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.

(makes 4)

4 eggs
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
shredded lettuce
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.

For the recipe for St. Paul Sandwich, Print This Post Print This Post




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Written by on January 3, 2011 under ALL RECIPES, Famous Chefs, Main Dishes.

  • Charles G Thompson

    I love your posts because of all the food history you include (oh, and the name dropping is much fun too!) Who knew all those amazing people came from St. Louis? Love that a sandwich called the St. Paul hails from St. Louis and can’t be found in St. Paul… and it sounds pretty damned yummy too. Egg Foo Yung and mayo? Heaven.

  • Charles G Thompson

    I love your posts because of all the food history you include (oh, and the name dropping is much fun too!) Who knew all those amazing people came from St. Louis? Love that a sandwich called the St. Paul hails from St. Louis and can’t be found in St. Paul… and it sounds pretty damned yummy too. Egg Foo Yung and mayo? Heaven.

    • Sean

      Best speculation that the inventor was a Chinese/American who had previously
      lived in St. Paul, but as with so many things, the truth is probabably lost
      in the sands of time. I practically lived on these in college, they were
      like 89 cents or something then (back in the day… )

      • Shimie

        Steven Yuen founder of the Park Chop Suey 1321 Chouteau Avenue in downtown St. Louis is credited. His hometown was St. Paul Minnesonta. My sandwiches always came with mayo, lettuce, pickles and tomato.

  • Anna Johnston

    Yeah…. who knew St Louis was such a breeding ground for the glizty glamourise stars huh. You’ve got me curious with this one though, its weird in a I absolutely must try it out sort of way. East meets west gone a little bit wild methinks, but Egg Foo Yung & Mayo??!! Love it :)

    • Sean

      St. Paul sandwiches are totally NOCD (not our class dear) but yes,
      irresistably scrumptuous

  • Kathywoodley2003

    I’m from St. Louis and I can’t believe that they don’t make this anywhere else…. u can get a st. paul anywhere here…. it’s amazing!

    • Sean

      Right? They are so good

      sent from my not-always-so-smartphone

  • Jan Whitaker

    I used to eat this when I worked at Art Replicas on N. Meramec in Clayton MO. Next door in one direction, in the Gables, was a chi chi restaurant and a few doors down in the other direction a poor little Chinese place. The St. Paul was the only dish I ever ordered there — and it was so amazingly good. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Sean

      I remember the Gables. My favorite St. Paul place was in the city on
      Manchester, a couple blocks east of Kingshighway. Those little places were
      all over the city.

  • Mrsnina78

    Been in Cali for 4 years now but tomorrow STL comes to us lol thanks for this!!

  • Sean

    have fun. make sure to eat them while they’re hot!

  • mike

     Down here in Fla nobody ever heard of them ! I am from St. Louis and can’t find anybody that knows a thing about a St. Paul Sandwich. I use to get them for 2 bucks each in St. Louis and everybody sold them all over town. When I went to St Paul MN. again EVERYBODY sold them and they were again 2 bucks each. But down here in south Florida nobody ever heard of them ( boy they have NO idea what there missing. ) I swear I could LIVE on these things if there made right ! lol

    • Luckybell

      I’ve lived in St. Paul, MN for 50+ years and eat a lot of Chinese food. I have never seen or heard of this sandwich. It sounds delicious and will try to reproduce it by ordering egg fu young without the sauce and bringing it home to stick between some bread and the rest of the ingredients. Do you think it will be the same?

      • Sean

        Seems like that would work well. I’d suggest re-heating them a bit in a hot oven (not microwave) — part of the deliciousness is the contrast of hot egg with a bit of crunch with the cool lettuce.

  • Cierria

    Oh my gosh,I am having one tommorrow,been so long!!

  • Shimie

    Very nice blog page.

    • Sean

      How nice of you so say so, thanks.

  • Shimie

    Hmm, after scanning through the site more thoroughly, you have a spectacular blog.

  • Gary Hill

    I grew up in E. St. Louis and love St. Paul’s. I now live in CA and will make me a St. Paul mañana. Thanks.

    • Sean

      Gosh I wish you’d come make one for me too!

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