Colorful thick Japanese sandwich, Wanpaku Sandiwch (Sando), shows the filling and piles up on the table.

Wanpaku Sandwich

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: sandwich
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling: 1 hour
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 3 thick sandwiches

Meet the newest and hottest style of sandwich from Japan - Wanpaku Sandwich or Wanpaku Sando for short. Stuffed with colorful vegetables and layering ingredients, these solid Japanese sandwiches present endless possibilities!

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Ingredients

Grated Carrot Salad (Carottes Râpées)

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper

Tuna Salad

  • 1 canned tuna
  • 3 Tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)

Mayo & Mustard Spread

Everything Else

  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ English cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ¼ red cabbage
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 6 slices toast (Use Japanese toast (shokupan) – a package comes with 6 slices)
  • 2 slices ham
  • 2 slices turkey
  • 2 pieces Tonkatsu (I used Crispy tonkatsu – See Notes)
  • Tonkatsu sauce

Instructions

  1. Gather all the ingredients. You will also need plastic wrap or parchment paper (and some paper clips).

    Wanpaku Sandwich Ingredients

To Make Grated Carrot Salad (Carottes Râpées)

  1. Peel the carrot. Cut carrots into a fine julienne with the julienne blade of a mandolin, peeler, or a sharp knife. Cut in half or thirds if your carrot is long.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 1
  2. Sprinkle carrots with 1 tsp kosher salt and rub and mix with hands.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 2
  3. To make the vinaigrette, combine 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp sugar, and freshly ground black pepper, stirring with a whisk.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 3
  4. Add the vinaigrette to carrot mixture and toss to coat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 4

To Make Fried Egg or Boiled Egg

  1. Heat ½ Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Crack an egg to make a fried egg as you like. Set aside.

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  2. In a pot of boiling water, gently place the egg you just took out of the refrigerator. Cook the egg on gently simmering water for 9 minutes. Transfer the egg to iced water to let cool. Peel the shell and set aside.

    Wanpaku Sandwich 6

To Make Tuna Salad

  1. Drain the oil/water from canned tuna (if there is any), and season the tuna with Japanese mayonnaise. For this Japanese brand canned tuna, I used 3 Tbsp of mayo.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 7
  2. Sprinkle the tuna with freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Taste and add a little bit of salt if necessary.
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To Prepare Sliced Cucumbers

  1. Peel the cucumber with a peeler. If you’re using an English cucumber or American cucumber, stop peeling when you see seeds. Seeds get too watery in the sandwich, so just eat the center and don’t put inside the sandwich.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 9
  2. On a sheet of paper towel, place the cucumber slices to remove excess moisture.

To Prepare Sliced Tomatoes

  1. Slice the tomatoes and place on top of a sheet of paper towel and remove excess moisture.

To Prepare Sliced Cabbage

  1. Thinly shred red cabbage with a cabbage slicer or a sharp knife.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 12

To Prepare Sliced Avocados

  1. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise around the seed and twist to open. Hack the knife edge into the pit. Hold the skin of avocado with the other hand and twist in counter direction. The pit will come out smoothly.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 13
  2. Cut the avocado into quarters. Remove the skin and cut them lengthwise into quarter inch slices. Clean your hands and knife with damp towel before working on another quarter.

To Prepare Lettuce

  1. Carefully detach the lettuce leaf and rinse well. Again, carefully remove the excess moisture with paper towel.

To Prepare Mayo & Mustard Spread

  1. In a small bowl, combine 4 Tbsp Japanese mayonnaise and add 1 tsp Dijon mustard, stirring with a spatula.

To Assemble Sandwich: Option 1 - Plastic Wrap Method

  1. Prepare a large sheet of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be wide enough to fit 4 toasts. Now have a mental note that you will be slicing sandwich WIDTHWISE (slice in the same direction as the scissor indicates).
    Wanpaku Sandwich 17
  2. Spread the mayo & mustard mixture on the bottom and top slices.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 18
  3. Place the bottom toast in the center of the plastic wrap. I start with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber. You can start with any ingredients you like. Remember the tips I mentioned in the blog post. Flat ingredients should be at the bottom and flexible ingredients should be higher on the top.

    Wanpaku Sandwich 19
  4. Fold and place the ham and turkey slices on top, and then fried egg and avocado slices. Keep in mind the “cut” line is WIDTHWISE. You have to always imagine how the cut line would look like.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 20
  5. Put the grated carrot salad on top, followed by shredded cabbage and finally a lettuce leaf on top.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 21
  6. Put the toast on top, mayo & mustard side facing down. Gently press down the toast with one hand and lift one side of plastic wrap to wrap around tightly. Gently and slowly pull down the plastic wrap as you go over the sandwich. This helps to tighten the sandwich and prevent the ingredients from falling off. 

    Wanpaku Sandwich 22
  7. When the plastic wrap reaches to the other side of the sandwich, pull the other side of the plastic wrap, going over the sandwich and wrap around the sandwich so the seam line will be on the bottom of the sandwich. Now close the opening area by tightly wrapping around.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 23
  8. Do the same for the other opening areas. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.

    Wanpaku Sandwich 24
  9. Using a clean and sharp knife (I use a bread knife), cut the sandwich in half along the “cut” line.

    Wanpaku Sandwich 25

To Assemble Sandwich: Option 2 – Parchment Paper Method

  1. Prepare a large sheet of parchment paper; it should be wide enough to fit 4 toasts. Follow exactly as the first sandwich above, but with thin tonkatsu (pork cutlet). Smear the mayo & mustard spread, followed by lettuce and the grated carrot salad.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 26
  2. Next, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and thin Tonkatsu (pork cutlet).
    Wanpaku Sandwich 27
  3. Drizzle Tonkatsu sauce, topped with shredded cabbage and then the top slice.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 28
  4. Now with parchment paper, you will bring the left and right edges of the paper together over the center of the sandwich and line them up. Fold the joined edges down by half an inch and crease sharply. Continue folding in half-inch turns, creasing each time.

    Wanpaku Sandwich 29
  5. As you fold the paper, gently press down the sandwich to make sure it stays in the right location. When the fold is flush with the surface of the sandwich, let it lay flat. Use paper clips to hold in place.
  6. Now we work on one side at a time. Press down the top paper, then form a pleated triangle (on working surface), creasing the triangle’s edges. Then curl up the triangle to tuck into the folds on the side. Repeat for the other side. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 31
  7. Using a clean and sharp knife (I use a bread knife), cut the sandwich in half along the “cut” line.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 32

To Assemble Sandwich: Option 3 - Plastic Wrap & Parchment Paper Method

  1. Prepare a large sheet of plastic wrap; it should be wide enough to fit 4 toasts. Follow exactly as the first two sandwiches above, but with tuna salad. Smear the mayo & mustard spread, followed by lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 33
  2. Next, tuna salad, sliced avocados, and boiled egg.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 34
  3. Then top with shredded cabbage, grated carrot salad, and lettuce.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 35
  4. Place the top slice and gently press down as you wrap around the sandwich with plastic wrap, following Option 1 Method. Then use Option 2 Method to cover up the plastic wrap. It’s easier to wrap the sandwich as it doesn’t move.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 36
  5. Here we go over the side. Press down the top paper, fold both sides to form a triangle on the working surface. Then tuck in to the folds on the side.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 37
  6. Work on the other side. Press down the top paper, fold both sides to create a triangle, and then tuck in the triangle into the folds on the side of the sandwich.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 38
  7. Using a clean and sharp knife (I use a bread knife), cut the sandwich in half along the “cut” line.
    Wanpaku Sandwich 39

To Pack the Sandwich

  1. Use a square lunch box container or take out container to pack your sandwich. Make sure the sandwich stays tight so they will not loosen or fall apart.
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Recipe Notes

Crispy Tonkatsu: Recipe can be found here.

 

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.