Japanese Tamago Sando with Kimchi

Classic tamago sando, but add kimchi. That’s it! Luxuriously creamy, funky, and a bit spicy, it’s only as difficult to make as plopping some eggs in boiling water and setting a timer. Japanese egg sandwiches are not complicated or revolutionary, but their magic lies in their ability to transport you to childhood memories of mayo-laden squishy white bread and picnics in the park. The incorporation of kimchi adds a briny grown-up twist and a nice millennial pink hue, while still evoking all the good nostalgic feels. 

Kewpie: Hands Down the Best Mayonnaise

I’ve said it before, but Kewpie is the best mayo on the market. Sure, I use it in Japanese recipes, but I also pretty much use it for all my mayonnaise needs. Kewpie uses only egg yolks, compared to American mayo which uses whole eggs. It also contains a healthy dose of MSG for some serious umami. It’s pretty common knowledge now that MSG-phobia is unfounded and based on antiquated evidence. If you need convincing, check out this article on the science of MSG (hint: it’s naturally occurring in many of our favorite vegetables and doesn’t cause headaches). You can buy Kewpie at your local Japanese market or online.

Boiling Times

My favorite part of a tamago sando is the contrast between the fluffy egg salad and the oozy jammy center egg. It’s not difficult to master this task, simply boil your water, add your eggs, and remove 1 at just under 8 minutes and the others at just over 10. 

Don’t forget the ice bath

The key to getting each egg to the perfect temperature is setting up an ice bath. A cold plunge after boiling stops the cooking process, ensuring the perfect texture for your jammy and hard boiled eggs. 


Kimchi Tamago Sando

Recipe by Molly MossCourse: Appetizers, MainCuisine: Japanese, KoreanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

Sandwiches
Total time

30

minutes

Classic tamago sando, but add kimchi. That’s it! Luxuriously creamy, funky, and a bit spicy, it’s only as difficult to make as plopping some eggs in boiling water and setting a timer. Japanese egg sandwiches are not complicated or revolutionary, but their magic lies in their ability to transport you to childhood memories of mayo-laden squishy white bread and picnics in the park. The incorporation of kimchi adds a briny grown-up twist and a nice millennial pink hue, while still evoking all the good nostalgic feels. 

Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs

  • 1 scallion, very thinly sliced

  • 1.5 tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise

  • 2 tsp kimchi brine

  • 1 tsp chili paste, like sambal oelek

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped kimchi

  • ½ tsp dijon mustard

  • 4 slices Japanese milk bread or sliced brioche, or a similar soft white bread

Directions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • Add the eggs to the water and set two timers: one for 7 minutes and 45 seconds and the other for 10 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • While the eggs cook, prepare two ice baths by placing ice and water in two bowls. One bowl will need to hold 4 eggs and the other bowl will need to hold 1.
  • At the 7:45 minute mark, remove 1 egg and place in the small ice bath. Remove the other eggs at the 10:30 minute mark and place in the large ice bath. Set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes.
  • While the eggs cool, combine the scallion, kewpie, kimchi brine, chili paste, chopped kimchi, and mustard in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Carefully, peel the eggs from the large bowl (the ones that cooked for 10 minutes). Finely chop the eggs into tiny pieces. For a smoother consistency, give them a few pulses in a food processor.
  • Add the cooked eggs to the mayo mixture and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, adding salt and pepper, or even more mayo, kimchi brine, or chili paste if desired. The sambal, kimchi, and kewpie all have a good amount of salt in them to begin with, so you may not need to add much at all.
  • On a clean cutting board, set out the 4 slices of bread. Optionally, add some more mayo and mustard to each bread slice.
  • Carefully, peel the one soft boiled egg and slice it down the middle length wise, being careful to not let the jammy yolk ooze out.
  • Place each egg half cut side down on two of the slices of bread. Carefully, surround the egg slices with the egg salad mixture, and then add a bit more on top of the egg. Use a butter knife or a spoon to even everything out.
  • Place the top slice of bread on each sandwich and press down very gently. For the classic tamago sandwich look, use a bread knife to carefully cut away the crusts.
  • Use the bread knife to slice each sandwich down the middle in the opposite direction that your jammy egg is facing, exposing the egg cross section.

Notes

  • Hondashi is an instant dashi product. Traditionally ponzu steeps with bonito and kombu (the ingredients in dashi). Use hondashi for a shortcut. You can buy hondashi online here.
More seafood recipes…
Grilled Vinegary Black Bean Steak with Szechuan Peppercorn Oil

Vinegary Black Bean Steak with Sichuan Peppercorn Oil

This dish comes together with the help of a few Chinese pantry staples: sweet chinkiang vinegar, tingly sichuan peppercorns, umami-forward garlic black bean sauce, and shaoxing wine. If you don’t already keep these ingredients in stock, head to your local asian market to pick them up. They all last for awhile in the pantry and…

Read More Keep reading
steamed fish with tamarind nuoc cham

Steamed Fish with Tamarind Nuoc Cham

In this recipe, the punchy flavors of tamarind and Vietnamese nuoc cham provide the perfect counterpart to buttery soft steamed fish. Nuoc Cham: the Vietnamese dipping sauce for Just about everything Made from fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chilies, nuoc cham acts as the perfect sweet/salty/sour counterpart to many of Vietnam’s most famous…

Read More Keep reading

Braised Cod in Tomato Fish Sauce Broth

When I make tomato salad, I find myself slurping up the salty tomato juice and oil mixture that remains at the bottom of the bowl. I wanted to create a soup based on this flavor profile, while still keeping it light and fresh for summer. Enter this braised cod, poached gently in an ethereally light…

Read More Keep reading