If you haven’t tried a sabich sandwich you are in for a treat.
A sabich or sabih sandwich is an Israeli sandwich made by stuffing pita with fried eggplant and hard boiled eggs. Traditionally the sandwich also has potatoes, pickles, tahini sauce, hummus, cabbage and Israeli Amba sauce.
I was introduced to sabich a few years ago when I was 110 months pregnant. The husband is a manager-type engineer-y person and we move where the work takes us. When I was full to the brim with infant and close to popping, the job took the husband in to the city – about one and a half hours from home in peak traffic. Given my impending poppage, our little unit; me, the husband, the belly and our two beautiful senior canines moved in to town. We found a small dog-friendly house in an area with a large Orthodox Jewish community.
Here, I began my affair with the sabich sandwich.
During my time in town and the final stages of my pregnancy I lived on two staples. One, an extraordinary vegetarian burrito from a wonderful place called Eat Drink Love Taco and two, sabich sandwiches from Falafel Omisi. I would re-live the last months of my pregnancy, elf pressing on my sciatic nerve and all, to eat these two dishes every day. Maybe. I plan on tickle torturing the owner of Eat Drink for the burrito recipe but for now, I will appease myself with a vegan, slightly non-traditional version of the sabich.
A word on etiquette. Sabich sandwiches are a meal. A real meal. Not a snack, not a light lunch. A meal. It is messy, drippy, oozy and packed with wonderful flavour. Think trying to eat a mango without any utensils and one hand tied behind your back. But better! The etiquette is there is no etiquette. This is culinary fight club, people. Get your gob around the sandwich, ignore the stares and whatever you do don’t mention the glob of hummus on your chin.
My version of the sabich sandwich is vegan and not so traditional. In lieu of egg, I included a white bean/mayo mix and instead of cabbage I used tabbouleh. Also, I added harissa sauce for a good kick. My hummus recipe does the trick but the great thing about this sandwich is that you can buy many of the ingredients ready-made and whip it up in a pinch. I cooked my potatoes the day before and refrigerated them overnight so the only thing left to cook was the eggplant. Simples. The recipe calls for tahini sauce but to be honest, I don’t always include it. The sabich sandwich does traditionally include it but sometimes I am in a bit of a hurry and something’s gotta give. For a more authentic experience, include it.
This sabich sandwich is healthy, quick, full-bodied and so, so delicious. Full of creamy textures mixed with the acidity of pickles and tabouli, this is my absolute favourite sandwich. Enjoy, x.
Sabich Sandwich with a Twist
If you haven't tried a sabich sandwich, you are in for a treat. This is a vegan twist on the traditional Israeli sandwich using white beans instead of egg.
- pita bread pockets
- 2 medium firm potatoes, peeled and boiled.
- 1 medium, young eggplant
- heaped 1/2 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 tablespoon vegan (or regular) mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon harissa paste
- 3 whole dill pickles (1 per pita)
- hummus (around 1/2 cup for 3 pitas)
- tabbouleh salad (around 1/2 cup for 3 pitas)
- tahini sauce (1/3 cup for 3 pittas) (optional)
- sea salt
- olive oil
- Chop eggplant in to 1cm cubes.
- Heat a small fry pan and a good lug of olive oil.
- Season the eggplant with sea salt and cook on low-medium heat until slightly creamy but still holding it's shape. Test to make sure they are not still woody. Continue to cook if needed.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Slice the boiled potatoes in to 1/2 cm thick slices.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the white beans, mayonnaise and harissa paste.
- Slice the dill pickles in to vertical slices around 1/2 cm thick.
- Lay the pitas out to build the sabich sandwich.
- Smear a good amount of hummus on to each bread.
- Cover half the pita with a layer of sliced potato.
- Lay sliced pickle over the potato using 1 whole pickle per sandwich
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of white bean mix on to the pickle.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of cooked eggplant.
- Spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of the tabbouleh.
- Drizzle with tahini sauce (linked recipe in the body of this post). Add more harissa if you like hot.
- Fold the pita in half and serve.