A Cut Above: How to Make the Perfect “Moedan” Sandwich
Guideto JapanLifestyle Food and Drink
When looking for a bite to eat, Japanese today are just as likely to reach for a sandwich as a rice ball. Recently, eye-catching photos of sandwiches sliced to reveal mouth-watering fillings have taken off on social media under the hashtag #萌え断 (moedan), meaning “a cross-section” (danmen) that inspires intense feelings of desire (moe). Rows of fresh-cut sandwiches bulging with succulent ingredients are all the rage at shops in the basement-level food halls of department stores, although the ¥1,000 price tag of some items might give hungry customers pause.
However, frugal-minded gastronomes can conserve their yen by experimenting at home with the following recipes.
The Secret to an Irresistible Egg Sandwich is ... the Egg!
One moedan delight that is inexpensive and easy to make is the egg sandwich. Featuring copious amounts of sliced carrot and avocado, this colorful creation results in a stunning cross-section when cut.
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- 4–5 slices of ham
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 slices of bread
- Whole-grain mustard, to taste
- Mayonnaise, to taste
First, julienne the carrot and rub with a sprinkle of salt to bring out the moisture; pat dry with a paper towel to prevent a soggy sandwich. Mix mustard and mayonnaise and spread generously on a slice of bread.
Next, place the ham on the bread, then top with thin-sliced avocado, laid flat. This guarantees an attractive cross-section.
Place the hard-boiled eggs on the avocado and top with copious quantities of carrot. The carrot will help hold the eggs in place and produce a well-balanced, sumptuous-looking sandwich.
Spread the mustard mayonnaise on the second slice, place it on the sandwich, and tightly wrap your creation in cling film. Let it stand for 15 minutes. The sandwich may seem overly bulky, but you will find the proportions are perfect.
The last and most tricky step is cutting your plump egg sandwich to produce a perfect cross-section. Using home-boiled eggs can be a challenge as the yolk is often off center, producing unsatisfactory results.
For people living in Japan, many convenience stores and supermarkets carry ready-boiled eggs, and we recommend these for a magnificent moedan sandwich.
Cutting the egg yolk right down the center produces a gorgeous cross-section.
The moedan egg sandwich is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds. The julienned carrot is crisp and refreshing, perfectly complimenting the avocado and ham, while the egg balances the flavor of the sandwich. The hearty creation makes for a filling lunch or a nutritious breakfast to start the day.
Lettuce Moedan Sandwich is Value for Money
An easier moedan version that uses chicken and lettuce, two inexpensive ingredients, can be made in the morning when time is tight.
First, rinse and wipe dry two to three lettuce leaves, then cut them the same the width as the bread. Take some cooked chicken and divide it into bite-sized pieces.
Next, spread the mustard-mayonnaise mix on two slices of bread. Place one slice on a piece of cling film (for easy wrapping later) and arrange the chicken on top of the bread.
Tightly roll the lettuce leaves, starting from the base and finishing at the leaf edges. Secure the roll with one hand, so it does not unravel, and place it on the chicken.
Cover with the second slice of bread, then wrap the sandwich tightly in the cling film. Leave your creation for 15 minutes before slicing in two. Cut it while still wrapped to ensure the ingredients stay in place, revealing a spectacular moedan cross-section.
The crisp, crunchy texture will be a sure hit. The lettuce eliminates the need for a side salad and lends a decorative touch, making the sandwich a perfect choice for a fancy breakfast or when you need to whip something up for unexpected guests.
(Originally published in Japanese on TV Tokyo Plus on October 25, 2019. Translated and edited by Nippon.com.)
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