Recipes for sandwiches that are more than fast
sandwich should more than fast fuel – these glorious, internationally inspired
creations are a meal in themselves
When you think how many of
us rely on them as a staple food, it is a shame that so many of our sandwiches
are so miserable. Thin pieces of bread, processed cheese and fake-tasting meat.
People see the sandwich as fuel to tide them over until their next meal rather
than as a meal in itself.
The Earl of Sandwich is
credited with inventing the sandwich in the 18th century, when he was feeling
peckish at the gaming table. Well: he gave it a name.
Yet people have been using
bread as a means of transporting food to their mouths for thousands of years.
The most primal British
sandwich is probably the carb-tastic chip butty. This can be marvelous, but
it’s fun to draw inspiration from exotic variations: the bocadillo of Spain, and
the wonderful Vietnamese bánh mì. I’ve had a low-level obsession with the
latter since I was 16.
A hangover from French
colonial rule, bánh mi are a wonderful collision of Vietnamese and French food.
A soft baguette stuffed with coarse spiced pâté, slices of sweet barbecued pork
or minced pork and delicious, vinegary pickles. It’s a near perfect dish.
My sardine and chip roll is
pretty special as well. Near my restaurant in west London there’s a shop that
sells the usual household essentials, but also has a large grill in the front
Upon this they create the
most exciting sandwich – sardines with garlicky harissa; they throw them on the
sizzling surface for just a second before handing them to you in a roll stuffed
The aubergine sandwich
creates a the perfect marriage between mozzarella and smoky grilled aubergine,
while my chicken and egg sandwich is a great way of using up leftover chicken
or boiled eggs: you really can’t beat the combination of soft-boiled eggs with
pickles and capers.
You can also make this one
with tuna, or stick to egg for the pure vegetarian version.