Japanese sandwiches

Many first-time visitors to Japan who buy a sandwich in a Japanese convenience store are surprised to discover that the crusts are missing.

Japanese sandwiches are typically made with fluffy, white milk bread, known as shokupan 食パン, and baked into square loaves.

While some convenience store sandwiches may have crusts still attached, there's one brand of sandwich that never does, and that's the ランチパック "Lunch Pack" series from Yamazaki Baking Co., Ltd., a long-running bestseller since 1984.

As you can see in the photo below showing the peanut-flavored version, these sandwiches are pressure-sealed on all four sides.

毒島みるく, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lunch Pack is readily available at convenience stores and supermarkets. Just the right size for breakfast or a quick snack, they're very popular, with new flavors coming out all the time. The sealed form-factor is very convenient since it helps prevent the contents from spilling out.

Make your own Lunch Pack-style sandwiches

We would like to introduce a quick lifehack for making your very own "Lunch Pack-style" sandwiches at home, without any specialized equipment or tools.

In this case, they're smaller than the usual size, so you can serve them as appetizers, have them as finger food, or even give them to small kids since they're fun and easy to hold.

What you'll need

  • 2 thin slices of white bread, preferably Japanese shokupan milk bread. (The New York Times has a good recipe here if you want to make your own)
  • Fillings of your choice (jam, honey, peanut butter, Nutella, pâté, tapenade, hummus, cream cheese, etc.) that can be spread thinly

Photo by Grape

Spread a thin layer of the filling on one slice of bread. Be careful not to apply too much here, or the filling will spill out when cutting the bread into small pieces.

In this case, we decided to make it with honey.

Sandwich it with another slice of bread, wrap it in plastic wrap, and microwave it for 10 to 20 seconds. When it's warm (not hot) and soft to the touch, you're ready for the next step.

Photo by Grape

Using a chopstick, press down along the four sides of the bread as shown in the photo above to make the bread stick together. Work as soon as the bread has warmed up, since the slices are less likely to stick together when they cool down.

Photo by Grape

Using the same method as you did for the four sides, make additional lines to create the size you desire. In this case, we made quarters.

Once the bread slices are well sealed, cut the sandwich along the lines with a kitchen knife to separate them.

Photo by Grape

You're done!

We recommend smooth fillings so the sandwiches are easy to cut apart.

Why not make these cute mini sandwiches when you can afford to take a little extra time?

Since they're sealed, they're easy to take along and enjoy wherever you go.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.