Bringing Iceland Home | Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs with Crunchy Onions & Remoulade


Icelanders love their hot dogs! Who knew?

Well, anyone who’s spent any time in Iceland, that’s who; recommendations to seek out Icelandic pylsa abound and I’m adding one more to the pile!

An Icelandic pylsa is much like a hot dog anywhere in the world… with a few little touches that make it a little different. Firstly, if you order your hot dog með öllu (with everything) you’ll get crispy fried onions – usually the kind you can buy ready made from the supermarket – and finely diced crunchy raw onions, both spread along the roll underneath the frankfurter. You can skip the raw onions if you must by ordering með öllu nema hráum (with everything except raw) but why would you? On top you’ll get ketchup and mustard, as you might expect, plus another condiment you might not; remúlaði. Remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce most commonly served with fish but in Iceland (and Denmark too) it’s become a key hot dog condiment as well.

The most famous hot dog vendor in Iceland is probably Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, sold out of two mobile vans in Reykjavik. Their sausages are made by Sláturfélag Suðurlands, a food-producing cooperative owned by farmers from southern and western regions of Iceland. I’m curious as to why these are named vinarpylsa, which I think translates to ’friend sausages’. Anyone?

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I liked my Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog a lot but personally I was just as happy with the hot dogs I ate elsewhere in Iceland at tourist sites and in petrol station restaurants. My favourite was the bacon-wrapped example from an Olis petrol station’s Grill 66 fast food restaurant.


The remoulade served with hot dogs in Iceland is pale yellow but my recipe (below) is green as I’ve upped the quantity of parsley. I’ve also skipped the mustard since mustard is one of the other condiments to be squirted on anyway. By all means, adjust your remoulade recipe to better match the Icelandic style.

Icelandic Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog

Ingredients per hot dog
1 frankfurter sausage
1 rasher of streaky bacon, smoked or unsmoked
1 hot dog bun
(Optional) 1-2 tablespoons finely diced raw white onion
1-2 tablespoons crispy fried onions
Squirt of ketchup
Squirt of sweet mustard
Squirt of remoulade sauce (see below)

  • Wrap a rasher of streaky bacon around each frankfurter. Fry gently in a pan until the bacon is cooked and has taken on a little colour.
  • Slice the hotdog bun from the top, without cutting all the way through.
  • Open the bun and add a layer of raw onion (if using) and a layer of crispy onion.
  • Top with the bacon-wrapped frankfurter.
  • Add ketchup, sweet mustard and remoulade over the top and serve immediately.
    Tip: I spooned some remoulade into a freezer bag and snipped off a tiny corner, in an attempt to make it easier to pipe, but I still made quite a mess. If you have an empty nozzled squeezy bottle, that would be perfect.

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Icelandic Remoulade Sauce

Makes a small jar, can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

120 ml mayo
2-3 tablespoons flat parsley leaves
2 medium spring onions
2 medium pickled gherkins
1 tablespoon pickled gherkin brine or cider vinegar
Optional: 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
Optional: 1 teaspoon mustard

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or a grinder that can handle wet ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth.

Of course, there’s more to Icelandic cuisine than hot dogs. I’ll be sharing more from our trip soon!

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
27 Comments to "Bringing Iceland Home | Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs with Crunchy Onions & Remoulade"

  1. kaveyeats

    Ha, thanks, I think the colours really came out rather pretty. The Icelandic remoulade is paler than mine, maybe because the fresh herbs in mine give it more green?

  2. Elizabeth

    Oh my goodness – I want this so much right now! I do love hot dogs, and onions, and bacon and this sounds AMAZING! Need to go to Iceland and try the authentic dish! Yum!!

  3. Katie Bryson

    Lordy they look great Kavey! We’re off to to Copenhagen in November and i’ve heard that the hot dogs there are pretty spanking good too…

  4. Baron Orm

    I saw the lead photo for this article on my twitter stream first thing this morning and then are repeated times of the day – I’ve had to fight the urge to open the jar of large German hotdogs and get them in a pan!

    It’s made me so hungry all day and I blame you! 😉

  5. Dnewl4228

    They are known as vinarpylsur in the same way a vienese pastry is vinarbraud
    Vinar = weiner, just a pretty standard translation.
    I eat a lot of pylsurs if you can’t tell 🙂

  6. Tobye Le Vaillant

    Hi. I love the sound of these amazing hotdogs and have just made a batch of delicious home-made lamb sausages that are just aching to be eaten in a new and interesting way. I am intrigued by the Icelandic condiments. I can manage the rémoulade and onion parts and I have a fresh bottle of home made ketchup in the fridge. Do you have a recipe for the sweet mustard sauce? I doubt that I could find it here in a shop in Australia and love the challenge of producing a new condiment.


    Hi Tobye
    I hope you enjoy dressing your sausages in the style of these Icelandic hot dogs.
    By sweet mustard, I just mean the mild squirty type rather than the fiery hot version or the grain mustard versions. I would imagine though that if you can’t get any locally, you could try making up your mustard from mustard powder as per the instructions, go for making it on the mild side and adding a little honey or sugar for a hint of sweetness.

  7. Susan

    We were in Iceland in September and enjoyed a hot dog or two. At home, we serve them the traditional way we learned from some locals we met at the N1 (gas station chain) and they brought back happy memories. We wrapped the hot dogs in bacon and baked in the oven. After opening the bun, our guests layered potato salad or shrimp salad, crunchy fried onions we brought back from Iceland (similar to the kind you sprinkle on a green bean casserole over the holidays but chopped up), and then nestled the hot dog in. We offered catsup and mustard as condiments but will make some remoulade for today’s feast. Thank you for the recipe. Now if only I could find some Vatnajokull beer in the states!


    Yes, I loved the hot dogs we enjoyed during our trip, often in service stations around the N1. The crunchy onions are available here in the UK (I used them above), and one could add chopped raw onions too if you want the full effect. I’ve never had the hot dogs with potato salad or shrimp salad on them too though!

  8. HMM

    Where is the Vínarpylsa name from? It is Vínarpylsa, not Vinarpylsa, so the friend suggestion does not seem realistic. Notice the ´ above the i, í. In Iceland there are also Vínarbrauð (sweet bread), Vínarsnitzel (schnitzel, pretty obvious), Vínarterta (layer cake).
    Pylsa means sausage. Vín can have few of meanings in Icelandic. The -ar extension can mean ‘from’. Wine is one of them. But that is unlikely. Vín is also the Icelandic spelling for Vienna, in Austria. Since the -ar is there and all the Vínar- foods can in one way or another be traced to Vienna, I will suggest Vínarpylsa is an Icelandic version of a sausage that originated in Vienna.


    My Icelandic language skills are non-existent so I would never have been able to consider the origins of the name, nor appreciate the nuance of the accents over some of the letters. Very interesting to read your note, I think you could be right about the origins!

  9. Esther Franklin

    Vínarpylsur = hot Dog from Vienna, Vienna ás in Austria. Vienna ás in Austria or á wiener in US


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