Recipe - Powerhouse Polish Sandwich

The Polish sandwich struck my interest when it first showed itself on the menu of a nearby Weinerschnitzel when I was young. Soon after, I saw a Polish hot dog at Costco and I wondered what gave these dishes their denominations. Lo and behold, the kielbasa! What a lovely sausage it is. We got our hands on some of these Polish sausages from Zeigler's Sausages (a local sausage-maker) and the ideas came slowly on what to do with them. Inspiration struck one morning as I thought about what it was that I loved kielbasa with and sauerkraut came to mind. The idea turned into a rudimentary sketch on a nearby Post-It note which became a reality once I grabbed my other ingredients which included marble rye bread from Blackmarket Bakery (local bakery) and hot and sour pickles from Pernicious Pickles (local pickling company). I also contributed my own mustard seeds, sauerkraut, and even wasabi mayo. Yum!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 4-5 sandwiches; ingredients left over)

  • 1 loaf marble rye, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 8 oz Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 1 lb kielbasa (4-5 links), halved (we recommend Zeigler's Sausages)
  • 8 oz garlic pickle spears (we got ones from Pernicious Pickles)
  • 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut (recipe here)
  • 1/2 cup pickled mustard seed (recipe here)
  • 1/2 cup wasabi mayonnaise (recipe below)

Wasabi Mayonnaise (makes 1 cup)
  • 3 Tbsps wasabi powder, rehydrated into paste
  • 2 Tbsps garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbsps rice vinegar
  • 2 eggs, yolks only
  • 1 cup canola oil

Step 2: Preparing ingredients
To make mayonnaise, run all mayonnaise ingredients except the oil through a food processor - then add oil slowly to allow to emulsify. It will be done when it forms stiff peaks - refrigerate immediately after. For pickled mustard seed and sauerkraut, refer to recipes linked above. For kielbasa, poach in a shallow skillet with enough water to cover the bottom; cover and simmer for 10 minutes until cooked through. Then drain water and pan fry until browned all around.

Step 3: Assembling sandwich
So I wouldn't have to waste a skillet on caramelizing onions, I stuck rings on bread with a slice of Swiss on top and toasted until medium brown. On the other slice of the sandwich, spread on mayonnaise and pickled mustard seed. When the onion and Swiss slice (bottom half) is ready, slice kielbasa links in half and layer on top with pickle spear in between. I only had slices at the time so I couldn't use a spear. Top with Swiss again and top slice.

Step 4: Finishing
Toast sandwich one more time to allow second Swiss slice to melt and top of the sandwich to toast. Then enjoy!

Photography by Duc Duong.