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Exclusive Recipe: The St. Paul Sandwich, A St. Louis Classic

Exclusive Recipe: The St. Paul Sandwich, A St. Louis Classic

St. Paul Sandwich

It's an odd combination - a crispy-brown fried egg foo yong patty served between slices of white bread, with a slathering of mayonnaise, a leaf of iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes and dill pickles - but the St. Paul sandwich is a favorite St. Louis original.

This recipe is served at Fortune Express, 6738 Chippewa Street.

"My uncle started the business in the Central West End," says manager Rudy Lieu. "We still serve some of our first customers."

You can order a St. Paul with beef, pork, chicken, shrimp or just vegetables. The Fortune Express special, made with shrimp, beef and chicken, hits the taste trifecta. Some places smother their St. Pauls with brown Chinese gravy, but the eggy goodness of this sandwich doesn't need any additional help.

Pat Eby contributed to this report.

St. Paul Sandwich (Fortune Express)

Serves | 1 |

  • Canola oil, for deep-frying (see tester's note below)
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup diced or thinly sliced onion
  • 2 Tbsp diced green bell pepper
  • 3 small cooked shrimp, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp diced or shredded poached chicken
  • 3 pieces cooked beef (1/8 inch thick, 1 inch wide and 1½ inches long)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 slices white bread
  • Iceberg lettuce leaf
  • 2 thin slices tomato
  • 3 to 4 dill pickle slices

| Preparation | Pour about 4 cups oil into a deep-fryer or deep saucepan. Bring to 375ºF.

Break bean sprouts by crushing them lightly in the palm of your hand. Place in medium mixing bowl. Add onion, green pepper, shrimp, chicken and beef. Stir to combine.

Beat egg lightly with a fork in a small bowl. Mix in cornstarch. Pour egg mixture over the sprouts mixture. Stir well.

Place egg mixture in a shallow metal ladle 4¼ inches wide (big enough to hold it all).

Test the heat of the oil by throwing in a bean sprout. The sprout will immediately pop to the top if the oil is hot enough.

When oil is hot enough, gradually lower full ladle into hot oil, but don't allow top of egg mixture to drop into the oil. The egg patty will cook in the ladle. Some hot oil will seep over the edges of the ladle. Cook until almost done, 2 to 3 minutes, then spoon a little of the hot oil over the top of the patty to finish the cooking.

Transfer egg patty to a slotted spoon. If any egg mixture drips out, return the patty to the ladle and place in the hot oil for an additional minute. The patty should be uniformly browned and sealed.

Spread mayonnaise on one slice of bread. Top with the iceberg lettuce and tomato slices. Slide the cooked egg patty onto the other slice of bread. Garnish with pickles. Close the sandwich. Wrap bottom in waxed paper and serve immediately.

Tester's note: If you do not have a deep fryer, you can use a skillet, but the texture will not be the same. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 6-inch skillet; sauté the onion and green pepper over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the shrimp, chicken and beef and then the egg-cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until the egg is scrambled.

Inspired by August's FEAST 50, this recipe was featured in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Let's Eat section. Be sure to check out Let's Eat every Wednesday this month for more recipes from FEAST on St. Louis classics!


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