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A Sandwich a Day: The Yakisoba Pan from Diablo Food Truckz in Seattle
In this great nation 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.
Is there anything more seductively gluttonous than hot starch-on-starch action? In my Atkins-free, Paleo-impure world, no. There is nothing better than taking a mess of tangled Japanese noodles (yakisoba) with chicken and stuffing them inside a hollowed out roll of French bread and calling it a sandwich.
There's nothing balanced about this sandwich, though credit must be given to the lone slice of romaine lettuce, a tiny but powerful element that serves many purposes. It is functional: the crisp, yuzu-dressed leaf offers a pop of brightness, while it keeps the saucy noodles from turning the bread into a soggy mess. It is textural: without the hint of crunch, soft noodles plus soft bread just sounds like something you want to feed to grandpa when his Fixadent is failing. Lastly, it is emotionally supportive: see, it's healthful, you might think, as there are greens in there.
To paraphrase "The Big Lebowski," the lettuce really ties the sandwich together. Sure, we're all here for the wonky-sounding noodles-shoved-in-bread combination that's giving nightmares to sorority girls and Cross-Fitters alike, but the combination works because the bread stays firm and the noodles collapse in a slightly overcooked heap, allowing the teriyaki chicken to cozy up inside as you squish the sandwich into an edible shape. The icing on the ridiculous Japanese-food-combination cake is that the whole thing is topped off not only with the standard spicy aioli sauce, but also with your choice of three additional custom sauces: citrus jalapeño, habanero, or the ghost-pepper-spiked Holy Smoke.
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About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food writer and marketer. Find more of her musings on her food blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. You can also follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome.