Asian Recipes/ Breakfast/ Main Course/ Sandwiches

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich

St Paul Sandwich
This Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich is made with an Egg Foo Yung pancake, crisp bacon, tomato and pickles. It originated in St. Louis and is as good as it looks. Perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner!

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.
This is an updated post from 2016.

So how is it that a recipe for an egg foo yung St. Paul sandwich, caught my eye?  Yes, I know that’s a big name for a sandwich, but this one is so worth it!

 I found the recipe in the Lucky Peach 101 Easy Asian recipes cookbook, that came out not too long ago.  I do like the Lucky Peach.

My son even gave me a subscription to the magazine one year; he had found it before me! (Alas, it is no longer.)

Maybe because I’m a big fan of okonomiyaki-a Japanese-egg pancake-or maybe because I like sandwiches that I can call dinner, is one reason I Iove this sandwich.

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 Young St. Paul Sandwich

This egg foo yung St. Paul sandwich has an interesting history. Derived from the Chinese immigrants that came here to build the railroad-the big, GIANT, Transcontinental railroad, is when Chinese food made its inroads into America. Quickly Chinese food transformed to Americanized Chinese food.

The 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  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.

Apparently the creator of the sandwich named it after his hometown in St. Paul Minnesota, but his restaurant was in St. Louis, MO! Wikipedia states that the sandwich is entirely foreign in St. Paul!

Yes, I am sure that is more than you want to know!

I took several liberties with the classic egg foo yung St. Paul sandwich. First, I toasted my white bread rather than just slapping the egg patty between two slices of squishy white bread. That choice is up to you!

Egg Fu Yung St. Paul Sandwich

Instead of using plain mayonnaise I amped up the flavor of it by mixing in some soy sauce and sriracha.

Rather than mixing ham or turkey or beef into the egg foo yung patty, I chose to add crisp bacon to my sandwich. Feel free to do both!

Additionally since fresh bean sprouts are hard to find unless I run to Sprouts or the Asian market, I use canned, chopped water chestnuts for crunch. I love bean sprouts, but since they spoil so quickly I usually sub in water chestnuts in any recipe where I can get away with it.

This egg foo yung St. Paul sandwich is meant for a white paper plate and paper napkins. This is diner food at its best!

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, however 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.

Egg Foo young Sandwich with Ingredients labeled
 

40 years ago Chinese food was the name of the game and I remember driving 30 minutes to eat at a Chinese restaurant on Route 1 in Monee, Illinois; that is if memory serves me correctly.

When I was around 10 years old, Kankakee finally got its own Chinese restaurant, of which my family was a big patron.

I remember us munching on such delicacies as egg rolls and wontons and won ton soup and sweet and sour chicken. You know? The pupu platter!

We were allowed to order allowed  Shirley Temple’s, which was pretty special because they always put a colorful paper umbrella in the tall glass.

But no giant, colorful tiki punches, some even flaming, were allowed at our table; we were too young for those!

And whatever my middle brother ordered, was only for him. No sharing on his part-yeah- I know there is always one of those!

Soon my mother decided she wanted to learn to cook Chinese food and after a grand expedition to Chinatown in Chicago, where she bought the grocery store out, she arrived home with ingredients that had nowhere to go.

She cleaned a cabinet, 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 we 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.

Egg Foo Young St. Paul Sandwich

Mom came along way from that olive green kitchen and when she moved to Arizona she even had a built in wok, that I think I saw her use once!

Seriously though, she became quite a good Chinese chef which maybe transferred over to my son!

So there you have it. Chinese cooking full circle. Whether from the Lucky Peach or your own favorite Chinese cookbook, this egg foo yung St.Paul sandwich is a classic example of how a traditional Cantonese dish became a local standard. 

I just love food stories like this. Now go make your own version of this egg fu young sandwich. (Yes, there are numerous spellings!) Tell me how it comes out. 

Please Share the Sandwich!

St. Paul Sandwich

 

A Few More Goodies:
Okonomiyaki
Dan Dan Noodles and Chinese Sloppy Joe
Chicken Artichoke Dip Baguettes
OMG BLT

Print
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St Paul Sandwich

Egg Foo Yung St. Paul Sandwich

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 2 Sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese American

Description

This Egg Foo Yung St Paul Sandwich is made with an Egg Foo Yung pancake, crisp bacon, tomato and pickles. It originated in St. Louis and is as good as it looks. Perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner!


Scale

Ingredients

Egg Foo Yung Pancakes

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
Assembly:
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


Instructions

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!


Notes

From: Lucky Peach

Keywords: St. Paul sandwich, egg foo yung, egg fu young, egg foo young recipe, egg foo young sandwich

 

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48 Comments

  • Reply
    Sherry
    July 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    This is a hearty and filling sandwich Abbe. Delicious i bet. We only had a fish and chip shop in our little town when we were kids! Run by greeks! Cheers
    Sherry

    • Reply
      Abbe
      July 13, 2020 at 9:46 pm

      Ah! But we didn’t have fish and chips. Unless you count Long John Silver’s!

  • Reply
    Healthy World Cuisine
    July 10, 2020 at 11:53 am

    This delicious sammie has it all going on! What a fun and delicious invention.

    • Reply
      Abbe
      July 13, 2020 at 9:46 pm

      You would love this!

  • Reply
    John / Kitchen Riffs
    July 10, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Fun to see this recipe pop up again! It’s a good sandwich, although I’m not seeing it that often on restaurant menus these days (well, I wasn’t when I could go to restaurants, which for the time I can’t, alas). So I guess I just need to make one of these, right? 🙂

  • Reply
    Michele @ Bacon Fatte
    August 4, 2018 at 11:29 am

    This looks amazing, Abbe! There’s just nothing better that a great sammie filled with delicious ingredients like this… We’ll be trying it soon!

  • Reply
    Christine
    August 3, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Wow! Looks good!

  • Reply
    Hadia
    August 2, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Now this is something new to me, but sounds really good and all of the ingredients are ones I am familiar with. Thank you for sharing, Abbe!

  • Reply
    theresa
    August 2, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I love this idea.

  • Reply
    Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls
    August 2, 2018 at 8:27 am

    I grew up in the midwest and I’ve never heard of a St. Paul sandwich! I think I’ve been missing out! Once the tomatoes come in I’m totally making this.

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 1, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    This is such a creative sandwich. Love it.

  • Reply
    ally
    August 1, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Wowzeee! Now this is one clever creative sandwich!! I could so devour it!! Beautiful and, I KNOW, boholicious!!

  • Reply
    Claudia Lamascolo
    August 1, 2018 at 10:28 am

    I would love a taste of this wow!

  • 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!

  • 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
    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
    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
    ZazaCook
    April 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

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

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

    oh my – this looks incredible!

  • 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
    Katerina
    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
    shea
    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
    ChgoJohn
    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
    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
    Juliana
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    La Table De Nana
    March 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Looks pretty tasty..one thing that seems to have disappeared from the Chines food of my youth in my neck of the woods..is Chicken Soo Guy..it 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
    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
    Anne
    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
    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!

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