Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Argentine Everything Sandwich

There’s nothing quite like a great sandwich. This is a re-creation of one I had in the tiny town of Tilcara, in the province of Jujuy. It features the Argentine staple Milanesa, which is a piece of protein (usually meat) pounded very thin, then breaded and fried. This milanesa, instead of the usual steak or veal, is made of textured soy protein.

Here are a few photos from my trip:
Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina
La Cascada in Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina
After hiking all day, my traveling companions and I were completely famished. We were thrilled to find an adorable vegetarian open air sandwich shop. The sandwiches were very tasty and the price was right: These loaded sandwiches cost us about $4 each. They were incredibly delicious, with each ingredient adding to the overall effect. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but somehow they reminded me a little of the Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwiches I eat whenever I’m in Houston, TX, and have been craving. I added pickled vegetables to my version in honor of my beloved Banh Mi sandwiches.

Did I mention they were good? So good I had to go back for a second one. So good that that still wasn’t enough, I had to recreate it at home.

Highlights: Hearty whole wheat bread, soy milanesa with its unctuous flavor, crunchy exterior and soft slightly chewy interior, fried egg, fresh green lettuce, beautiful sliced tomato, melty cheese, and crunchy slightly-sour pickled vegetables.
(recipe after the jump!)

  • Soy Milanesa / Milanesa de soja
    (this is surprisingly similar in flavor and texture to Quorn brand Chik Patties. I’d recommend either buying that or another chicken-inspired veggie burger or making your own using this recipe by Rebecca at From Argentina with Love)
  • Fried eggs
    (1 per sandwich)
  • Bread for the sandwiches
    (Use a nice hearty whole wheat or a ciabatta)
  • Sliced white cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Pickled carrots and cucumbers
    (recipe follows) 
  • If making the milanesas from scratch do that first. 
(These are mine)

  • Turn on your oven’s broiler and let it heat up about 15 minutes, then broil the bread for about 5 minutes to give it a crispy crunch. Remove bread from oven, top with cheese, and return to oven for 5 or 10 more minutes, or until it’s nice and melty. 
  • While the broiler is going, fry the eggs and cook the milanesas in a hot frying pan according to Rebecca’s directions or Chik pattie or other veggie burger according to package directions. 
  • Place milanesa or veggie pattie onto bread and cheese, then top with lettuce, tomato, carrots, cucumber, onions, and garlic. 
---Bonus Recipe---

Quick-Pickled Vegetables

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ of 1 onion
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Cut carrot and cucumbers into matchsticks. Thinly slice onion.

  • In a clean 1-pint jar, (I like to use an old pickle or jam jar) combine vinegar, water, bay leaf, salt, and sugar, and shake until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Add cucumber, carrot, onion, and garlic. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 1 week. 

  • This will make enough for around 5 sandwiches. Can be stored in jar for up to 1 week.


  1. I really enjoy to read your blog. Thanks for add me on foodbuzz, so, I had a chance to know your blog. Have a nice day

  2. Your photos are stunning! Great post, thanks for sharing =]

  3. Gorgeous photos!! Love your blog and so glad to be a new follower! xoxo

  4. That's hands down the best-looking soy milanesa I've ever seen. ¡Buen provecho!

  5. Beautiful photos Kendall!! I'll try these without the eggs (Im veg)...will let you know how it goes :-).

  6. Your sandwich looks very tasty! I am always on the lookout for great Lenten recipes. I really could eat this for breakfast! Thanks for sharing.

  7. That sandwich sounds amazing!! I also loooove those photos of your hiking trip...looks like a fantastic place!

  8. Fried egg FTW!! I expect to have one of these when you're back in the states =)