Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich (Tamago Sando)

A rich yellow egg salad sandwich on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with edible flowers.

Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich or Tamago Sando, is a simple, yet elegant egg sandwich. This popular Japanese recipe contains very few ingredients, yet makes a special, soul-satisfying snack or lunch with a unique flavour you won’t soon forget. 

Eggs are a unique and perfect ingredient. You can dress them up, use them in a recipe to add texture and flavour, or serve them on their own with very few additional ingredients. Simple recipes like Sous Vide Egg Bites and Classic Pickled Eggs allow the egg to the be the star of the show, while highlighting its versatility.

Disclosure: This post is made possible by Egg Farmers of Alberta. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Two rich yellow egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with a hard boiled egg and edible flowers.

Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich (Tamago Sando)

One look at this simple Japanese sandwich might leave you wondering why it is so special. However, behind that crust-less, mashed-egg appearance lies a culinary marvel. Let that sink in. A sandwich that you can get at any convenience store in Japan is among one of the most enlightening culinary epiphanies you can have.

The beginning of this transformational egg sandwich experience starts with the bread. It is light, it is airy and when you eat shokupan bread, it is like eating clouds amongst the gods. Too far? I think not, especially when I’m waxing poetic about egg salad sandwiches.

Beyond the bread, lies a sea of dreamy egg salad filling accented with the creamy, slightly tangy flavour of Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise, a seasoning of salt and just a touch of sugar. Like an angel’s kiss, you don’t even know it’s there.

Two rich yellow egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with a hard boiled egg and edible flowers.

What is a Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich?

It’s hard to believe that something so simple can be so perfect, yet here we are. The Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich, or Tamago Sando, is a marvel to (be)hold. But what is a Tamago (the Japanese word for egg) Sando (a shortened version of Sandoitchi, the Japanese world for sandwich) and why is it so special?

It is essentially, hard boiled eggs, simply seasoned then mixed with Japanese style Kewpie mayonnaise and served between two crust-less slices of sweet milk bread. The bulk of the magic lies in the creamy texture supplied by the rich yolk mixture dotted with little bits of chopped egg white.

The dreamy texture of the egg salad filling carries forward into the light texture of the shokupan milk bread. It’s love at first bite when you bite into the tender bread, unhindered by crusts, of this decadent sandwich.

Four rich yellow egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with a hard boiled egg and edible flowers.

What is the Difference Between American and Japanese Egg Sandwich?

The primary differences between American style and Japanese style egg salad sandwiches lies in the ingredients.

American egg salad is served (sometimes accompanied by lettuce) on regular sandwich bread, fresh baked buns, or even in croissants. It consists of mashed hard-boiled eggs combined with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and sometimes paprika and chopped green onions. 

Japanese egg salad contains very few but very specific ingredients. Hard boiled eggs are separated into yolks and whites, and both are prepared separately. The light seasoning of salt and sugar goes into the Kewpie mayonnaise whipped yolks just before the diced whites are folded in.

Ingredients required to make Japanese Egg Salad.

Finally, Japanese egg salad is served only on Japanese milk bread, or shokupan, for the ultimate sandwich experience.

Key Ingredients for Japanese Egg Sandwich

Let’s explore the key ingredients for this recipe. Besides the eggs, the two most important ingredients are shokupan milk bread and Kewpie mayonnaise. Both are specialty ingredients you can find at most Asian supermarkets. Other ingredients are salt and pepper and sometimes a bit of milk or cream.

That said, you may have to go to a Japanese bakery to source this special bread. If you can’t find milk bread at all, use brioche bread and forgo the added sugar. Don’t forget to cut the crusts cut off!

Two white bowls filled mayonnaise showing the difference in colour and texture between Kewpie Mayonnaise and Hellman's Mayonnaise.
Kewpie Mayonnaise made with yolks only vs. Hellman’s made with whole eggs

Kewpie Japanese Mayonnaise

Kewpie is a Japanese brand of mayonnaise known for its umami rich flavour and creamy texture. Unlike American style whole egg mayonnaise, it contains only egg yolks and a unique blend of vinegars, salt, and vegetable oils. While true Japanese kewpie contains MSG, the product exported to America does not.

You will find Kewpie mayonnaise in a variety of Japanese and Asian dishes, including egg and potato salad, coleslaw, chicken salad and as a drizzle on top of sushi, karaage, takoyaki, okinomiyaki, and other Japanese dishes.

Shokupan Japanese Milk Bread

Japanese milk bread, or shokupan is a light textured Japanese bread used primarily to make egg salad (tamago sando), fried pork cutlets (katsu sando) and creamy fruit filled sandwiches. Though it is not a ‘traditional’ Japanese food, this post WWII food staple quickly became a beloved food item in Japan.

Process images showing how to make yolk mixture for Japanese Egg Salad Sandwiches.
The creamiest egg yolk mixture.

Shokupan has a sweet flavour and fluffy cloud-like texture (known as fuwa fuwa in Japan). While it contains the usual bread ingredients: flour, whole milk, butter, yeast, salt, sugar and often eggs, it is the tangzhong baking technique that creates the unique texture.

For the non-bakers out there… the bread is made with a tangzhong or cooked roux which is allowed to cool, then mixed into the dough. This gives the dough a unique sticky texture and helps extend the shelf life of the bread.

Two process images showing how to fold cooked egg white cubes into cream yolk mixture.
Fold in those cooked egg whites!

How to make a Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich

Though this appears to be an easy egg sandwich recipe, the key to making the perfect Japanese sandwich is in the details. In addition to a few key Japanese ingredients, the unique creamy texture is the result of a unique technique.

While it is easiest to mash the boiled eggs and mayonnaise together then call it a day, we’re going to dive a little deeper into the method that makes these the king of egg salad sandwiches. 

The first step is to make the hard-boiled eggs. Feel free to insert your own method here, however, keep in mind that the eggs for this recipe should be fully cooked, yet have yolks that still retain a smooth, not chalky texture.

Process image showing various stages of creating a Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich.
Don’t forget the butter!

Boiling the Eggs – Stove Top Method

Hard boiling an egg might seem easy, however there are a few key factors to consider to achieve boiled egg perfection. For this stove top method, start with cold eggs right from the fridge. Place the cold eggs in a medium saucepan and cover completely with warm water. 

Next, bring the eggs to a rolling boil then quickly turn the heat down so they cook at a gentle simmer. Listen for the intensity of the boil and if you can hear the eggs bouncing, turn them down. Boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Note that this time may vary according to altitude. 

Once the eggs are done cooking, immediately drain off the boiling water and plunge the eggs into a boil of ice water. Allow them to cool for 15 minutes before peeling.

Four rich yellow egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with a hard boiled egg and edible flowers.

Peeling the Eggs

Everyone has their own method for peeling eggs. Sometimes I crack mine slightly after 5 minutes wait time, then leave them to sit in the cold water for the remaining 10 minutes. Other times, I crack then peel them under running water. Feel free to choose your own method to peel the eggs.

Preparing the Egg Salad

Now, for the magic. We’re going to separate the yolks from the whites and whip them with the Kewpie Mayonnaise and some seasoning. It’s actually very similar to making the yolk filling for deviled eggs. In fact, I highly encourage you to make Japanese style deviled eggs using this technique!

Next, chop up the cooked egg whites into small cubes and fold them into the creamy yolk mixture. That’s it! It’s not difficult but it makes a huge difference in the texture of this sandwich.

Two rich yellow egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with edible flowers.

Assemble the Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich

Lay four slices of shokupan bread on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice off the bread crusts. Do not throw them away! Simply dry them out for a few days then process them into breadcrumbs.

Next, butter the bread with soft salted butter and spread a thick layer of egg salad onto two of the bread slices. Top with the remaining buttered bread slices and use a sharp knife to slice the sandwiches diagonally. Enjoy!

A hand holding a rich yellow egg salad sandwich on fluffy white crust less bread.

How to Store Japanese Egg Sandwich

Store egg sandwiches in the fridge at all times. However, if you make them fresh in the morning, it can last 4-5 hours at room temperature. When properly stored between 35° – 40°F (1.7° – 4° C), egg salad will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Pinterest images featuring yellow egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with edible flowers.

Hi! I’m Bernice Hill, the sole recipe developer, photographer, and writer at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen. It is my pleasure to share easy to follow recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and approachable for the whole family.

If you make this Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich (Tamago Sando) recipe, please leave a comment or recipe rating. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please share your photos and tag me on Instagram. I hope you like this recipe!

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich (Tamago Sando)

Three rich yellow egg salad sandwiches on fluffy white crust less bread on a plate garnished with a hard boiled egg and edible flowers.
Japanese Egg Salad Sandwich or Tamago Sando, is a simple, yet elegant egg sandwich. This popular Japanese recipe contains very few ingredients, yet makes a special, soul-satisfying snack or lunch with a unique flavour you won’t soon forget. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs (plus two more if you want to add a soft boiled egg for each sandwich)
  • 4 Tablespoons Kewpie Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • 4 slices skokupan bread
  • salted butter for the bread

Instructions

    1. Place the cold eggs in a medium saucepan and cover completely with warm water. 
    2. Next, bring the eggs to a rolling boil then quickly turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer the eggs for 10 minutes.* The aim is to hard boil the eggs but leave the yolks smooth, not dry and gritty.
    3. Once the eggs are done cooking, quickly remove from the boiling water and plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water.
    4. Crack eggs slightly after 5 minutes wait time, then leave them to sit in the cold water for the remaining 10 minutes. Or crack then peel the cold eggs under running water.**
    5. Separate the yolks from the whites and whip the yolks with the Kewpie mayonnaise, salt, sugar, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper for seasoning.
    6. Chop the cooked egg whites into small cubes and fold them into the creamy yolk mixture.
    7. Lay four slices of shokupan bread on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice off the bread crusts.***
    8. Next, butter the bread with soft salted butter and spread a thick layer of egg salad onto two of the bread slices. If you are adding a soft boiled egg for each sandwich, spread a thin layer on each side, slice the egg in half and place in the middle of one slice of bread. Top with the other slice.
    9. Top with the remaining buttered bread slices and use a sharp knife to slice the sandwiches diagonally. Umai!

Notes

* Note that this time may vary according to altitude. 

**Feel free to choose your own method to hard boil and peel the eggs.

***Dry discarded crusts for a few days then process them into breadcrumbs.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 661Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 585mgSodium: 1338mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 26g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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24 comments

  1. Fouzia

    I am craving now for an egg salad sandwich after reading your post. The idea of using shokupan milk bread and kewpie mayo is making my mouth water. I am going to look for them in the asian food stores and make this sandwich. Looks so delicious in the pics. Thanks for sharing Bernice.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Fouzia! I just know you’re going to love this sandwich. I’m so jealous you get to try it for the first time.

  2. Jenny

    The best! I made it exactly as you showed (brilliant instructions BTW) with the skokupan bread. kewpie mayo and everything (I have a Japanese grocer downstairs!) and it was the best egg salad sandwich I have ever had. I wished I had guests to make it for them! I can see it as an appetizer cut into smaller pieces, it will probably disappear in seconds! Anyway, thanks SO much Bernice, this sandwich is genius.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes, for sure. You could make them tea sized and serve them at a tea party. You’re so lucky to have a Japanese grocer so close by!

  3. Veronika

    Kewpie mayo has been my favorite ingredient lately so I’ve been looking for more recipes to use it in. Loved it in this egg salad, it was so creamy and so different from the egg salad we usually make. Definitely making it again soon!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      We are really loving it too which is a good thing because I accidentally bought the 1 kg size bottle! OOPS!

  4. Claire

    I’ve never had a Japanese egg salad sandwich but I’m so excited to try this. It sounds delicious! Definitely adding this to the menu for the coming week.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’m so excited for you Claire, I know you’re going to love this egg salad!

  5. Sean

    This recipe takes me back to when I was younger. My grandmother made an egg salad sandwich very similar to this but I never knew the recipe. I am excited to make this.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Grandma’s know all the great egg salad tricks! Happy cooking Sean!

  6. Loreto and Nicoletta

    Wow, We are craving an egg salad sandwich like this. Totally agree with the Japanese way of making things with great ingredients. What a great idea to mix the egg yolks and egg white separately. And yes the Japanese mayo is so rich and creamy! Nice share! 😃 👍! Thanks! ❤️

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I think I’ll be making this sandwich for lunch again today. Shaun is working from home so it’s nice to have someone to share it with. I know you’ll both love it too.

  7. Marie-Pierre Breton

    This fluffy, crustless sandwich will make the kids lose their minds! Perfect lunch and long life to KEWPIE mayo! Interesting the technique of separating the eggs. I’m trying this soon!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I know they will love it… I have never in my life had a crust less sandwich but this is decadence to the max.

  8. Kathryn

    I love tamago and this sandwich had all the same flavors! Making this for lunches again today 🙂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Ahhh me too! I’m so in love. Thank you for letting me know how much you love this recipe Kathryn.

  9. Marta

    I love that your recipe for Japanese egg salad included Kewpie mayo. I feel like it’s a must when making Japanese recipes like this and the egg salad was exceptional because of it.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! Kewpie mayo is definitely a must. I was originally worried when I bought the giant 1 kg bottle of it but since then both my husband and I have realized we prefer it above Hellman’s.

  10. silvia

    My oldest son is learning Japanese and he is interested in the culture and food so I was looking for a recipe I can try at home to surprise him and I found yours. I have an Asian market close by so I need to stop there to get what I need, especially the mayo. I appreciate your very detailed recipe, I’m sure my son will like it.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Amazing. I think he’ll love it for sure. Although, this is one of those American recipe that has become very popular in Japan and uses ingredients originating from there rather than an ‘authentic’ Japanese recipe. It’s similar to how the Japanese fell in love with Italian food, sparking a whole new genre of ‘Japitalia’ food. Still, please introduce him to Kewpie mayonnaise and Shokupan bread… he’ll fall in love for sure!

  11. Elaine

    I need this in my life. I love egg salad and I can’t wait to try this Japanese version! Yum!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      If you already love egg salad you need to try this Elaine! It’s so rich and delicious. A real treat!

  12. Gloria

    This sounds like a basic egg salad with a few gourmet ingredients. I have never heard of kewpie mayonnaise or skokupan bread. I will look for them at the grocery store and give this a try. I love egg salad sandwiches for lunch or dinner.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It is very basic but yes, the ingredients and the technique are what makes this egg salad something special.

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