Bourdain’s beloved Lawson’s Fluffy Egg Salad Sandwich
One Parts Unknown episode was saved on my DVR and one was airing that night. I didn’t think I was going to be able to bring myself to watch the last episode anytime soon. A few hours later, after bubbly and bacon during Sunday morning football and tri tip and red wine for the night game, I felt I could conquer it.
I’m reading a lot of touching comments and articles about the last episode on the Lower East Side. But, the behind the scenes episode stuck with me more. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a personal connection with the Lower East Side. It’s probably because the episode captures a glimpse of what Tony was like off camera. Surprise! It’s nearly identical to when he was on camera.
While watching, my husband said something along the lines of, “He’s just the right amount of asshole…just like you.” I thought about it for a second and decided to take it as a compliment. I guess I do “Only pet the baby when it’s sleeping.”
But what really got to me was the fluffy egg salad part. Just a couple days earlier while sorting through papers, I found a note I wrote about fluffy egg salad. The premise of the recipe is was that it uses a whole dozen eggs. Now, it’s that Bourdain was serious about his fluffy egg salad and I am too.
The egg salad sandwich is a staple in Japanese convenience stores. If you look closely at Bourdain’s tweet of the Lawson’s ones, there are nice size chunks of white encased in a fluffy yellow whip, a basic white bread (no crusts), and it’s packaged neatly in half complete with hello kitty labels.
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) November 4, 2013
Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich?
Because I’ve never had one, I can’t say this recipe is a copy cat of the Lawson’s fluffy egg salad sandwich or even that it is similar to a Japanese one. All I can say is that I’ve tested and tried a lot of different ratios and methods for a fluffy egg salad and I’m confident that this is the one.
On my last test run, I tested hand-made vs. food processor for the yolk whip. Hand-made won.
Food Processor Method
With the food processor, it’s difficult to get the yolks smooth and creamy. Once you add in the mayo, chances are you’re going to need to run it quite a bit to get that smooth texture. Then you run the risk of mixing too much and it can cause the whip to break. You can tell in this picture by how glossy it is. This will most-likely become runny while storing which does not make for a legit fluffy egg salad sandwich. I also first chopped the whites by pulsing, but it makes it a bit difficult to control the size chunks you’d like.
By hand, passing the yolks through a fine sieve ensures that there are no clumps whatsoever. You get tiny feather-light yolk flakes. Then you whisk in the mayo until smooth and fluffy and fold in the hand-chopped eggs. If you don’t own a sieve like this one, a fine mesh strainer and spoon will work.
About the Mayo
Because you are only making a 1-yolk mayo, it is best to make by hand. You just need a little patience when drizzling in the oil. I made two batches of fluffy egg salad this time so I had a 2-yolk mayo and was able to use the smaller cup of my food processor. Store-bought mayo can be used here, but if you do, you might as well go ahead and buy the Kewpie Japanese mayo to really up the flavor and make it way more of a “Japanese” fluffy egg salad sandwich.
SO! There you have it. Fluffy Egg Salad Sandwich. This one is for you, my idol, hero, and make-believe friend! CHEERS!