National Sandwich Day is an opportunity to indulge in your favorite sandwich. Whether it’s shawarma in a pita, batata vada or aloo bhaji in a pav, a classic Reuben on rye, or classic Danish smørrebrød with pickled herring, sandwiches are popular around the world. Here’s a variety of sandwich recipes for National Sandwich Day.
This Vietnamese sandwich has been gaining popularity around the globe in the last few years, but to be fair it’s also a New Orleans staple and indeed is the third most popular sandwich in that city after po’ boys and muffalettas. This is due to the large number of Vietnamese immigrants who settled in New Orleans after the Vietnam War, ultimately making a huge impact on the culinary landscape of a city already known for its unique cuisines and French influence. The typical bánh mì starts with a section of crispy baguette, which is topped with pâte, cilantro, and Vietnamese pickles (typically carrot and daikon) as well as the vegetables and proteins of choice. You can try however many variations you want on the basic concept, of course.
• 1 baguette
• Vietnamese pickles (take julienned carrots and daikon and keep in 1 cup vinegar and 2 tsp salt overnight, you can substitute things like beets or cucumber as well)
• 1 sprig cilantro
• Mayonnaise, cut 50/50 with butter (enough to spread the interior of the baguette)
• Proteins of your choice: either cha lua (Vietnamese pork roll), Vietnamese cold cuts, typical American cold cuts like smoked ham or turkey, tofu, or 1 can of sardines in tomato sauce
• Pâte of your choice
• 2 chillies, thinly sliced
• Fresh herbs
• Soy sauce
1) Split the baguette lengthwise and spread first with the mixture of butter and mayonnaise
2) Spread the pâte on top of that, add your choice of protein(s), pickles, cilantro, chilies, and fresh herbs
3) Sprinkle on some soy sauce, more if your bánh mì has meats that are relatively dry
Kaya Grilled Cheese
Kaya is a jam made from coconut milk and egg yolk, and is commonly eaten on toast in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia for breakfast. While you might not think of something so sweet as going with cheese, the fact is that Malaysians and Indonesians seem to like the combination of chocolate and cheese no matter how weird that might seem to American palates. While this combination typically uses processed cheese, some white cheddar or gouda will make for a more sophisticated experience. Indeed, it’s easy enough to make a gourmet version simply by using artisanal bread and rather than the typical processed ingredients.
• 2 slices of bread
• Kaya jam
• 2-3 slices of cheese
1) Spread kaya on one side of each slice of bread
2) Put the cheese slices on top, and put it together so that the kaya and cheese are on the inside
3) Melt some butter in a saucepan over medium heat and insert sandwich, flipping over when one side is brown.
The sabich is a distinctly Israeli sandwich, ultimately originating with Iraqi Jews who migrated to Israel in the 1940s and 50s. The typical sabich juxtaposes fried slices of eggplant with hardboiled eggs, mango chutney, and tahini all shoved into a fluffy pita. Sometimes
• Pita bread
• 1 large eggplant or several smaller ones, sliced into rounds
• 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and cut into pieces
• Tahini (2 tbsp sesame paste mixed with lemon juice, a little water, a bit of garlic, salt and pepper)
• Mango chutney
• 1 diced tomato
• 1/2 cucumber, diced
• 1/4 red onion, diced
• Juice of 1 lemon
• Feta cheese (optional)
1) Fry the eggplant slices over medium heat until golden brown on both sides
2) Combine the diced tomato, cucumber, onion, and lemon juice with enough salt to taste
3) Spread the hummus inside of the pita pockets, stuff with fried eggplant and boiled eggs, spoon in a bit of the salad, and top with tahini and mango chutney
4) Toss on some crumbled feta
This Brazilian roast beef sandwich will put most others to shame, particularly if you’re used to Arby’s. A crusty bread roll loaded with roast beef, mozzarella, tomatoes, pickles, and oregano is any day hard to beat, but this also means that you can make your own bauru from ingredients that you may well have sitting in your fridge already.
• 6” crusty bread roll
• 3-5 slices of roast beef
• 2-4 slices of tomato
• Dill pickle chips or slices
• 2-3 thick slices of mozzarella or provolone
1) Simply split the bread roll in half, layer in the ingredients and then toast at 350° until the cheese has melted.
This Venezuelan sandwich is made with flat disks of fried plantains instead of slices of bread, and thus is inherently gluten-free. That makes it a great option for folks who might not be able to have sandwiches at all due to allergies.
• oil for frying
• 1 raw plantain
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 2 branches of cilantro
• 1/2 avocado
• 1 cup shredded roast chicken or pork
• shredded iceberg lettuce, 4 leaves arugula, or the greens of your choice
• 2 slices of tomato
1) Cut the plantain in half, and then split the halves lengthwise while maintaining a hinge
2) Heat oil on high heat and fry the plantain halves until lightly browned, turning once
3) Transfer to a cutting board (cut sides down), and flatten each half into a disk using a plate (ideally they should be 1/4” thick) before frying one disk at a time until golden
4) Blend the mayonnaise, avocado, and cilantro together in a food processor along with salt and black pepper.
5) Toss the shredded meat in this dressing and then place it on one of the two plantain disks.
6) Top with the tomato slices and the greens of your choice, and place the remaining plantain disk atop.
These Danish open-faced sandwiches might seem simple, but they pack a lot of flavors and are quite aesthetically pleasing on top of it. In Denmark, smørrebrød ends up becoming a vehicle for using leftovers and indeed calls for a bit of improvisation with whatever you might have on hand.
• Rye bread
• Cold-smoked salmon (lox; three slices per slice of bread)
• 1 blood orange, peeled and segmented capers
• 1 bunch of fresh arugula
• Freshly ground black pepper
1) Toast the bread slices
2) Spread the butter on top
3) Layer on the salmon, add a couple of peeled segments of blood orange, some capers, and arugula, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.