Chef’s Tips for Building a Better Sandwich

By April 1, 2020 Update

The variety of main dishes in Middle Eastern cooking is as great as one would expect from an area that extends, in culinary terms, from the Arabian Sea in the East to the Atlantic Ocean in the West, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the North to the Indian Ocean in the Southeast. Some affinities and cross-connections are related to Persian dishes that are also inspired Ottoman court cooks. People with a pastoral tradition, past or present, share a preference for roasts and kebabs. The sea offer riches that coastal dwellers cannot ignore.

In all these places, and in Arab homes by the millions, there exists an interest in food and a dedication to quality in its preparation. This is the main reason that the character and excellence of Arabian cuisine has been preserved over centuries.

Initiation to Cooking

For many of us, a sandwich was the first meal we learned to make for ourselves. Who wants soggy bread and fillings that fall out? It takes only one disappointing lunch, homemade or store-bought, to realize just how much can go wrong. So how do you maximize flavour, manage sogginess, maintain structural integrity, and achieve the most well-balanced and delicious sandwich possible?

Iraqui sandwich, Baghdadi ArousA sandwich can be the most basic of culinary creations. There are a few things we learned about making a sandwich the right way.

The Art of The Sandwich

With countless variations to satisfy every palate, such as dietary restrictions and the time of day, we want to provide you with tips and tricks from our sandwich-making professionals at Yafa Cafe. The fundamental principles and best practices of sandwich construction straight from the experts. Here’s the are their main recommendations.

1. Start With Good Bread

If you pair moist fillings with soft, fluffy slices of bread, you’ll end up with a soggy sponge, not a sandwich. The more moist the filling, the drier and denser the bread should be. A good, thick crust helps.

2. Balance

Achieve balance by choosing a protein that pairs well with it and then add a few other ingredients to make the sandwich a balanced whole.

3. Avoid Sogginess

We all love lettuce and tomato, but they lend moisture as they mainly contain water. They are also prone to wilting and making the bread soggy. Replace it with roasted peppers, sliced fennel, shredded carrots, spinach, shredded cabbage, avocado, or cucumber.

4. Spreads

Spread mayo, butter or cream cheese to the edges of each slice of bread to create a seal against wet sandwich fillings.

5. Moist Ingredients

If you really cannot skip moist ingredients like tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce, add them to the sandwich just before you’re ready to eat it. Toasting the bread can help too.

6. Go Easy on The Onions

Take the edge off onions as they can give sandwiches a welcome bite but often must be tamed a little to be enjoyed raw. Soak thinly sliced onions in ice water for few minutes. Drain and blot dry. This adds crispness.

7. A little Crunch Goes a Long Way

Get that crunchy effect by washing and storing your greens and veggies in the fridge before making the sandwich.

8. Layer it Well

Put the meat and cheese on the bottom. It helps to combat sogginess. Add watery veggies such as sliced tomatoes in the center and then add the crisper ones as the top layer.

9. Wrap Properly

If not eaten right after they are made, a sandwich should be wrapped tightly. Greaseproof-paper, or baking paper, is ideal for helping to keep a sandwich at its best.

10. Compliment The Character of the Bread

If the bread is mildly flavoured, go for bolder choices for the protein and fillings. If you have a hearty bread, tone down the flavour of the fillings.

11. Spiciness

Finally, be careful with very spicy and bold items like hot mustard, jalapenos, and olives. These ingredients can overwhelm a sandwich in a heartbeat.

Your Turn

There you have it, some basic tips to making your sandwich like a pro. Give it a whirl and let us know how you fair!

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