Serious Eats

A Sandwich a Day: Braised Pork with Peanuts and Sour Mustard Greens at Taiwan Cafe, Boston

In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Meredith Smith]

Momofuku might have made steamed pork buns cool (if not small and expensive), but there are still places where they fulfill their original goal: a cheap, delicious, workingman's lunch. I like to think of the Braised Pork With Peanuts and Sour Mustard Greens In Steamed Bun ($3.75) from Boston's Taiwan Cafe as something like a Chinese Reuben. It's got the same basic flavor profile.

Pork belly slow cooked in a sweet soy-based sauce is as rich, meaty, and meltingly tender as the best corned beef. Pickled mustard greens are sharp and sour with a wasabi-like heat and the pungent aroma of braised cabbage takes the place of the sauerkraut, while sweet crumbled fried peanuts and a sprinkle of sugar add the sweetness and fattiness of Thousand Island dressing. The bread is a fresh steamed and folded bing-style bun, yeasty and tender.

At $3.75, it's a far better option than any of the $11 sandwich joints in downtown (this is Boston—you can walk to Chinatown from downtown during your lunch break), and a good break from the other sub-$4 lunch options (those would be the bánh mì).

Taiwan Café

34 Oxford Street, Boston MA 02111 (map); 617-426-8181

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