One of the things that have always fascinated when I visit Japan are the Tamago Sando– Japanese Egg Salad Sandwiches. So, as we planned our Tokyo trip, I was certain that I would enjoy these luscious, savory egg sandwiches soon. I was amazed by how one could find this egg sandwich anywhere in Tokyo and other cities: at Lawson’s, the 7-11, the train station’s food kiosks, cafes, hotels and even our hotel’s convenience store.
Anyone can make an egg salad sandwich. The ingredients are easy to find and affordable. But no one else makes them as savory and appealing as the Japanese. I had to research how the wonderful Japanese folks make this sandwich and whether they had a secret recipe tucked away somewhere to make this snack favorite as magical as it seemed. There was no secret ingredient and no secret sauce. First, Japanese milk bread also known as Shokupan was used. At first sight, the white bread loaf looks as unpretentious and similar to the regular American white bread loaf. But the Japanese white bread tastes slightly sweeter and almost butter-like even in its basic, classic white form. I will attempt to bake and share a recipe for the Shokupan when the weather gets chilly or when the colder months are back here on the east coast. Right now, this chilled, savory sandwich is a saving grace for many of us going through the sultry summer heat.
Another distinct ingredient is the tangy Japanese mayonnaise used. In my pantry, I had the Japanese Kewpie brand which was available at a nearby Asian grocery. Online sources sell the Japanese mayo, as well. In case you missed it, I have explained in a previous blog post the difference between Japanese and American mayonnaise. But I won’t keep you with that long story. You can read about it here.
I’m not sure of the Tamago Sando’s origin, but one thing I am certain of. This egg salad sandwich experience while in Tokyo was the most pleasing lunch fare I had. Soft slices of sweet white bread encased the golden yellow, thick and savory egg salad filling. Inspired by what I enjoyed at a cafe in Shinjuku, I made my own egg salad sandwiches when I returned to America. I added ham and lettuce slices to the filling. I enjoyed this sandwich in Tokyo so much that I had it for lunch and snack nearly every day of our week’s stay in Japan. As I bit into the perfect triangle-shaped sandwiches, I relished the soft, crumbled hard-boiled egg mixed into the savory, tangy Japanese mayonnaise. The fresh, crisp lettuce leaves and ham slices added an interesting, hearty dimension to the meal. Sometimes it’s the good, old classic favorites that give you the most pleasure and the best memories.
Tamago Sando - Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich
- 2 whole hard-boiled eggs peeled, coarsely crumbled
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise (or use American mayonnaise)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 slices Japanese white milk bread - Shokupan crusts removed (or use regular white bread)
- 2 slices cooked ham optional
- 2 to 3 pieces lettuce leaves
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the crumbled hard-boiled egg, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper and sugar. Blend well but mix gently so hard-boiled eggs do not get mashed. Set aside.
- To assemble sandwich: Spread the egg mixture between two pieces of white bread. Trim off bread crusts. Slice the sandwich further into halves, either diagonally or in rectangles.
- Optional: If desired, place lettuce and ham slices together with the egg salad filling. Slice sandwich in half.
- Cover and chill sandwiches till ready to serve. Garnish with parsley and serve with a chilled beverage.
- Cook's Comments: To make hard-boiled eggs the traditional way for this recipe -- boil 4 to 6 cups of water in a small or medium-sized stockpot. When water is boiling, add eggs into the bubbly water. Continue cooking the eggs for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs from the boiling water and transfer to a medium-sized bowl filled with iced water. Allow eggs to cool for 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and prepare according to the recipe above.
To cook the Instant Pot 5-5-5 Hard-boiled Eggs:
- Pour 1 cup water into the inside pot of the Instant Pot. (The inside pot is the removable stainless steel bowl found inside the Instant Pot).Set the egg rack in the inside pot. Stack the 2 eggs (or more if desired) on the rack, making sure the pointed tip faces downward. (Egg rack can contain up to 7 eggs. The rack can be purchased on Amazon).Close and lock the lid. Set valve to Sealing. Press the Manual button on keypad. Adjust timer to cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. (Do not cook longer than 5 minutes or eggs explode).When timer buzzes, click Cancel to turn off. Do a 5-minute Natural Pressure Release (NPR), by turning on the Sealing valve to face you. Wait 5 minutes for pressure to come down on its own.Carefully open the lid. Use tongs to remove eggs and transfer to a bowl filled with ice and cold water. Soak eggs for 5 minutes, then remove. Peel as needed.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.