This is the only way you want to be eating wagashi going forward. This locally made cheese, wagashi, is the main star of a very flavourful sandwich. The wagashi is briefly boiled in salted water, battered in a well-seasoned beer batter, coated in panko, and then fried to golden brown perfection.
You can stop there but why would you? So pile on tart quick pickled onions, fresh chopped lettuce, velvety mushrooms cooked in onions, a dash of soy sauce, and a bit of a slurry, plus fantastic roasted garlic, yoghurt, mustard, and honey sauce that takes this sandwich to sandwich heaven.
This mixed salad with wagashi is another way to incorporate wagashi into your everyday food habits. Some other great sandwiches to try are this very filling breakfast baguette or this egg, bacon, and cheese bagel.
Wagashi is the main ingredient for this recipe but the beer batter and panko are just as important. The rest of the ingredients are mainly needed for the assembly of the sandwich and can be switched out. However, the combination of add-ons for this sandwich has been thought through to give a perfect balance. If you are unfamiliar with wagashi, then check out this post where I go into a bit more detail.
The soft and velvety mushrooms added to this sandwich are a perfect contrast to the fried wagashi. The mushrooms are pretty easy to make. Like these mushrooms on bread you simply add a bit of a slurry and some soy sauce and then that is ready for the sandwich.
If you can get ready-made pickled onions then great, but if not mix some water with vinegar (about 1:1), sugar and salt, bring to a boil, let that cool, and then pour on top of the sliced onions. You can do this before you start anything else so that by the time you are ready to put your sandwich together, you have these quick pickled onions ready.
Khebab powder or suya spice is a mix of roasted groundnuts (peanuts), chilli peppers, salt, and other ingredients. This spice mix is usually used for suya or kyikyinga but more recently, it is also added when fried wagashi is served.
First, the wagashi is cooked briefly before anything else is done to it.
Once the cooked wagashi comes out of the boiling water, it is going to be wobbly so take care when handling the slices. Once they cool off, they are back to being firmer, and only then should you go ahead and dip them in the beer batter.
The recipe for the beer batter can be found in this beer-battered shrimp recipe. The only additional ingredient for this beer batter is some khebab/suya/kyikyinga powder (see recipe card). The wagashi slices are then dipped into the batter and then the panko. The panko is not seasoned and doesn't need to be.
The slices are then fried in vegetable oil until golden brown. They have such a beautiful crunch to them. Aren't these just gorgeous?
Once that is ready, the sauce can be made. You can use any sauce that you love: hot sauce, an avocado cream like in this bambara bean burger or just plain old ketchup. This sauce however is perfect for this particular sandwich and so do take the few minutes it takes to make it.
The final step is to assemble the sandwich and then take a huge bite.
- Crisp cabbage - instead of using lettuce, you can thinly shred cabbage and use that for a lovely crisp feel.
- Avocado cream - you can make a light avocado cream like in these bambara bean burgers.
- Sparkling water - If you don't like alcohol in your batter you can use sparkling water.
- Caramelised onions or Crispy onions - you can use either of these instead of pickled onions.
- No batter wagashi - you can fry the wagashi without any batter or panko and it will still taste good. It won't be crunchy, mind you but it will still taste great. Season the wagashi with the dry ingredients in the beer batter to have similar taste results.
Because the wagashi comes out of the oil crispy, you want to eat that while it still holds up its crispiness. I do not advise storing the entire sandwich in the fridge unless you don't mind eating it that way. If there is any leftover wagashi, however, you can store that in the fridge for at least 5 days and reheat it gently in the oven.
You can store the battered and panko-coated fried wagashi slices in the fridge and then heat them in the oven. They will be crispy and ready for the sandwich.
Beer-battered and Panko Crusted Wagashi Sandwich
- wagashi slices
- 1 head garlic roasted
- 2 teaspoons khebab powder
- 1 portion beer batter see notes
- ½ tablespoon mustard
- ½ tablespoon olive oil or any other vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons yoghurt
- coriander leaves chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pickled onions
- panko to coat
- handful lettuce shredded
- vegetable oil for frying
- Slice wagashi into about 1 cm (0.4 inch) slices.
- Add salt to water in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Cook in boiling water for about 3 minutes take out and leave to cool. (See note 1)
- Make beer batter and add the khebab powder.
- Dip the wagashi in the batter and then into the panko.
- Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.
- Mix the yoghurt, mustard, honey, salt, and olive oil together until well combined.
- Add onion powder, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Adjust with more olive oil or salt if necessary.
Assembling the Sandwich
- Place washed and dried lettuce on the bottom of the bun.
- Put the fried wagashi on the bread and then add the sauce, the pickled onions and the mushrooms, and then lastly the top bun.
- When the wagashi is boiled, it becomes very soft, so care should be taken when taking it out.
- You can adjust the sauce as necessary. These measurements will give you a thick sauce that is not drippy.
- The beer batter used for this recipe is the same one used for these beer-battered shrimp
- Khebab or Kykyinga in Ghana refers to skewers of tender beef, goat meat, or pork seasoned with khebab/suya powder and then grilled over charcoal to produce mouthwatering sticks of meat. Extremely peppery and worth every bite.