Missouri's St Paul Sandwich Offers A Handheld Take On Chinese Food

St. Paul sandwich
St. Paul sandwich - vahnilla/Instagram

While you may not have ever considered putting an entire omelet between two slices of bread, the idea isn't so farfetched when you think about it. Breakfast sandwiches generally contain some sort of egg, along with protein, cheese, tomato, and whatever else you desire. It's even considered a culinary delight when you place a fried egg in a sandwich or on a burger. So the fact that someone came up with the St. Paul sandwich, starring everyone's favorite Chinese omelet, egg foo young, isn't too surprising.

"On paper, it makes no sense. Who wants eggs and mayo and lettuce and tomato together on white bread? But it works," executive chef Ben Welch told St. Louis-based Sauce Magazine. If you've never heard of the sandwich, it's most likely because it's a St. Louis, Missouri, specialty. According to TV news station KSDK, the handheld take on Chinese food was created in the 1940s by Chinese-American chef Steven Yuen, who worked at Lafayette Square's Park Chop Suey.

After putting the egg foo young patty in between mayo-covered white bread slices along with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, the St. Paul sandwich -- named after Yuen's hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota -- was born.

Read more: 15 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Eggs

A Popular Variation Is Loaded With Multiple Proteins

St. Paul sandwich
St. Paul sandwich - thechefsview/Instagram

St. Louis is known for a lot of quirky or distinctive foods, from its unique barbecue rib sauce to its Provel-topped pizzas, but a true St. Louisan knows the St. Paul sandwich is one of the best and most unique handheld sandwiches the city has to offer.

While the original recipe is satisfying as it is, most St. Louis restaurants that make the St. Paul sandwich have an entire section of the menu dedicated to its many variations. Fortune Express, which has been open since 1998, gives customers the option of adding pork, ham, or vegetables, or going all in with the Special Sandwich, which is loaded with chicken, beef, and shrimp. Mai Lee's Special St. Paul sandwich includes a combination of pork, beef, chicken, ham, and shrimp on top of the standard ingredients, but co-owner Qui Tran says all of its St. Paul sandwiches are pretty popular. "It's like a cult thing," he told Sauce Magazine. Some restaurants, like Park Chop Suey and Delmar Lee's, also offer duck as an add-on or include gravy or cheese for an extra cost.

One question you may have with the St. Paul sandwich: Doesn't the bread get soggy? Apparently, the best way to avoid the inevitable gooiness that occurs from the combination of grease, egg foo young, and mayo is to eat the sandwich as soon as it's off the grill. Don't dawdle with the St. Paul; eat it while it's nice and hot.

Read the original article on Mashed.