Vietnamese baguette sandwiches are one of the country's greatest culinary exports, but among the canon of East Asian breaded eats, they can be real attention hogs -- it's always mi, mi, mi.

To show that Eastern Asia isn't a one-bun pony, we've compiled a list of nine other sandwiches that deserve a place in your mouth.

Rou jia mo

The meat: Most often stewed pork or lamb in gravy, but can really be almost any type of meat
The toppings: Cucumber, lettuce, herbs, chili sauce
The bread: "Mo", a type of wheat flatbread traditionally baked in a clay or mud oven, but now often fried, because frying is way better

With a birth date around 221BC, many claim this Qin Dynasty creation to be the first sandwich in history (suck it, Earl).


Katsu sando

The meat: Egg- and panko-battered, deep-fried pork cutlet
The toppings: Cabbage, grated daikon, Worcestershire, mustard
The bread: Plain white bread, often cut a la little kid -- or as it's more commonly called, "crustless"

Invented in 1899 at a Tokyo restaurant that's still in operation to this day, the katsu sando is most often sold in bento boxes at convenience stores or train stations, which are coincidentally some of the crustiest places in the world (except where bread is concerned).


Yakisoba pan

The meat: Pan-fried wheat noodles similar to ramen, tossed with pork
The toppings: Carrot, dried seaweed, bell pepper, mayo, pickled ginger
The bread: Hot dog bun

Another convenience-shop staple popular with school children, the yakisoba pan is often served cold and can be reheated in a microwave. According to a song from the popular anime series Kill Me Baby, the sandwich is best enjoyed with others and doesn't quite taste the same when eaten alone.

Flickr/Alexander Synaptic

Roti john

Singapore and Malaysia
The meat: Minced chicken or mutton
The toppings: Egg, onion, sardines, tomato-chili sauce
The bread: Baguette

Invented by a stall in Singapore in 1976 to appeal to traveling Caucasians, an egg mixture is spread on the insides of a baguette and fried, creating a crispy interior to pile with more ingredients.

Flickr/eazy traveler

Coffin sandwich (guan cai ban)

The meat: A thick stew of pork, shrimp, intestines, and other mixed proteins
The toppings: Potatoes, carrots, corn
The bread: Thick, deep-fried slice of bread that's cut open at the top like a box

Although it's often eaten with a knife and fork, this sandwich is a ubiquitous street food in Tainan's night markets. Despite its foreboding English translation, guan cai is actually a term for earning a promotion and acquiring wealth.


Itim khanom pang

The meat: Ice cream!
The toppings: Sweet sticky rice, roasted peanuts
The bread: Hot dog bun

In Bangkok, an ice cream sandwich is literally that. A large scoop of ice cream wedged into a bun that's been buttered with sticky rice, then barraged with toppings like roasted peanuts. These are seldom seen in the States, but have recently been popularized by the heralded Portland/NYC Thailanders at Pok Pok.

Flickr/Jay del Corro

Gua bao

The meat: Braised pork belly
The toppings: Pickled mustard greens, cilantro, peanuts, cucumbers
The bread: Steamed sugar-dough slider roll

Chef Eddie Huang called the bao the quintessential Taiwanese sandwich (to the dismay of coffin bread fanatics everywhere), and we usually believe everything we see on TV.

Flickr/S M Kelly

Donkey burger

The meat: Chopped donkey meat, often served cold
The toppings: Green peppers, cilantro, side of gravy for dipping
The bread: Flaky bun

A delicacy from China's seventh largest city (Baoding... take the population of NYC and add 3mill), the donkey burger became popular as a cheap substitute for horse meat in the 1400s. There's a popular saying that "in heaven there is dragon meat, on earth there is donkey meat". In addition to normal and lean versions of the sandwich, many vendors sell a "donkey penis burger" with meat comprised from the three treasures of the donkey: the intestines, testicles, and penis.

Flickr/Graham Hills


South Korea
The meat: Marinated slices of beef often grilled over an open flame
The toppings: Lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese optional
The bread: Sesame seed bun

Bulgogi's an essential part of any Korean BBQ meal, and, while it's often eaten fresh off a grill with a smorgasbord of banchan side dishes, it has also been adopted into Korea's version of a fast-food burger at chains like Lotteria, where it can be purchased in a McDonald's-emulating sesame seed bun, but also between a pair of crispy rice circles.

Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. He has a newfound respect for Google's obscenity filters after performing an image search for "donkey penis burger". Follow him to his really weird browser history at @Dannosphere.



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