What’s the Difference Between Tamago-Sando and Southern Egg Salad Sandwiches
I grew up eating traditional Southern egg salad on soft, fluffy white Wonderbread. It’s a mainstay in the South, especially in the summer months, and it’s basically a heaping mound of egg-rich comfort and joy between two slices of bread as far as I’m concerned. Japanese cuisine has a similar version of egg salad, called “tamago-sando” which I have enjoyed many of especially while living in NYC’s East Village and China.
The East Village neighborhood is also known as Little Tokyo and Little Ukraine and living here gave me ample opportunity to eat tamago-sando regularly. I was fortunate to have some of the best Japanese restaurants and cafés lining the street I lived on (and around every corner). From sushi to ramen, Japanese BBQ, and desserts, they were all just steps away.
And at the opposite end of my street, was a Japanese grocery store and Pan-Ya, a delicious Japanese bakery that made the BEST fluffy soft shokupan (Japanese milk bread), and all kinds of other quick bites like bento boxes, tonkatsu, curries, donburi, and one of my favorite sandwiches — tamago-sando.
Outlined below are the main differences between Japanese Egg Salad Sandwiches and Southern Egg Salad Sandwiches.
Tamago-Sando The 4 key ingredients in making Japanese egg salad are:
- Hardboiled eggs
- Kewpie brand mayonnaise – this mayo is both richer and more yellow than most American counterparts because it’s made using only egg yolks (no egg whites). It’s also slightly sweeter and more vinegary.
- Shokupan (Japanese milk bread) – is a super light, soft, and very thick-sliced fluffy white bread.
- Butter – adds flavor and richness and keeps the shokupan bread from getting soggy from the egg salad filling)
- Optional additional ingredients that you may also see added to tamago-sando are a splash or two of milk or cream and sometimes a pinch of sugar.
Southern Egg Salad Sandwich
- Hardboiled eggs
- Mayonnaise – depending on where you grew up, different mayonnaise brands are used as a matter of preference (and even Miracle Whip is used sometimes). Preferred southern brands include Hellman’s, Duke’s, and Blue Plate.
- Wonder Bread or generic soft white sandwich bread – a super soft and fluffy commercial white bread
- Optional additional ingredients – traditionally, you’ll find a combination of some (or all) of these ingredients in a standard southern egg salad (yellow mustard, finely chopped onions or shallots, finely chopped celery, sweet pickle relish, or chopped dill pickles, a pinch of sugar, a little paprika).
Tamago Sando (Best Sesame Egg Salad Sandwich) Ingredients
It doesn’t take many ingredients to make a delicious egg salad sandwich. This one is a little extra tasty from the freshly toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil, but if you don’t have these in your pantry, feel free to leave them out to make a regular egg salad sandwich instead.
- 3 large eggs, hardboiled (150g)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, freshly toasted (16g)
- 1/8 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or about 20g)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- splash or two of milk or cream
- salt to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional but recommended)
How to Make the Best Tamago Sando (Sesame Egg Salad Sandwich)
This is one of the easiest and most delicious creamy egg salad sandwiches to make, not to mention inexpensive. And if you have kiddos, this is a great recipe for them to help make.
- Boil the eggs. Place 3 large eggs in a pot with water just covering them. Turn on the heat and bring it to a boil. Once the eggs start to boil, set a timer for 6 minutes. Cook them until the timer goes off and remove the eggs from the heat. Place the pot directly under cold running water. Once they’re cool enough to handle, remove the shells.
- Toast the sesame seeds. In a skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat until golden brown and remove them to a medium-sized mixing bowl to cool.
- Make the egg salad filling. Remove the yolks from the eggs and add them to the bowl with the sesame seeds. Chop the egg whites and set them aside. Add the mayo and sesame oil to the yolks and mash the mixture together. Give it a splash or two of milk and stir. Add the honey and/or a touch of sugar, sesame oil, and salt to taste. Mix everything together until well combined. Add the chopped egg whites and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Butter the bread. Butter each slice of bread on one side. (It’s a must if you’re making a Japanese-style egg salad sandwich. Plus, it helps keep the bread from getting soggy if you’re storing the egg sandwiches in the refrigerator.
- Assemble the sandwich. Spread the mixture over the buttered top of one slice of bread. Top it with the other slice. Slice the sandwich in half and enjoy! You may even remove the crusts if you want this to be closer to a traditional Tamago Sando. I don’t like to waste so I leave the crusts attached.
How Long Can Egg Salad Be Stored
If you’re wondering how long can you keep egg salad in the refrigerator before it goes bad, the rule of thumb is 5 days. Egg salad lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days if it’s stored properly. Seal it in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Don’t store it in the door of the fridge which tends to be warmer than other areas. Also, the same storage rule applies to other types of mayonnaise-based salads like (chicken salad, tuna salad, ham salad, and macaroni salad).
How to Make Egg Salad Sandwiches Taste Even Better
A well-made egg salad recipe is delicious all on its own, but adding a few extra ingredients can really make it stand out and want to enjoy more often.
- scallions or chives add a slight onion flavor and pop of color
- diced celery
- diced onions
- minced herbs like cilantro or parsley add color and flavor
- finely diced red bell pepper adds texture, color, and a fresh flavor
- sweet pickle relish
- a little squeeze of yellow mustard
Check Out a Few More Quick and Delicious Salad and Sandwich Recipes
- ‘Plum Crazy’ Caprese Salad
- Mediterranean Pigtail Pasta Salad with Shrimp
- Wild Yellowfin Sesame-Scallion Tuna Salad Sandwich
- Garlic-Ginger Shaved Beef Steak Sandwich
- Italian Caprese Salad (l’insalata Caprese)
- Lazy Day Refrigerator Salad (w/crispsy fried shallots, avocado, eggs, and sunflower seeds)
- Crispy Prosciutto and Sun-Dried Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Best Ever Deli-Style Prosciutto and Turkey Provolone Sandwich
Let’s get started!
I’d love to hear how this recipe turned out for you!
Did you make this recipe and LOVE it? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and/or comment below the recipe card to help other readers. I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all your questions and comments. Plus, I love seeing when you make my recipes, so please tag me @BitingAtTheBits on Instagram and I will repost your beautiful Tamago-Sando!