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Looking for sandwiches from Africa or Asia

foodrocks Nov 6, 2008 08:42 AM

Hi guys. Doing research on global sandwiches, and not really finding anything from Africa or Asia (other than the bahn mi). Just wondering if anyone out there knows if sandwiches exist on either of these continents? Names of dishes, recipes, links, anything would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. k
    Kelli2006 RE: foodrocks Nov 6, 2008 09:10 AM

    Would you consider falafel or shawarma to be a sandwich, because it is meat and fillings rolled in a piece of bread? Some might think that Mu-shu to be a sandwich because it is meat and vegetables rolled in a wheat pancake.

    1. luckyfatima RE: foodrocks Nov 6, 2008 09:10 AM

      you mean banh mi, not bahn mi. Anyway, due to the British influence, there are a lot of sanwiches eaten in South Asia. You have cucumber sandwiches from the Brits. But then you have some types of sanwiches that you would only find in South Asia, such as a mint chutney sandwich, or a shaami kabab sandwich, queema sandich, omelette sandwich, hunter beef sandwich (kind of like roast beef), pakora sandwich...you also have the "bun" sandwiches like bun kabob, samosa bun, patty bun, which are on a white bun like a hamburger type bun. In India you have the "pao" which is also a bun (I am guessing from the Portuguese word for bread?) which is the same thing as the white bun in Pakistan, but they eat it with more veg type variations like pao bhaji (bun and veg. curry), wada pao (bun and deep fried lentil cake). I suppose you could google these for recipes or more info.

      2 Replies
      1. re: luckyfatima
        dpan RE: luckyfatima Nov 6, 2008 09:37 AM

        From China, you have the various buns (roast pork, vegetable, steamed pork, etc.). While not a "sandwich" with meat or filler between two slices of bread, the concept is similiar with dough surrounding the filling.

        1. re: luckyfatima
          foodrocks RE: luckyfatima Nov 6, 2008 04:21 PM

          Thanks guys! Very helpful so far. Would love to hear from anyone about sandwiches in Africa!

        2. babette feasts RE: foodrocks Nov 6, 2008 06:00 PM

          India has kati rolls, various fillings rolled up in flatbreads.

          1. c
            cimui RE: foodrocks Nov 7, 2008 12:10 AM

            due to the influence of british-installed indian colonizers in east africa, you'll find local versions of samosa, pastry dough filled with meat or potatoes and vegetables. not a sandwich per se, but a similar idea.

            you generally eat ethiopian injera with stewed meat or veggies on the inside, tearing pieces of injera from a large pancake a bit at a time and then using the pancake to scoop / pick up stew. that's a little bit sandwich like.

            1. limster RE: foodrocks Nov 7, 2008 01:45 AM

              Roti John in Singapore.

              1. pepper_mil RE: foodrocks Nov 7, 2008 02:46 AM

                Rou jia mo and guo kui (Shanxi and Sichuan, respectively) are pretty famous sandwiches from China. I have had Chinese people try to convince me, with great seriousnes, that China invented the hamburger via rou jia mo.

                rou jia mo (blog post including picture)

                guo kui

                I would also classify Chinese jian bings as sandwiches, since they end up like a wrap. Peking duck, rolled up inside a little pancake - sandwich or not? The rice wraps that have been popping up in Taiwanese fast food joints?

                1. Sam Fujisaka RE: foodrocks Nov 7, 2008 03:21 AM

                  For African foods (not counting East Indian and Brit) in East Africa (including Madagascar), I haven't encountered sandwiches or sandwich-like foods.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    rockycat RE: Sam Fujisaka Nov 7, 2008 06:33 AM

                    Tunisian sandwich and sabich from Israel (you pick which continent to identify with).

                    1. re: rockycat
                      foodrocks RE: rockycat Nov 7, 2008 11:59 AM

                      Rockycat, would you please tell me more about the Tunisian sandwich?

                      1. re: foodrocks
                        rockycat RE: foodrocks Nov 10, 2008 06:15 AM

                        "As there are millions of Tunisians there are an equal number of recipes for the "Tunisian sandwich". The one most common in North Africa, in Israel and in Paris is made very much as you would make a salad nicoise, but using an abundance of tuna fish (tinned). The bread if possible either a French baguette style or an Italian bread (somewhat thicker and broader). As to the lemon flavor - no problem - after making the salad make a sauce of lemon, olive and crushed garlic, all whipped together with a bit of Dijon mustard. Simply stated, the more lemon, the more lemony. No fear about the sauce dripping as the bread will absorb the excess."
                        That was written by Daniel Rogov, an Israeli food and wine writer. The ingredients can vary more than a bit, but the description as generally similar to a salade nicoise is pretty much on. Add or leave off items as you prefer. The dressing I had did not taste so much like a standard vinaigrette. I can't put my finger on what made it different but I wonder if preserved lemons weren't used in that case.

                  2. Pablo RE: foodrocks Nov 7, 2008 07:58 AM

                    In South Africa due to the Brits, we ate a lot of marmite and cheese sandwiches as well as anchovy toast for breakfast. Monkey gland sauce was a favorite topping on sandwiches and burgers - not what it sounds like.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Pablo
                      foodrocks RE: Pablo Nov 7, 2008 10:54 AM

                      This is all really interesting information! Thanks everyone.

                      Is anyone else as curious as I am about what the heck monkey gland sauce is??!

                      1. re: foodrocks
                        Pablo RE: foodrocks Nov 7, 2008 12:00 PM

                        A full explanation and recipe here:

                    2. j
                      JBC RE: foodrocks Nov 7, 2008 01:03 PM

                      Here are a few available from some Los Angeles eating establishments:

                      Tunisia - Tunisian Sandwich - tuna, boiled eggs, potatoes, black olives, capers & Harissa.

                      Durban, South Africa - Bunny Chow (click on the picture):


                      Middle East - If you drew a geometric square with Istanbul, Elat/ Al Aqabah, Yerevan , and Tehran as your 4 corners, you find sandwiches from most, if not all, countries contained within. Here is a menu list from an L.A. eatery:


                      Armenia (south of the Caucasus mountains) - Basturma


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