Japanese egg sandwich is a creamy, tangy, light, and tasty snack that’s extremely popular all across Japan. Anthony Bourdain praised the deliciousness of Lawson’s egg salad sandwich, while David Chang runs to the closest konbini to get his hands on a tamago sando, as soon as he lands in Tokyo. The good news is you don’t have to travel across the world to get a taste of this iconic Japanese creation – you can make it at home with just a few ingredients!
What is Japanese Egg Sandwich (Tamago Sand0)?
Japanese egg sandwich, called tamago sando (たまごサンド), is a no-frills egg salad sandwich made with Japanese milk bread, butter, and egg salad. It’s a very popular snack or lunch item because of its simplicity and convenience.
It’s more basic than the American version which can be served on different types of bread and have lettuce, tomato, cheese, and other ingredients as toppings.
Where Can I buy Japanese Egg Sandwich?
If you are in Japan, you can find Japanese egg salad sandwiches pretty much everywhere! The most common places are bakeries, coffee shops, and convenience stores (called konbini in Japanese) such as 7 Eleven, Lawson, or Family Mart.
In fact, egg sandwiches are such a popular food item in Japanese konbini that tv shows and food magazines like to rank them from best to worst (the recipe for egg salad varies slightly from one konbini to another).
It’s also worth mentioning that people will go the distance to get their tamago sando fix. Bakeries known for having excellent egg sandwiches will see a line of people wrapping around the block, just to get a taste of their creation.
In the US you can find Japanese egg sandwiches in Japanese and Korean bakeries, and Japanese supermarkets such as Nijiya, Mitsuwa, Marukai, and Sunrise Mart. Some Korean supermarkets may also sell them.
What Makes Japanese Egg Sandwiches Different from Other Egg Sandwiches
Japanese milk bread, also called shokupan or Hokkaido milk bread, is Japan’s version of sandwich bread. The loaf is fluffier, bouncier, and tastes and smells more buttery than regular sandwich bread. The slices are also cut thicker and the crust is completely removed.
Japanese mayonnaise (kewpie mayo) is fruitier and tangier than US mayonnaise. Only the egg yolk part is used in the process, which is what gives the mayonnaise a golden yellow color (Japanese egg yolks are also more yellow). The flavor is similar to Miracle Whip but is less sweet, more tangy, and also has umami.
Kitchen Tools Needed
- Mixing bowl
- Bread knife
- Cutting board
Ingredients for Japanese Egg Sandwich (Tamago Sand0)
- Japanese milk bread: You can find Japanese milk bread (shokupan – 食パン) in Japanese grocery stores and Japanese and Korean bakeries. Or you can make it from scratch by following my recipe here.
- Butter: The butter makes the sandwich more moist and creamy and is therefore essential to the recipe. You can use salted or unsalted.
- Eggs: Medium to hard boiled works. The quality of the eggs used can make a pretty significant difference on how the egg salad tastes. I would recommend spending a little extra money on pasture raised eggs such as the Vital Farms brand (which is what I use for just about everything) because they taste so much better. I get mine at Whole Foods.
- Japanese mayonnaise: You need Kewpie Mayo to make this sandwich. You can buy Kewpie Mayo in Japanese grocery stores, order it on Amazon, or make it from scratch using my recipe here.
- Salt: I’m using kosher salt but Himalayan pink salt also works. If you are using table salt, use a little less since the grains are smaller than kosher salt.
- Mustard: Yellow mustard makes the flavor pop a little more. Dijon mustard can also be used.
- Ground black pepper: A pinch or you can omit entirely. I’ll leave that one up to you.
How to Make Japanese Egg Sandwich (Tamago Sando)
- Gather all of your kitchen tools and ingredients.
- Place the eggs in a bowl and use a fork to mash them.
- Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper, and continue mashing until the bits of eggs are all about the same size.
- Slice your bread and spread butter on all four slices.
- Spread egg salad on 2 slices and top with the other 2 slices of bread.
- Cut each sandwich in half and serve.
- Add 1-2 teaspoons milk for a creamier texture.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon sugar to add a little sweetness.
Popular Konbini Foods
Japanese convenience stores (konbini) are the best in the world.
Anyone who has been to one will tell you that the quality of food served there is as good, if not better than some restaurants. It’s low maintenance food done extremely well and at a very reasonable price. What also makes konbini store food stand out is the wide range of healthy dishes available such as zaru soba, oden, green salad, boiled kabocha squash, steamed sweet potatoes, and seaweed salad.
Whenever I go to Japan, I always look forward to my first visit at the konbini to see what new drinks or snacks are occupying the aisles and fridges. I can easily spend 20-30 minutes lost in the colorful rows of energy drinks, iced teas, chocolates, cookies, packaged ramen, miso soups, rice balls, sandwiches, and bento boxes.
And when the temperatures rise the ice cream freezer, which is neatly located in the middle of the store, makes it impossible to walk away without at least a handful of treats.
Konbini foods are part of the Japanese culture. They feed the industrious crowds and college students. They help busy and sometimes overwhelmed parents put comforting food on the table. They make it possible for minimum wage workers to eat healthy. And they are so much fun to visit!
Here are some popular konbini foods you can make at home:
- Spaghetti napolitan
- Royal milk tea
- Onigiri (rice balls)
- Zaru soba
- Yakimeshi (fried rice)
- Miso soup
- Castella cake
Did you like this Japanese Egg Sandwich Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Japanese Egg Sandwich (Tamago Sando)
Japanese egg sandwich is a creamy, tangy, light, and tasty snack that’s extremely popular all across Japan.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x
- Category: Sandwiches
- Method: N/A
- Cuisine: Japanese
- 4 slices shokupan (Japanese milk bread, also called Hokkaido bread) – if you cannot find shokupan you can make it from scratch using this recipe
- 4 medium to hard boiled eggs, peeled
- 5 tablespoons kewpie mayo – if you cannot find kewpie mayo you can make it from scratch using this recipe
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (use a little less for table salt, since the grains are smaller)
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
- Ground black pepper
- Put the hard boiled eggs in a bowl and mash with a fork.
- Add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, and stir. Continue mashing until the bits of egg are all about the same size (the smaller the better).
- Butter each slice of bread and spread the egg salad on two slices.
- Top with the other slice and cut the sandwich in half. Serve
- Make it creamier by adding 1-2 teaspoons of milk.
- Make it a little sweet by adding half a teaspoon of sugar.
Storing egg salad: Put the egg salad in an airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 596
- Sugar: 4.6g
- Sodium: 951.9mg
- Fat: 44.2g
- Saturated Fat: 11.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 18g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 30.1g
- Fiber: 1.6g
- Protein: 18.2g
- Cholesterol: 402.8mg
Keywords: lunch, tamago sando, conbini food
Fingers get very messy from the butter. But it’s still very good.
With the exception of the use of shokupan, this is exactly the recipe that my daughter and I developed a few weeks ago. We started using Kewpie Mayo about a year ago. Here in Hawaii, it’s readily available at Walmart. Anyway, we love these sandwiches. Next time I am at Don Quijote, Marukai, or at Ala Moana where they have two Brug Hokkaido bakeries, I’ll grab some shokupan to see if we can make it even better!
I’m so envious of you Frank! I love Don Quixote in Honolulu! ❤️
If you can get shokupan or make it, you will get the authentic taste. But a word to the wise. This surprised me the most! I went to my local grocery store and was glad to see that they were selling Kewpie mayonnaise. When I made my egg sando, there was something missing in the taste. Lo and behold, the Kewpie mayonnaise was made in USA not Japan! Tasting the mayo on it’s own, there was the culprit to may odd taste. Just an FYI, when you buy Kewpie mayo, make sure it’s made in Japan or follow Pickled Plum’s recipe.
Good point Margaret! I think American Kewpie mayo doesn’t contain any msg and that’s why it tastes so different. Thanks for sharing your tip, I will also make sure to double check where it’s from next time I buy it! 🙂
After you guys mentioned that the American Kewpie is different than the Japanese Kewpie, I took a look at what I had. Interestingly, the Kewpie I bought at Costco (little bottles shaped like the traditional Kewpie bottles but much firmer plastic) says that it’s made in America but the Kewpie I bought at Walmart (larger bottle made of thinner, floppier plastic) says “Product of Japan”. So, look around, different places might have different Kewpies!
I love to cook
But i really need to eat more healthy foods.
And i always have been drawn to Asian way of cooking or any meal cooked full of flavor and more vegetables.