I used to hate sandwiches. No really, like HATE. It’s a strong word but it completely sums up my former feelings for them.
That’s because my dad used to make our sandwiches for school lunches in the following manner: White bread. Yellow mustard. Meat (usually ham). American cheese. The end. And so it went every. single. day.
I’m not sure where the inspiration for this recipe came from, but it did come to me, like a beacon of spicy veggie-filled sandwich hope. I have learned to love the sandwich in my adult years, and I do think having ingredients like homemade multigrain bread, fresh vegetables and sriracha-spiced mayo help. It’s all about the build of the sandwich, really. You need very fresh, crisp vegetables (like thin-sliced cucumber). You need some tang (in this case, it comes in the form of quick-pickled carrots, daikon radish and red onion). You need good bread (see previous “homemade multigrain bread”). And you need a killer sauce (enter: sriracha mayo with a splash of lime and soy sauce). Pile it high, repeat layers, eat immediately. Repeat if necessary. Learn to love the sandwich one spicy bite at a time.
I should warn you, the spicy Thai veggie sandwich is not for ones who can’t take the heat. The cool cucumber offsets some of the spice, but there is plenty to go around with the jalapeno pepper and sriracha. I suggest going light on both of those ingredients if you need a milder sandwich, or nixing the jalapeno altogether. However, for those of us who like to live on the edge of Sandwichdom, proceed as directed. You’ll fall in love with the way the heat and coolness and crunch play together. It’s almost enough to make me forget those ham and American cheese sandwiches. Shudder.
Ladies and gents, THIS is how you sandwich.
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup peeled and diced (into matchstick pieces) carrot
- ¼ cup peeled and diced (into matchstick pieces) daikon radish
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 8 slices multigrain bread
- ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
- 8 sprigs cilantro leaves
- Make the quick-pickled veggies: In small saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar, sugar and water to boil. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
- Add diced and sliced veggies to cooled vinegar mixture. Set aside 30 minutes (if longer, transfer to airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use).
- Meanwhile, make mayo: In small bowl, stir mayonnaise, sriracha, lime juice and soy sauce to combine. Optional tip: Add more mayo or sriracha for desired level of spiciness.
- Assemble sandwiches: Spread sriracha mayo on one side of sliced bread. Top with thin layer of cucumbers, then top with pickled vegetables. Top with thin layer of jalapeno pepper, then 2 sprigs cilantro. Drizzle more mayo on top, then repeat layers. Spread more mayo on another slice of bread and place on top, mayo-side down. Repeat to make 4 sandwiches.