Sando: The Iconic Japanese Sandwich

Sando: The Iconic Japanese Sandwich

When it comes to iconic Japanese foods, there is a good chance you won’t think of sandwiches. However, for people who have spent a fair amount of time in a Japanese convenience store, there is a special place in their hearts for the humble Japanese sando.

Japanese Sandwiches: Sando

These sandos (the Japanese name for sandwiches) are made from simple ingredients like Japanese milk bread filled with pork cutlets, eggs, or fruit, and offer quick and delicious meals and that even people like Anthony Bourdain appreciate.

The starting point of most sandos is Japanese milk bread or shokupan. This special bread is made with a higher concentration of milk and butter, giving it a chewy, soft texture that stands up well to ingredients and toasting. While bread has existed in Japan since the 1500s, modern iterations of shokupan developed after World War II, when bakers took loaves of bread made for American servicemen and altered the recipe to meet the needs and tastes of the Japanese people.

Japanese sandwiches, like most foods, are subject to trends and the tastes of the time. There have been, though, some stalwart sandwich selections that have earned their place in the “pan”theon of Japanese tradition.


Sando: The Iconic Japanese Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich: Tamago Sando

One such sandwich is the aforementioned egg salad sandwich, tamago sando. Light, fluffy and made with tangy Japanese mayo, this sandwich can be found in almost all convenience stores around Japan.


Sando: The Iconic Japanese Sandwich

Pork Cutlet Sandwich: Katsu Sando

Similarly, the pork cutlet sandwich, katsu sando, is a thick cut fried pork cutlet topped with katsu sauce, cabbage and mayonnaise, and can be found across the “bread”th of Japan.


Sando: The Iconic Japanese Sandwich

Fruit Sandwich: Fruits Sando

Not to be left out, dessert sandwiches can be found in the form of the fruit sandwich, fruits sando. Large pieces of fruit surrounded by a luxurious amount of
whipped cream, all between two soft pieces of shokupan. Best of all, these sandwiches are displayed beautifully, cut in half to display the gorgeous fruit.

Regardless of the sando you choose, you will not be disappointed!


About the author: 

Michael Bugajski

Michael Bugajski

Michael is originally from Chicago, IL in the United States, but has lived in Japan for seven years in Niigata and Hokkaido. He is an avid home chef, baker, and coffee enthusiast, but his one true love is ramen.  Ever in pursuit of the perfect bowl of noodles, you can always find him by listening for the tell-tale slurp of ramen being enjoyed!

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