Friday, June 29, 2007


A "toast-uh" is a Korean sandwich, often cooked up on the street in a little truck or from a cart. It's usually made of egg, a slice of ham or thin sausage patty kind of thing, maybe some cheese, and a pile of shredded cabbage doused with maybe Thousand Island dressing or ketchup and mayo on white bread that's been griddled grilled cheese-style. You can check out a picture on this Flickr page, or about 3/4 of the way down here on the fabulous Mary Eats site. It's not an entirely healthy snack, but it goes well during or after a night out of carousing. Or anytime.

Well recently a little shop called "Tomahto" opened up near my school, and I'd seen students walking around with a unique version of toast-uh. It was puffy and circular and reminded me of a Hot-Pocket, though I'm fairly sure I've never actually eaten a Hot-Pocket.

So as I was passing by the other day, I decided to stop in and treat my co-workers and myself to a sandwich. "Toast-uh, seyge juseyo," I requested. The lady rattled off a list of possible ingredients (?) and I chose "chamchi" - tuna. So as she went about assembling the first sandwich, my eyes widened. She piled a slice of white bread high with a myriad of stuff, and then plunked it onto a heated cast iron press that pinched off the corners and sealed the edges.

I've never seen anything like it.
This is Sunny's toast-uh.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
It's made of tuna salad loaded with corn, peas, macaroni, and mayo. There's also a slice of ham, a few sweet pickles, a pile of shredded cabbage, a glob of mashed potatoes, and a slathering of strawberry jam.

This is mine.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
It was the third one made, and I ixnayed the tuna, since I'm not a fan of the peas and corn. So mine's mostly potatoes, ham, cabbage, pickles and strawberry jam.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It tasted,...well,....what do you think? It tasted gross. Like something a crazy pregnant woman with irrational cravings dreamed up. Ewwwwww. And I couldn't properly explain to my co-workers or students (who I fed most of my sandwich to) why it was so mental. To them it was seriously deelish. Ick!


daeguowl said...

I will never forget my first Korean "Toast-uh" which was essentially fried egg, shredded carrot and strawberry jam. Bizarre.

I actually used to have a toasted sandwich maker here in Korea for making Tuna and cheese toasties (western-style) but my mother-in-law has misplaced it... :(

KirkK said...

Egad.....tuna salad and strawberry jam?

Rory said...

That's absolutely fantastic. I used to occasionally eat a different variant--minus jam--and if you weren't quick to stop them, the venders would liberally apply dowsings of sugar to your ham-and-egg-ish toast...

It's Me... Maven said...

I'm sorry, my stomach immediately started dry heaving at the sight of the sandwich, and the notion of all that GLOP in a sandwich.

And what's with the strawberry jam?

Wanna know what would taste good in it, tho? All the components of a traditional American thanksgiving dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cran jelly, maybe some corn or sweet potato...

sher said...

That sort of reminds me of the electric sandwich maker I bought my mom years ago. You used bread and sealed all kinds of things up into to it. We kind of went crazy and used all sorts of nutty stuff.

Kitikata-san said...

The general concept seems fun, but tuna, ham, peas and strawberry jam together is not good eats. I would think dropping the jam and going with tuna, and tuna alone might be good.

Jelly said...

You are all correct. Tuna and jam,....blech! Maven - I hear you on the turkey dinner sandwich - but I think I'd skip the potato and cranberry. I've just never come around to agreeing with a potato sammy, or pizza which are widely enjoyed here. Heebie jeebie.