ST. PAUL SANDWICH: A ST. LOUIS ORIGNAL
Just to be clear, the incredibly delicious St. Paul sandwich is a uniquely St. Louis specialty. You can't get them in St. Paul. Go figure. No matter, the time has come for this recipe for St. Louis's St. Paul Sandwich, An improbable combination of East meets West, to venture forth in time-honored tradition and take the world by storm.
How can I be so sure? Let me count the ways. What do Josephine Baker, Kay Thompson, Tina Turner and Nelly have in common? St. Louis. Where did the the unparalleled elegance of Condé Nast and Carolyne Roehm come from? That's right. Blame us for kooky Phyllis Diller and creepy Vincent Price; thank us for dream boat John Hamm. William S. Borroughs and Tennessee Williams may not have always been kind about their hometown, but they did churn out some magnificent literature. Didja know Radio City's Rockettes first got their kicks in St. Louis as the Missouri Rockets? Well they did.
On the food front, the legendary 1904 World's Fair birthed the hot dog, ice cream cone and iced tea. A century later native son Danny Meyer reigns supreme over NYC's restaurant scene. Long before Battali and Bastianich, Volpi did and still does send the best prosciutto all across the country. For God's sake people, Irma Rombauer was a St. Louis housewive who, in 1931, self-published a little tome titled The Joy of Cooking. Heard of it?
So what are we talking about here? A St. Paul Sandwich is egg foo yung served on white bread with a generous slathering of mayonnaise (both slices please), shredded lettuce and pickles. A staple of cheap chop suey dives, the kind where you order through a plexi-glass window, St. Paul Sandwiches are tickets to heaven.
Let's get started.
1 c. bean sprouts
2 scallions, chopped
1 t. soy sauce
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. cornstarch
1/4 c. chopped ham
1/2 c. chopped, cooked shrimp
8 slices white bread
bread and butter pickles
oil for frying
Put 1 T. cooking oil in a wok and stir fry the bean sprouts and scallions for four to five minutes. Remove and let cool.
Whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper, the sauces and the cornstarch. Fold into the cooled bean sprouts. Stir in the ham and shrimp.
Lay out the bread slices, spread well with mayonnaise, and have the shredded lettuce and pickles at the ready.
Put an inch of oil into the wok. Get it hot. Pour in 1/4 c. of the egg mixture. Fry for two minutes, flip and fry one minute more. Remove from oil, let drain, place on a slice of bread, top with the lettuce and pickles and devour while still hot as hell.
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