I don’t generally go for mile-high sandwiches. They scratch up the roof of my mouth and make me feel like a social pariah while eating them. There is something about attempting to unhinge your jaw that makes you a less than ideal dinner guest. But every now and then I encounter a sandwich of ponderous bulk that is completely worth the risk of injury to both my mouth and my pride. At the age of five, it was the Big Mac, which I swear were a lot less squished in the 90s than they seem to be today. Then I graduated to the Club Sandwich. And now, finally, my giant sandwich of choice is yet a larger club – this Turkey Katsu Club Sandwich.
I have nothing but love for the classic club sandwich. Even the worst club sandwiches I’ve had have been passable. I think it’s because the format of a club sandwich is so indisputably great. Roast turkey and/or chicken is the perfect foil to crisp bacon. The poultry adds texture but its comparably mild flavor allows the smokiness of the bacon to steal the show. It is possible to have too much of a good thing in a sandwich. Pairing more assertive meats with bacon is a rookie mistake. The rest of a club sandwich is essentially a toasted tomato sandwich, which could very well be my all-time favorite sandwich so basically, the club has everything going for it.
Now, in more recent years, I’ve found myself falling for yet another sandwich – the katsu sando. A katsu sando hails from Japan and is comprised of toasted white sandwich bread, a piece of katsu something or other, shaved green cabbage, Kewpie mayonnaise, and katsu sauce. It is the perfect sandwich all on its own but there was something about the katsu sando that made me think of the club sandwich. So of course, I thought they might be a natural fit for one another. And the rest is very-tall-sandwich history.
This Turkey Katsu Club Sandwich is exactly what it sounds like – a club sandwich with a piece of katsu in the middle. But there are a few nods to the katsu sando as well. For one, the Turkey Katsu Club has shaved cabbage, in this case, red cabbage because purple is always the answer. And this sandwich also has katsu sauce, which is a very happy addition to most of the sandwiches I’ve been enjoying lately. Katsu sauce is so good and well worth the trip to an Asian grocery store. I also opted to do away with the club sandwich’s signature third slice of bread. This sandwich is tall enough as it is. Let’s keep it in the realm of eat-ability, shall we?
So that’s everything you need to know about this Turkey Katsu Club Sandwich. It’s best to eat this tower of a sandwich in isolation or at the very least with someone you trust completely. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s a very COVID-restriction-friendly sandwich.
Turkey Katsu Club Sandwich
- Loaf pan
- Large skillet
- Large baking sheet
- 315g (11 oz) milk I used 2 %
- 15g (0.5 oz) dry active yeast
- 30g (1 oz) honey
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 3-3½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened, cubed
- olive oil for greasing the bowl
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
Turkey Katsu Club Sandwich
- 6-8 slices thick cut bacon
- 2 turkey breasts boneless, skinless, seasoned
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- neutral oil for frying
- ¼ head red cabbage thinly sliced
- 2 -3 tomatoes sliced
- ½ head green lettuce coarsely chopped
- mayonnaise for spreading
- katsu sauce drizzling
- cocktail picks for securing the sandwiches
For the Bread
- Start by pouring the milk into a small saucepan. Heat the milk to 100°F. Sprinkle dry active yeast over the surface of the milk and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.
- Once the mixture is foamy, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, kosher salt, and two cups of the flour. Set the mixer to a medium-low speed and mix until a loose dough forms.
- Start adding flour a 1/4 cup at a time. The amount of flour you add to the dough can vary based on the environment you’re mixing it in. Humidity or lack thereof will dictate how much flour you use, so go slow. You’ll be adding somewhere between 3 – 3 1/2 cups of flour but don’t be skeptical if you add slightly more or less.
- Once the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and is slightly tacky, start adding the butter. Add the butter a couple of cubes at a time and wait for them to become fully integrated before adding more.
- Once the butter is fully-integrated, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes. Once the dough feels elastic and silky to the touch, form it into a ball and place it in a large bowl, greased with olive oil. Cover and let rise for an hour and a half or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, deflate the dough and form it into a rough rectangle. Roll it into a log, burrito-style and pinch the edges to form a seal. Refine shape and transfer to a loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes before baking. This is the perfect time to preheat your oven to 375°F.
- When the oven is up, whisk the egg and water together in a bowl and brush it over the surface of the dough. Bake the bread for 40 minutes until golden. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.
For the Sandwich
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the bacon slices evenly spaced across it. Pop the bacon in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until crispy.
- Slice the turkey breasts through the center to form two cutlets. Place the cutlets between two pieces of parchment paper and go to town on it with a mallet. Once the turkey cutlet is at least 1/4 of an inch thick transfer it to a plate and set it aside.
- In a wide, shallow vessel, like a pie plate, whisk together the cornstarch, the flour, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and set it aside. Finally, pour the panko breadcrumbs into a pie plate.
- Take a turkey cutlet and dredge it first in the flour, cornstarch mixture, then coat it in the egg, before tossing it in the breadcrumbs.
- Once the cutlets are breaded, heat 1 inch of neutral oil, I used canola, in a large skillet and fry both cutlets until golden, about 3 minutes aside. Transfer the cutlets to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. At this point your bacon should be done, so do the same with it.
- When you’re ready to build your sandwich, toast two slices of the bread you made earlier and cover both slices with mayo. Designate one slice as the bottom and squirt a little katsu sauce on top of the mayo. Add a bed of shaved cabbage, followed by the katsu. Add a few slices of bacon and tomato and add some salt and pepper. Finish the sandwich with a crown of green leaf lettuce and place the top slice, well, on top. Slice and serve.