Japanese-style Egg Salad Sandwiches (Tamago Sando)
Egg salad on sliced bread, while tasty, is hardly a visual that whets the appetite. This tamago sando, on the other hand, is as undeniably sexy as it is delicious. Western-style egg salad is usually filled with vegetables and herbs (such as celery, dill, or even olives) as a strategy to compensate for a collection of bland ingredients. Japanese-style egg salad, on the other hand, focuses on amplifying the eggs to their greatest potential. The secret to Japanese-style egg salad is Japanese Kewpie Mayo. Western mayonnaise is made with whole eggs, whereas Kewpie is made with just the yolks. Kewpie mayo also has the addition of some rice vinegar, which adds some welcome tanginess to a very rich condiment. In this context, the result is an egg salad that is richer, eggier, yet more balanced at the same time. The bread for a tamago sando is also key: shokupan. Shokupan is a Japanese milk-bread, similar to a Pullman loaf. The bread is white, plush, and slightly sweet, acting as a spongey pillow to rest the egg salad upon. Shokupan can be found at most Japanese or Asian grocers and bakeries, but if neither are of convenient access, King’s Hawaiian makes a nice loaf that is a great substitute in most grocery stores. However, in a pinch, any soft, sliced white bread will do.
This recipe will create a delicious but basic version of a tamago sando. Feel free to riff on it any way you’d like – there are no egg salad police. If you want the egg salad a little tangier, add a splash of rice vinegar or even some fresh yuzu. Throw in a little white miso or sesame oil to keep things interesting! A note on hard-boiled eggs: undercooking the eggs by a minute or two reduces the chalkiness of the yolks and preserves a lovely bright yellow color. This change also helps the yolks become homogenous with the “dressing” of the egg salad, making each bite just as yolky as the last. Ingredients:
- 1 dozen large eggs
- 1/4 cup Kewpie mayo*
- 2 scallions
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Small pinch of MSG (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 slices of shokupan or similar white bread
- Room temperature butter and mustard to serve
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully place all eggs into the boiling water and set a timer for 10 minutes. In the meantime, prepare a large bowl of ice water. After 7.5 minutes, remove 4 of the eggs and place them in the ice bath. Once cooled, set the soft-boiled eggs aside. When the timer goes off, remove the remaining 8 hard-boiled eggs and set them in the ice bath to chill.
- Peel the 8 hard-boiled eggs and place in a large mixing bowl. Using a large fork, mash the eggs into small, uniform pieces. Thinly slice the scallions and add them to the bowl. Add the mayo, sugar, MSG, salt and pepper to taste. Mix vigorously until homogenous.
- Peel the soft-boiled eggs and slice them in half. For each sandwich, prep the bread with a thin layer of butter on both sides, and a thin layer of mustard on one side. Sprinkle salt on the cut side of each soft-boiled egg and place two halves on the bread, face-down. Place a large scoop of egg salad atop the soft-boiled egg and spread evenly. Top with the other slice of bread.
- Trim the crusts off the sandwich and slice into thirds, perpendicular to the soft-boiled eggs. Serve and enjoy!
By Brandon Muhawi
Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks
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