Last updated on November 28th, 2022 at 04:24 pm
Make this mouthwatering Sabich for a vegan twist on the traditional Israeli breakfast sandwich. With roasted eggplant, potato, creamy legumes and a fresh Israeli salad, it's easy to make, great for food prepping and lick-the-plate delicious.
This recipe was originally posted on May 21, 2016 and updated June 13, 2021 with process images, ingredient substitutions and recipe shortcuts.
What is Sabich ?
If you haven't tried a sabich sandwich you are in for a treat.
Sabich or Sabih is Israeli street food made by stuffing pita with fried eggplant and hard boiled eggs. Traditionally the sandwich also has pickles, tahini sauce, hummus, cabbage and Israeli Amba sauce. Some versions - like the one I'm sharing today - use potatoes.
Sabich is traditionally a breakfast food but you can enjoy it any meal of the day.
Why We Love This Recipe
This vegan sandwich is a taste explosion bursting with texture and flavour. Hands down, this sabich is one of our favourite things to eat.
- Sabich is great for meal prepping, everything can be made ahead and pulled together as needed.
- It's easy to make.
- It works for any meal of the day. Sabich was originally a breakfast food!
- It's completely customisable - traditionally it includes cabbage but I prefer Israeli salad or even tabbouleh!
- It has the best textures. Seriously, grab a napkin and get ready to have your tastebuds blown.
How to Eat a Sabich
A word on etiquette. Sabich is 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. Ignore the stares, take a huge bite and whatever you do, don't mention the glob of hummus on your chin.
Eggplant. I use two medium-size globe eggplants but you can use Italian (use 3) or even Japanese eggplant (use 6-7). If you use a smaller eggplant like the Japanese, reduce your roasting time by around 10-minutes.
Legumes. Depending on what I have in the pantry, I make my sabich with either cooked chickpeas or white beans. The legumes are smashed together with mayonnaise, black salt and a little harissa to mimic the texture of traditional eggs.
Potatoes. Choose a potato that is good for boiling. I use Ruby Lou potatoes from my local store but Sebago and Desiree will work too. Northern hemisphere friends can use Yukon Gold or Red Bliss.
Israeli Salad. Israeli salad is simply made with chopped cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, mint, parsley, lemon and olive oil. If you don't have cherry tomatoes, dice a large ripe tomato instead.
Time-Saving Tip. buy pre-made tabbouleh instead of making your own Israeli salad. It's not traditional but it's quick and delicious.
Amba Sauce (optional). A staple Israeli condiment, amba sauce is made with pickled mango. You'll often find it served on sabich but I don't tend to use it. If you'd like to try it, Amy at "What Jew Wanna Eat" has a great quick amba sauce recipe.
Harissa. Harissa is a North African (Tunisia) chilli paste made with chillies, citrus, oil and warming spices. It is slightly smoky, slightly sweet, with a hint of tang. Harissa can be found in the international aisle of some supermarkets but you may have to check online or at speciality grocery stores. In a pinch, I have used sriracha - it doesn't have the smoke but you'll get a little heat.
You could also try a good dollop of Shatta chilli paste too.
How to Make Sabich
You'll find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
While there are a few elements in Sabich, they all come together at the same time.
For the Eggplant
Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Slice the eggplant globes in to 1-inch slices and pop them in a large bowl. Massage the slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven for around 30-minutes, turning them over half-way.
For the Potatoes
Step 2: While the eggplant is roasting, peel the potatoes and pop them in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by an inch. Salt the water with a good pinch of salt and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-minutes or until you can pierce the potato with a fork. Strain the potatoes and set them aside to cool. Once cooled, slice then in to 1cm slices.
Make The Israeli Salad
Step 3: For the Israeli salad, cut your cherry tomatoes in to eighths, cut the cucumber in to small cubes, dice the onion and chop the mint and parsley. Combine all the ingredients, including the lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper in in bowl. Taste and adjust as needed.
To Make The "Egg" Mixture
Step 4: In a medium bowl, mix together the beans/chickpeas, mayonnaise, kala namak and harissa paste together, mashing some of the legumes as you go.
Assembling the Sabich
Step 5: To make the sabich, smear a good dollop of hummus on one side of a pita. Cover half the pita with a layer of sliced potato. Slice the pickled cucumber in to ½ cm slices and lay them over the potato using a whole pickle per sandwich. Spoon 2 tablespoons of white bean mix on to the pickle.Add 2-3 tablespoons of cooked eggplant.Add a few heaped tablespoons of the salad and fold the pita in half and serve.
And that's it. This recipe makes enough for 4-5 good-sized sabich making it perfect for meal-prepping or a family meal. It's healthy, quick, full-bodied and so, so delicious. Full of creamy textures mixed with the acidity of pickles and an Israeli salad, this is a classic you'll want again and again. Enjoy, x.
If you use gluten-free pita and the Israeli salad - rather than tabbouleh - you can make a gluten-free sabich.
Sabich is great to make ahead and meal-prepping. The fillings will keep in separate containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Sabich is pronounced "saab-eeck" - "saab" like the car and "eeck" has a kind of guttural sound to it. You can hear it here.
If you like this sabich recipe, you will love:
Hungry for More Plant-Based Goodness? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the latest news and updates. If you like this recipe, please check out my cookbook. Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family is full of simple, carnivore-approved family recipes.
Sabich | Israeli Breakfast Sandwich
For the Vegetables
- 2 medium globe eggplants or 4 small
- pinch sea salt
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 potatoes see recipe notes for varieties
For the Israeli Salad
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes around 12 tomatoes
- 1 Lebanese cucumber diced, or a small English cucumber
- ½ red onion peeled and diced
- ½ cup fresh mint well chopped
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley well chopped
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- lemon juice begin with the juice of ½ a lemon and add to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
For the "Egg Mixture"
- 400 g canned white beans or chickpeas drained and rinsed well
- 3 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- ¼ -½ teaspoon harissa paste more if your like it hotter
- ¼ teaspoon kala namak (Indian Black Salt) (optional)
- 4 whole dill pickles sliced
- 5 pita bread pockets
- ¾ cup hummus
- Amba sauce (optional)
- harissa or hot sauce
For the Eggplant
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Slice the eggplant globes in to 1-inch slices and pop them in a large bowl. Massage the slices with olive oil making sure to coat them all well. If you need more oil, add it. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven for around 30-minutes, turning them over half-way. We want the eggplants soft in the centre and beginning to golden. Remove them from the oven when done.
For the Potato
- While the eggplant is roasting, peel the potatoes (cut them in half if they are large) and pop them in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by at least an inch. Salt the water with a good pinch of salt and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Reduce the water to a simmer and cook for 10-minutes or until you can pierce the potato with a fork. Strain the potatoes and set aside.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in to 1cm (½-inch) thick rounds.
For the Israeli Salad
- To make the salad, cut your cherry tomatoes in to eighths, dice the cucumber, finely dice the onion and chop the mint and parsley well. Combine all the ingredients, including the lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl and stir well. Taste and adjust as needed.
For the "Egg" Mixture
- In a medium bowl, mix together the beans/chickpeas, mayonnaise, kala namak and harissa paste together, mashing some of the legumes as you go.
To Assemble the Sabich
- Slice the dill pickles in to vertical slices around ½ cm thick.
- Lay the pitas out on a board or plate to build the Sabich sandwich and 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 and spoon a few tablespoons of the "egg" mixture on to the pickle followed by 2-3 slices of eggplant.
- Add 2 heaped tablespoons of the Israeli salad. Add Amba sauce (optional) and hot sauce (also optional).
- Fold the pita in half and serve.