.
Dissecting one, you see there’s quite a bit of fat marbling, and overall, having semi-dense, semi-chunky appearance, with a pleasing paprika-red color tone.
That said, these “hot dogs” essentially appear to be simply a shrunken-down version of their standard Portuguese Sausage, and not some reinvented product. Which is really what it looks like without even having to open up the package.
Since I like my “regular” hot dogs cooked the German way, boiled in beer, I decided to do that with one of the two hot dog styles presented for this review, slow boiling it in some Primo beer for about 10 minutes.
For my second style of hot dog for this review, I simply pan-fried another Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog with some canola oil, which proved a bit challenging, as it quickly burnt if left on one side for more than just a few seconds. So had to turn down the heat VERY low and continuously turn the hot dog using my handy-dandy hashi. More on cooking methods later.
Shown above is the pan-fried PS hot dog to the left, in the center, the PS hot dog boiled in Primo Beer, and to the right, an uncooked PS hot dog. So looking at the PS hot dog boiled in beer, you can see it gained just a little length and girth compared to the uncooked PS hot dog, but not as much as regular hot dogs plump up in size after they’re cooked.
It must also be noted that the PS hot dog boiled in beer caused the collagen-based casing to melt-off. I was a bit disappointed by it doing that, where which a natural, SNAPPIER casing wouldn’t have had that effect. More on that later.
So for Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dog “Exhibit A”, we have the good ‘ole All-American style, topped with Heinz Ketchup, Yellow Mustard and chopped onions, served on a La Tour Bakery Whole Wheat Split-top Hot Dog Bun, ala New England.
I actually messed up, as I was supposed to put the hot dog boiled in beer in this American style version, but I already squirted the mustard and ketchup on it, so screw it. We’ll just roll with it.
And? Winnahz! I’ll say right off the bat, the pan-fried Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog is MUCH better than the one that was boiled in beer. Way more flavor, and way, WAY better texture, actually having a sort of snappy “bite” to its seared collagen casing. I still would rather it have a natural casing, but still, this totally works.
And it really is what I suspected from the start: that these are simply shrunken-down versions of their regular Portuguese Sausage. No more, no less. Which is a GREAT THING! I’m really glad Purity didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken, and kept it true to itself.
Now I can’t really say it’s a “hot dog” in that sense, because it doesn’t taste like one at all. It tastes like what I just said it does, so take that for what its worth. And with that, you know what? The ketchup, mustard and fresh chopped white onions totally worked!
I thought long and hard about what I was going to top this with, looking over what other guys have done with Portuguese Sausage Hot Dogs, where typically they’d put caramelized onions and deli mustard, or something to that effect. But I decided, since my other “exhibit” was going the Japanese route, I’d keep this one “Portuguese-meets-All American”. And again, it works!
Moving along to “Exhibit B”, I have yet to come up with some clever name for this east-meets-west fusion Portuguese Sausage Hot Dog. “Hawaiian Ninja Dog”? “Ja-Podagee Dog”? You know da’ kine, “They get a lot to say about ‘dis broke’ da’ mout’ Hot Dog! But they no like talk about it.” LOL!!!
Seriously though, for this one, I have my favorite go-to savory-meets-sweet-meets-acidic hot dog and sandwich toppings: Maui Takuan (spicy pickled turnip, a.k.a. Daikon) and Beni Shoga (tart pickled ginger, similar to the sweet version called Sushi Shoga). Adding to that, I slathered Mayonnaise inside the bun to add a dimension of creaminess and well, “fun”! The finely chopped green onion was mostly for appearance, however it ended up actually adding extra “Pizazz” to the party!
And? You know what? Even though the boiled PS hot dog was “lifeless” compared to its pan-fried test subject peer, the Beni Shoga and Takuan totally SAVED THE DAY.
Still though, that beer-boiled Portuguese Hot Dog itself was pretty much just totally lame, otherwise. So I put it out of its seemingly caseless, tasteless misery, and went right back to the pan-fried American style Hot Dog, scraping as much ketchup and mustard off as I could, then transferred the Takuan and Beni Shoga onto that one (as shown above), and it was OFF THE CHARTS!
I think it would be even better if I had used King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split Hot Dog Buns, like the ones I had used for my “New England Lobster Rolls 101” presentation, however I had already bought these La Tour Whole Wheat Buns, so rolled with that.
Based on my first experience cooking with them, here’s my suggested way to do it if you REALLY want to knock these Purity Portuguese Hot Dogs out the park:
- Use King’s Hawaiian Sweet Top-Split Hot Dog Buns, lightly pan-toasted in butter on both sides.
- GRILL/Hibachi the Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs (should be way better than even pan-frying), giving them some tasty “papa’a” sear markings
- Top with sliced Takuan and Beni Shoga (no need da’ mayo’, but if you insist, chance ’em!).
- Whack da’ buggah! And den’ aftah you rest, go run on da’ beach or swim couple hours fo’ work ’em off, ’cause you going need it!
Summing it, there really isn’t anything “new” to say about the “new” Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs, as they’re pretty much the same great thing as their top-rated Portuguese Brand Sausage, simply shrunken-down to a handy-dandy, albeit rather large “hot dog” size.
What? Rego’s Purity Portuguese Brand Hot Dogs
Where did you buy it and how much did it cost? Don Quijote Kaheka, $8.59 sale price (regular $10.99) per 32 oz. package (10 wieners)
Big shaka to: Taste and texture is pretty much identical to their top-rated “regular” Portuguese Sausage; “Jumbo” hot dog size is very filling (almost too much, actually); no MSG and Gluten-free!… Yay!
No shaka to: Collagen casing lacks “snap”, although pan-frying them does help; on the pricey side as far as hot dogs go, however within range as far as Portuguese Sausage goes; boo! to Sodium Nitrite; made in California, not Hawaii
The Tasty Island rating: 4.SPAM Musubi
The Tasty Island related links:
• The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout
• The Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout Hana Hou: Mainland vs. Local
• Mountain Apple Brand Portuguese Sausage
• Ah Fook’s No-Ka-Oi Brand Portuguese Sausage
• Kim Chee, Pasteles and Chorizo Sausages
• Portuguese Bean Soup (recipe)