It had been a while since we’d checked in on Num Pang, the Cambodian sandwich shop run by Ratha Chau. But while on a trek to nearby Stand for this week’s Battle of the Dishes, we thought we’d pop in and check out what’s been going on in their kitchen. And are we glad we did, because otherwise we would have missed out on their supremely tasty salt-and-pepper yam sandwich.
Thick slabs of Japanese yam are layered with sautéed chard and cippolini onions, topped with several cucumber slices, a heap of pickled carrots, a lashing of cilantro, and a fat smear of chile mayo on toasted Parisi rolls. While yam and other starch-based sandwiches often take on that smushy, one-texture problem, this sandwich is great because of the crunch provided by the raw veggies.
The sandwich, the shop’s standard veggie option for some time now, is both hefty and hearty, a delight given the often wimpy fixings of vegetarian sammies around the city. It’s great because it hits all the tastes: sweet from the yam, sour from the pickled veggies, spicy from the mayo, and a touch of astringent from the cilantro. At $7.25, it’s not overly expensive, and, if you throw in an order of gazpacho ($3.75), you could easily split it into a lunch for two people. Not that you’d want to share.
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More:Vegetarian and Vegan