Dinner/ middle eastern/ vegetarian dinner

Sabich sandwich – Israeli eggplant and egg stuffed pita

16 June 2020

Sabich sandwich is a delicious Israeli fast food. My recipe is made with pita bread filled with pan-fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, tomato and cucumber salad, and green tahini sauce. It’s delicious and packed with flavor. It’s a really good idea for a meatless dinner or snack, even for meat-eaters.

two pita breads filled with eggplant, eggs, tomato and cucumber salad, and green tahini sauce on a white plate

Recipe background:

This is Israeli-Iraqi dish that was brought by Iraqi Jews to Israel in the 1940-50. It’s supposed to be eaten for breakfast but we prefer it for dinner.

This recipe was inspired by a sabich sandwich recipe from Y. Ottolenghi’s book ‘Jerusalem’. It’s one of our favorite recipes from this book but over the years I modified it a bit. Ottolenghi’s recipe calls for a tahini sauce (sauce made with tahini paste, garlic and lemon juice) and a zhug sauce (spicy sauce made with chili and herbs), which I combined into one delicious green tahini sauce, so the preparation goes much quicker.

Authentic recipes call often for amba sauce, which is made from fermented mango and sometimes for boiled potatoes.

Ingredients:

ingredients needed to prepare sabich sandwich
  • Eggplant – try to look for a good-quality and fresh eggplant, it should have a firm and shiny skin. Try to avoid eggplant with wrinkly skin as it can be tough and unpleasant to eat. If this is the only eggplant you have I would recommend peeling it before cooking it, the flesh itself tastes the same.
  • Hard-boiled eggs – I personally like hard-boiled eggs that have just a little wet egg yolk.
  • Tomato and cucumber salad – seasoned with lemon juice and parsley.
  • Pita bread
  • Green tahini sauce – it’s bright and lemony.

Preparation steps:

STEP 1: Make the green tahini sauce: add all the ingredients to a blender / food processor container (a small bunch of parsley, a bunch of coriander 1/4 cup tahini paste, zest from 1 lemon, 5 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, 2 cloves garlic and a pinch of cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cloves). Mix until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add some chili flakes to the sauce if you like your food spicy. You’ll find more information and photos in this post: green tahini sauce.

STEP 2: Cook the eggs: add 4 eggs into a small pot and pour the boiling water over. Bring the water to a boil and cook the eggs for about 5 minutes and 30 seconds over high heat (my favorite method). Add the eggs into cold water and peel them.

STEP 3: Make the tomato and cucumber salad: Cut 1 small tomato and 1/3 of English cucumber into small cubes (you can peel them if you wish). Toss with the 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

STEP 4: Pan-fry the eggplant: Cut 1 small eggplant into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices. Heat 1/4 cup of frying oil in a big frying pan and cook the eggplant in batches until it’s browned on both sides and soft. Try not to overcrowd the eggplant slices in the pan, letting the eggplant brown nicely. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season immediately with salt and pepper to taste (while the eggplant is still hot).

Do you need to salt the eggplant?
The eggplants nowadays are no longer bitter so there is no need to salt them. I tested this multiple times myself with this dish and also other eggplant dishes (like this eggplant and tomato pasta – pasta alla Norma) and I have never found that salting the eggplant results in it being less bitter. I like sometimes to salt the eggplant because it helps with browning the vegetable. If we remove excess water from the eggplant it will brown easier and quicker and you can add just a little bit less oil. If you wish to salt the eggplant anyway, sprinkle it with salt and leave for 15 minutes. After this time, pat dry the eggplant with paper towels.

STEP 5: Warm up the pita breads: You can do that on a dry pan or panini grill. Cook 4 pita bread until warm and lightly golden in color.

STEP 6: Assemble the sandwich: Open the pita bread, spread a heaped tablespoon of the sauce on both sides of the pita bread, add 2-3 eggplant slices, 2 tablespoons of the salad and 1 cut in half egg.

Enjoy!

Storage / make ahead:

You can store / make ahead all the ingredients for the sabich sandwich. Assemble the sandwich just before serving. It would be good to warm up the eggplant and pita bread, as the sandwich tastes best slightly warm but it’s also very good cold.

Sabich sandwich – Israeli eggplant and egg stuffed pita

My recipe is made with pita bread filled with pan-fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, tomato and cucumber salad and green tahini sauce. It’s packed with flavor!
sabich sandwich
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 servings (4 pita bread)
Calories 981kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the sandwich:

  • 4 pita breads
  • 1 small eggplant/aubergine
  • 1/4 cup frying oil
  • 4 eggs

tomato cucumber salad:

  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/3 English cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

green tahini sauce:

  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley 1oz/25g (weight of the leaves)
  • 1 bunch coriander/cilantro 1oz/25g (weight of the leaves)
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste 4 tablespoons (70g)
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 flat teaspoon honey
  • a pinch of: ground coriander cumin, cardamom and cloves (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Make the sauce: add all the ingredients to a blender / food processor container. Mix until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the eggs: Add the eggs into a small pot and pour the boiling water over. Bring the water to a boil and cook the eggs for about 5 minutes and 30 seconds over high heat (my favorite method). Add the eggs into cold water and peel them.
  • Make the tomato cucumber salad: Cut the tomato and cucumber into small cubes (you can peel them if you wish). Toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the eggplant: Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices. Heat the oil in a big frying pan and cook the eggplant in batches until it's browned on both sides and soft. Try not to overcrowd the eggplant slices in the pan, letting the eggplant brown nicely. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season immediately with salt and pepper to taste (while the eggplant is still hot).
  • Warm up the pita bread: You can do that on a dry pan or panini grill. Cook the pita bread until warm and lightly golden in color.
  • Assemble the sandwich: Open the pita bread, spread a heaped tablespoon of the sauce on both sides of the pita bread, add 2-3 eggplant slices, 2 tablespoons of the salad and 1 cut in half egg.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • You will have some green tahini sauce left. You can use it the same way you would use pesto or use it as a salad dressing.
  • There is no need to salt the eggplant, it won’t be bitter.
  • How to buy eggplants – try to look for a good-quality and fresh eggplant, it should have a firm and shiny skin. Try to avoid eggplant with wrinkly skin as it c be tough and unpleasant to eat. If this is the only eggplant you have I would recommend peeling it before cooking it, the flesh itself tastes the same.
  • Storage/make ahead: You can store / make ahead all the ingredients for the sabich sandwich. Assemble the sandwich just before serving. It would be good to warm up the eggplant and pita bread, as the sandwich tastes best slightly warm but it’s also very good cold.
  • Calories = 1 serving = 1/2 of the recipe = 2 pita bread with the filling. This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Israeli, Middle-Eastern
Keyword eggplant stuffed pita, green tahini sauce, sabich sandwich

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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