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Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich

Growing up in a thriving metropolis like Kankakee, Illinois, didn’t offer many opportunities to eat ethnic food; that is unless you count Italian food or pizza as ethnic. I believe it has changed and now the big K3 even has Mexican food, but  40 years ago one would have been hard pressed to find a taco, unless it was a prepared shell, in a cellophane wrapper, at the grocery store. 40 years ago Chinese food was the name of the game and I remember driving 30 minutes to eat at a Chinese restaurant, I think on Route 1 in Monee, Illinois; that is if memory serves me correctly. Kankakee finally got its own Chinese restaurant, of which my family was a big patron.

I remember us munching on such delicacies as eggrolls and wontons and won ton soup and sweet and sour chicken. I don’t remember much else except that whatever it was my middle brother ordered, was only for him. No sharing on his part-yeah- I know there is always one of those! I also remember seeing giant, colorful tiki punches, some even flaming, maneuvering past our table; but we were too young for those!

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich

Sooner or later my mother decided she wanted to learn to cook Chinese food, and after a grand expedition to Chinatown in Chicago, where she bought the store out, she arrived home with ingredients that had nowhere to go. Soon she cleaned a cabinet, found  a spot and started taking cooking lessons from the local Chinese restaurant, while amassing a large library of Chinese cookbooks, some of which I still cook from today. Thank goodness for the lessons, because up until that point I believe she only made Chow Mein and Egg Foo Yung-both of which I totally despised. Somehow seeing cans of bean sprouts being opened on the olive green kitchen counter top, was not appealing to me, nor were the chow mein noodles that came in the cellophane bag.

So how is it that a recipe for an egg foo yung sandwich caught my eye? Maybe it caught my eye because I found it in the Lucky Peach 101 Easy Asian recipes cookbook, that came out not too long ago. And I do like the Lucky Peach. My son even gave me a subscription to it one year; he had found it before me! Maybe it is because I am a big fan of okonomiyaki-a Japanese-egg pancake-or maybe it is because I like sandwiches that I can call dinner-which is what this one has become several times over. Yes, Manservant really fell for this one, too and I’ve already lost track of the number of times I’ve made this beauty.

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich

Now let it be said that this is also known as a St. Paul sandwich and just so you know, I’ve double checked my facts on that amazing Wikipedia site and they tell me the same thing that is written in the Lucky Peach cookbook, so it must be true. I repeat…Ever since the Chinese immigrants came here to build the railroad-the big, GIANT, Transcontinental railroad, is also when Chinese food made its inroads into America and quickly became Americanized Chinese food . Well, story has it that in St. Louis, MO (yes, I know some of you are from St. Louis, so you can verify my “facts”) these little egg foo yung pancakes, (that my mother used to top with a horrid brown sauce and that also contained canned bean sprouts), were somehow, miraculously, placed between two slices of white bread,(probably the squishy kind), and then somehow got attributed to someone from St. Paul, Minnesota. If that is you please stand up and take a bow! Whereas said paragraph goes on to say that the sandwich is entirely foreign in that said Northern region. Yes, I am sure that is more than you want to know!

What I’m sure you do want to know, is that this is a great meal. Not having a doctorate but being famous in doctoring up, especially when it comes to food, I took lots of liberties with the recipe from the Lucky Peach. Mine is a bit more filling, has a great mayonnaise sauce instead of just the plain mayonnaise, and I put that elusive ingredient that everyone loves into the center of the sandwich. I bet you all guessed ham, hah!-yeah, I know you know-it just has to be bacon!. Besides that I subbed out beansprouts, because unless I venture to the Asian groceries or sometimes I can find them at Sprouts-well, beansprouts are hard to find, and I detest the canned version, and I know you know that already. Well, water chestnuts are a great substitute in my humble opinion and I have no problem opening a can of those.  Enough doctoring. Let’s eat!

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul sandwich

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich
Serves 2
Adapted from: Lucky Peach
Time to Make: About 20 minutes-have your ingredients prepped!
3 T canola oil
1 can of water chestnuts-drained and chopped or 2 c of fresh bean sprouts
1 c finely chopped scallions
4 T of chopped green pepper or jalapenos or serranos
2 t soy sauce
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c chopped ham, chicken or beef (optional) OR
4 large eggs
2 T cornstarch
4 slices of toasted white bread
1/4 c of mayonnaise mixed with 1 T of soy sauce and 1 t of sriracha
6 slices of cooked, crisp bacon
4 crisp slices of Iceberg lettuce
1 tomato, sliced and salted
Lots of dill pickle chips, blotted dry
Cilantro sprigs, optional
Heat 1 T of oil in skillet over medium heat and cook beansprouts, if using, scallions and pepper, about three minutes until veggies are slightly wilted. Transfer to bowl and let cool a bit. Season with soy sauce and salt and pepper.If using ham, chicken or beef, add it to bowl now. Crack eggs into a large measuring cup and add cornstarch. Beat with a fork to combine. Pour over veggies in bowl and stir until everything is coated with egg.

Reheat skillet over medium low heat and add 2 T of oil. Pour about the equivalent of 4 pancakes into skillet and using a spatula try to contain them into 4″ pancakes. Cook until the edges are brown and set, then flip and cook until pancake is puffed and cooked through out. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm.

Assemble: Spread flavored mayonnaise on toast. Top with bacon, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, cilantro and 2 pancakes per sandwich. I think that’s it!

A few More Goodies:
Dan Dan Noodles and Chinese Sloppy Joe
Chicken Artichoke Dip Baguettes

Please Pin and Share:

This egg foo yung sandwich actually hails from St. Louis. Made with egg foo yung pancakes and bacon and tomato, this is a winner! #sandwich #Asianfood


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  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    March 29, 2016 at 10:15 am

    How creative and delicious! Next time when I make foo yung egg, I have to save some for this sandwich!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 11:26 am

    So interesting. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll def. try it.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 29, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      I thought so, too! It is a must try! But it is hard to go wrong with this!

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch)
    March 29, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I hear ya! I grew up in the middle of Kansas. I was 20 years old by the time I first visited a Chinese Restaurant. I had Moo Goo Gai Pan and I thought I had hit the exotic jack pot. I love that your Mother persisted in learning Chinese food. And without the internet! 🙂 Great looking sandwich Abbe! Pinning.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      I forgot about moo goo gai pan. It seems everything back then was Cantonese! Thanks Lea Ann!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    March 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Looks pretty thing that seems to have disappeared from the Chines food of my youth in my neck of the Chicken Soo was my dinner #:)
    I breezed through The Lucky peach..should have paid more attention;)

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 29, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Now that is one I actually don't know! You have to really look at that book. Some interesting things in it though!

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    March 29, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I have actually had a sandwich with egg foo yung years ago in Houston. Sadly it wasn't served with bacon. This looks amazing! I'll have to try it soon.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Never have seen it before, but like I said I'm not sure that egg foo yung would have caught my eye. Why it did now, I can't say!

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    March 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Abbe, how clever to make a sandwich like this, looks like you hit the flavor jackpot. I think the first time I had Chinese I was in my twenties, things have really changed.

  • Reply
    Karly Campbell
    March 29, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Totally drooling over here. I'm kind of a sandwich fanatic, and this is such a perfect way to switch up my turkey-and-ham routine!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 30, 2016 at 2:57 am

      Most definitely Karly! I also found that if you want to make a bunch they keep in the fridge pretty well. Just heat them for about 30 seconds in the micro and they are great!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    March 29, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Yup, I'm in St. Louis and I've always heard the St. Paul Sandwich was born here. Good recipe wherever it comes from, though. I haven't had one of these in years — yours looks tons better than the last one I had. Good stuff — thanks.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 30, 2016 at 2:58 am

      And you still remember? I knew you would know! Thanks, John!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I have never heard of this sandwich…but know that I will definitely enjoy it…looks delicious Abbe…packed with lots of flavors…love the Asian touch!
    Have a great week 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 30, 2016 at 2:59 am

      It has so many things going on! I love the crunch, the saltiness and the pickles, but the tomato makes this luscious!And the mayo-I use that on a lot of other things, too!

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    March 30, 2016 at 1:15 am

    LOL, I grew up eating egg foo yung, too, but my mom didn't offer any brown sauce—maybe that's why I enjoyed it! I'm certain I'd love this sandwich, too—the jury's out on Bill! He'd agree with you about canned bean sprouts 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      March 30, 2016 at 3:00 am

      I guess we are both Midwesterners!I think Manservant would eat most anything between two slices of bread! Go for it, Liz!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Yes, we grew up eating La Choy and Chun King. Who knew that those "exotic" ingredients could be bought fresh somewhere? Your hometown reminds me of where Zia lives today. For the longest time, the only ethnic restaurant was a Chinese restaurant, a 45 minute drive away. Zia still goes there, once weekly for lunch, on her "day off". Considering my history and deep love for all things sammich, I'm sure that I would love these, with or without a brown sauce dressing. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 30, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I LOVE this! You're so creative Abbe, and I also love the addition of the pickles 🙂

  • Reply
    Balvinder Ubi
    March 31, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Never heard of Egg Foo Young sandwich but reading from your post I can tell it sure tastes delicious!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2016 at 7:24 am

    This is one loaded sandwich! I wish I could have this right now that I am in my office!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    March 31, 2016 at 11:31 am

    ABBE I AM LAUGHING SO HARD RIGHT NOW! so as you know, i'm in St. Louis, and when i saw this post i was like "how does she know what the St. Paul Sandwich is?!?!?!" – because yes, we have them, but here's the thing: I've never eaten one.

    Here's why (trivia time) – So St. Louis is made up of a lot of different communities, but we commonly refer to those communities (grouped together) in general terms as West, North, and South counties (East is missing because East St. Louis is actually over in IL just across the way). Anyway, the St. Paul Sandwich was evidently commonplace all over North and Northwest counties in Chinese restaurants, because i'm guessing that's where it originated, but the popular sandwich never made it south (which is only like 20-30 miles away at most so it's not like it had to travel far), or West, really. I grew up in South County and went to school in West County, making the St. Paul Sandwich a complete unknown to me until after high school, when a friend of mine (from you guessed it) North county used to order them all the time.

    So there you have it. 🙂

  • Reply
    mimi rippee
    March 31, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    oh my – this looks incredible!

  • Reply
    Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    March 31, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I have never had Egg Foo Young sandwich before but looking at your inviting pictures, I want them in life so badly. Love the Asian twist to Sandwiches, Abbe. Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    April 1, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Wow, what an amazing, unique and delicious looking sandwich! I'd just have to figure out how to open my mouth that wide!

  • Reply
    Dawn Yucuis
    April 1, 2016 at 2:56 am

    This is a very interesting sandwich. Looks and sounds yummy. I would love to try it!!

  • Reply
    Marcelle @ A Little Fish in the Kitchen
    April 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    This looks so good! Yum, I have to try this 🙂

  • Reply
    April 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    This sandwich looks so delicious! I would love to eat one right now!;)

  • Reply
    All That I'm Eating
    April 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    This looks SO good, I bet it's delicious, you've made me hungry!

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    April 1, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Kankakee! Do you know Tom Nelson (he's about 52 now) or his mom Doris? GREG

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    April 1, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I was told about Lucky Peach from my son-in-law so it's definitely something the younger people knew about first. Now I have a subscription too but I don't have the Asian cookbook! This looks like a sandwich I would love!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    April 1, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Now that is an amazing sandwich! Your mom sounds wonderfully fun! I've never heard of Lucky Peach until now 🙂 Thanks!

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