Brighten your day with a Japanese Fruit Sandwich called Fruit Sando! Juicy seasonal fresh fruits are embedded in chilled whipped cream between two slices of pillowy Japanese milk bread. These colorful sandwiches with strawberries, oranges, and kiwi are perfect for breakfast and snacks!
Walking into any fruit theme cafe (fruit parlor in Japanese), basement food halls of department stores, or convenience stores in Japan, you would probably encounter this slightly outlandish, vibrantly colored sandwich called Fruit Sandwich or Fruit Sando (フルーツサンド). Slices of Japanese milk bread anchored by fresh-cut fruits set in whipped cream.
Odd as it may seem, once you give the sandwich a try, you’d know instantly why it is so popular in Japan and you wondered why you have never thought of this combo before!
What is the Japanese Fruit Sandwich (Fruit Sando)?
Simply put, it’s a sandwich filled with fresh fruits and whipped cream between two slices of Japanese milk bread known as shokupan. While the bread is fluffy, pillowy and all, it is the filling that steals the show. Symmetrically shaped strawberries, orange, kiwi, mango, and blueberries make the centerpiece of the sandwich. In between the bread and fruits is the smooth and buttery whipped cream, and in my opinion, bestowing the dreamy factor to the entirety.
Just like how you’d imagine it – every bite of the sandwich is bursting with juicy sweetness. It’s refreshing, it’s light, and it’s like sunshine in a sandwich form.
The Origin of Fruit Sando
There are two strong theories on how Fruit Sandwich originated in Japan.
One theory says that it started in Kyoto around the early 1920s because there are a lot of cafes in Kyoto featuring Fruit Sandwich as their main menu. The other theory says Senbikiya (千疋屋; the very first store that started a fruit parlor in Japan in 1868) in Tokyo started Fruit Sando.
Although we don’t know which theory is true, the pairing of fruit and soft white bread does not surprise me. After all, we even go as far as eating noodles in a sandwich form (I’m talking about Yakisoba Pan).
Anyone who has tasted fresh fruits in Japan knows that they are extremely flavorful, so sweet and juicy that sometimes you may think you’re eating candies. So I can see why somebody decided to use fresh fruits as a filling in sandwiches.
5 Helpful Tips
To make sure your Fruit Sandwich is good-looking, here are a few tips you may want to consider:
- Think of the orientation of the fruits and cross-section before you start making the fruit sandwich.
- Try to use the same-size fruits and arrange the fruits so they are aligned in a nice line.
- When wrapping the sandwich with plastic wrap, pull the wrap tightly to secure the sandwich.
- Make sure to weigh down the sandwich and refrigerate it before you cut it.
- Clean your knife after each cut so the bread doesn’t have a smear of the whipped cream.
A Worthy Summertime Sandwich for All Occasions
With the bounty of berries and fresh fruits available in the summer, this Japanese Fruit Sandwich is going to be the star sandwich you want to make over and over again. You could serve it as breakfast, afternoon snack, or picnic sandwich. Or perhaps for your backyard BBQ – because it’ll stand out as a showstopping appetizer or side dish. Or for a kid’s birthday party this summer – because he/she is going to love it.
Japanese Fruit Sandwich
- 12 strawberries
- 2 kiwis
- 1 navel orange
- 4 slices shokupan (Japanese milk bread)
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream (36% or more milkfat)
- 5 tsp sugar (10% of heavy cream)
- 1 tsp rum (optional)
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Prepare Fruits
- Remove the core of strawberries.
- Cut off both ends and peel the skin of the kiwis.
- Cut off both ends of the navel orange. Remove the peel. Carefully peel off the segment wall and get each segment out.
- Using a paper towel, remove the moisture of the fruits.
To Make Whipped Cream
- Prepare a large bowl of iced water and place a medium bowl inside the larger bowl to keep cool. Make sure the bowl is clean and dry. Add the heavy whipping cream and start whisking on low speed.
- Once bubbly, add sugar and rum (if you are using) and start whisking on medium-high speed.
- The cream will be thicker as you whip.
- When you lift the whisk out of the cream and shows peaks, remove the bowl from the ice bath and switch to a hand whisk. Whisk until you achieve the right consistency. Check the consistency of the whipped cream as you whisk. It should be spreadable but not runny because it goes between the sandwich bread.
- Now spread the whipped cream on both sides of the sandwich bread. If there is any leftover whipped cream, you can dip your fruits or make Fruit Parfait. I prefer to keep the crust on the bread until the end. When you put fruits between two slices of the bread, the crust helps to keep it in shape.
- Only on one side of the sandwich bread, align the fruits. I plan to cut the sandwich diagonally. Think carefully about how you want to show your cross section. I recommend taking a picture of the alignment of the fruits and don’t change the orientation of the sandwich.
- Put the whipped cream to fill in any gap between fruits.
- Put the second slices of sandwich bread over the fruits, facing the whipped cream side down.
- Prepare plastic wrap, large enough to wrap the sandwich tightly from all four sides. Remember, don’t change the orientation of the sandwich.
- Mark the cross section over the plastic wrap with a pen.
- Put the sandwiches between plates and refrigerate for at least one hour (up to overnight). In Japan, putting weight on the sandwich is a pretty standard method prior to cutting in half.
- Open the plastic wrap and cut the sandwich in half diagonally with a clean knife. Keep it closed (Don’t open the sandwich to show cross section yet). Clean the knife with a hot wet towel before each cut.
- Gently press down the sandwich and cut off the 4 edges.
- Now the cross section is revealed for the first time!
- Serve immediately. If you plan to transfer the sandwich, make sure to keep it chilled all times.
- It's best to enjoy it as soon as possible after you cut it. You could keep it in the refrigerator overnight BEFORE cutting in half.