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Pan de Sal Steak- Cheese Sandwich

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My oldest son left the east coast a few weeks ago. He was off to a new job at Silicon Valley. While we rejoiced for him at this opportunity to leverage his career, our hearts were sad to see him go. I will miss seeing him around my kitchen, though, as often as he did. Before Tim left he was home for a few days and made this Pan de Sal Steak-Cheese Sandwich. Like always he turned my kitchen upside down with dishes he cooked for us. He made a mean roast beef for us which tantalized our palates. I’ll post about that soon. What I’m sharing now is the marvelous Pan de Sal sandwich Tim made out of leftovers. Pan de Sal is the Filipino bread bun and our answer to the American hoagie. I have baked Pan de Sal buns often. But if you only have a few quick minutes, you’ll like what Tim did with the leftovers. Having lived in Philadelphia since college, Tim  learned how to make a good cheese steak sandwich. He preferred not to call this a ‘cheese steak’, though, since he believed that title rightfully belongs to the city of brotherly love. Instead, Tim called this one a Pan de Sal steak and cheese sandwich.

I am proud my sons learned from my ways. They cook with ease and confidence. After a meal, they recycle and rewind the leftovers and come up with a new entrée. With creativity and resourcefulness, Tim has learned what every Filipino knows — ‘never throw away anything.’



Pan de Sal Steak-Cheese Sandwich

The Pan de Sal is a Filipino bread bun that has a crusty exterior but inside it is soft and billowy. Pan de Sal translates to ‘bread of salt’ and is found in all Filipino bakeries. The bread bun tastes more sweet than salty, though. In the Philippines, we had  freshly baked pan de sal for breakfast daily. I can still see the brown bag on our dining table, with the corners tucked tight, the bread inside warm to the touch, fragrant and fresh from the oven. This cheese and steak sandwich was made from roast beef slices, leftovers from a larger roast cooked by my son, Tim. It’s what we make with leftovers that makes a difference and adds a new appeal to any dish. This is an Asianinamericamag recipe by my son, Tim Quirino. The recipe below serves 2.
Course: Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Pan de Sal Steak-Cheese Sandwich
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 4 whole large Pan de Sal buns homemade or from Asian -Filipino bakeries or markets
  • 2 cups cooked roast beef, sliced in strips, about 2-inches long
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole large white onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, sharp
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder


  • In a medium skillet, over medium high heat, add the cooking oil. Once the oil is hot in about 1 to 2 minutes, add the sliced onions. Cook till onions are translucent and look caramelized. This will take about 2 minutes. Remove onions and set aside.
  • Using the same skillet, in the same cooking oil that is now flavored with onions, add the beef strips. Sprinkle with some Worcestershire sauce and black pepper powder. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat. Do not overcook or beef will get overdone and have a tough texture.
  • Slice the pan de sal buns open in half.
  • How to assemble sandwich:  over the pan de sal layer the following --  a few tablespoons of steak strips, a few teaspoons of onion slices, 1-2 tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese.
  • Place the open-faced pan de sal sandwich with the fillings in an oven bread toaster. Toast for 3 to 4 minutes till the cheese melts (at about a temperature of 325 F). Serve hot.
  • Cook's comments: To make homemade Pan de Sal check out my blog post. If you don't have time to bake bread, Pan de Sal buns can be bought from Filipino bakeries or Asian markets here in America. In the Philippines, every corner bakery or neighborhood grocery has a fresh batch daily. If preferred, use instead regular hamburger buns or hoagies.

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    Serving: 100grams | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 68mg | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 569IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 403mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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    1. This pandesal looks really delicious. I have not made pandesal before, it looks very intimidating. I checked your recipe and it feels doable – I might make it someday.

      Cali is a long way from New Jersey. I cannot imagine the feeling of being far from your child. I am dreading the moment when my daughter will go to college and see her go. I will surely be a mess.
      You are a strong woman to see and experience this and is still came out intact.

      1. Thanks, Shobelyn. I appreciate your kind comments and warm thoughts. First, you are right — my pan de sal recipe is very doable and I often bake it in the fall/winter when the weather is cold and the house needs more warmth. I’ve also baked it in the spring and we have all enjoyed it too. AND I have baked this pan de sal recipe, too in the Philippines when we lived there, just because I wanted to. For this blog post, we had a big amount of pan de sal (store bought) in the house, so that’s what Tim used. You are right, it is hard to see our children go far away. But this is the cycle of life. As parents, we find strength in knowing that they are learning to be on their own, which was our duty to show them how, in the first place. Thanks for the blog-love 🙂

    2. I enjoy your recipes so much, sometimes I feel like inviting friends to my apartment for a “Fiesta Filipno”! One recipe I have been wanting to try is the Mini puto and cuchinta from Bulacan. It is so moist and delicious. It would be nice if you could help find& share a good recipe. THanks

      1. Thanks, Marisa. So sweet of you to make my day with your heartwarming comments. As for the puto and cuchinta, don’t worry — I have made them several times and will share it soon on the blog. Bear with me, my family eats them up quickly before I can take photos for the blog. Come back and visit the blog again soon 🙂

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