My favorite places to eat a chinese sesame sandwich are in holes in the walls. Those places where if you weren't looking you would miss it and if you were looking you would just think that it was just a back door to nowhere. Those kinds of places in chinatown, flushing, or 8th ave are the places to get food. They have about 10 chairs and 3 tables but serve the best food. Among those foods are dumplings, scallion pancakes, and sesame bread stuff with meat. The bread is warm, fluffy and covered in toasted sesame seeds. Once you order, they slice it open and fill it with tender meat off the flattop and add slap of the famous sweet and salty hoisin sauce. Its so simple and delicious that it hits the spot like nothing else can. The combination of the three things together is just pure bliss.
I, of course, added a couple extra things like shredded napa cabbage for a good crunch and some scallion because I LOVE scallions but you can dress up your sandwich however you'd like as long as you have the three components of bread, meat, and sauce.
chinese five spiced beef sandwich
10 inch circle sandwich that gets cut into 4 pieces (8 if you want to share with more people)
for the bread:
· 350 grams of bread flour
· 250 grams of luke warm water
· 3 grams of yeast
· 2 grams of salt
· 1 tablespoon of unroasted sesame seeds
for the beef:
· 1 tablespoon of oil
· 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
· 2 cloves of garlic, minced
· 3 stalks of scallion, separate into white & green piles
· 1 lb thinly sliced beef
· 1 teaspoon of chinese five spice powder
· salt & pepper to taste
· the green pile of scallion from the beef
· 1 cup of thinly shredded napa cabbage
· 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
for the bread:
In a large bowl combine the bread flour, water, salt & yeast together. It will be a shaggy dough but don't worry about it. Leave it there for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes come back, dip one hand in water, and give the dough one "bowl fold". This is where you fold a part of the dough into itself, then rotate the bowl 90 degrees, then repeat until you have folded over all the "corners" of the dough. This video helps explain what I mean. Skip to 0:55!
After you finished your book fold, leave it for another 20 minutes then come back and do one more book fold. Leave it to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 of an hour to double in size.
Once the time is up, heat up a cast iron pan (mine is 10 inches) to medium heat with a bit of oil and turn the oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the dough is in the bowl, sprinkle half of the sesame seeds onto the dough then flip the dough out of the bowl right into the heated up cast iron pan. Let it cook for 5 minutes turning occasionally to distribute heat evenly.
While the dough is frying, sprinkle sesame seeds onto the bottom (now the top of the dough) so that both side are covered with sesame seeds.
Flip the dough over and let it cook for another 5 minutes. To finish it off place it in the oven for 25 minutes.
Once its done take it out to let it cool down.
for the beef:
Bring a large skillet or wok to high heat and add in the tablespoon of oil. Once this gets really hot drop in the ginger, garlic, and the white parts of the scallion. Give it a stir.
Next, drop in the 1 pound of thinly sliced beef and spread it out evenly. You don't want it to steam you want it to fry. So if need beef cook it in batches. Im not that dedicated so I never cook in batches but if you are then cook it in batched because it will come out crispy and delicious.
As the beef cook, sprinkle in the one teaspoon of chinese five spice, salt & pepper. Give it a turn and cook until you no longer see red.
for the assembly:
Start by slicing your sesame bread in half so that you have two circles.
Then start with spreading the hoisin sauce on the bottom, then add all the beef, sprinkle the scallions on, and finally top it off with the napa cabbage.
Pop the lid on that sucker and slice it into 4, 8, or how ever many pieces you want.
Products that helped me create this recipes
What's included: 1/2 cup of crushed aleppo pepper
Mini Review: At least once a year me and my family make our way to the Savory Spice Shop in New Jersey just to restock our spice pantry. We pick up things from supreme saigon cinnamon, to Peruvian spice, and even black pepper corns. I love taking a trip out there picking up all the spices that I can't really find near me like aleppo pepper. Its a delicious warm and earthy pepper that goes beautifully with meats like steak! (also carla lalli uses aleppo pepper so I now use aleppo pepper ;) )
What's included: 2.08 ounces of sesame seeds
Mini Review: Finding roasted sesame seeds and even black sesame seeds are always a breeze for me. However, we it comes to raw or unroasted sesame seeds its a hit or miss for me. I don't how or why but whatever. So just in case you have a hard time finding sesame seeds here is a link to the whole foods one!