Egg

Japanese 7-Eleven Egg Salad Sandwich

September 19, 2017
8 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Around this time last summer-meets-autumn, I was on a train from Kyoto to Nara telling a friend about an indulgent omakase dinner I'd had in Tokyo earlier that week. The sushi chef, who'd been in the biz for a measly 30 years, put a slick of wasabi under a triangle of fatty tuna (caught that morning, probably), smushed it with meticulously-cooked rice, and served it to me on the palm of his hand. I was mesmerized. "That's cool," one of my friend's friends said. "But really, the best thing you'll eat in Japan is a 7-Eleven egg salad sandwich."

I was skeptical, but that did not stop me from buying a sandwich the morning I returned to Tokyo. I immediately noticed that the yolks in the crustless sandwich were vibrant, more orange than yellow, and that the bread was soft and spongy, like Wonder Bread but with more spring (shokupan, most likely).

It was a prelude to the even softer filling, which looked more smooth than chunky, with zero evidence of yolks and whites once being separate entities. I had to be dainty—a little squeeze and the filling would spill over my hands, too aggressive a bite and it would dribble down my face—but I didn't mind having to be extra cautious; it was easily the best egg salad sandwich I'd ever eaten. (Maybe my vigilance would have been better directed elsewhere, though, as it was while eating a 7-Eleven egg salad sandwich that I tripped and slid down a bunch of concrete stairs in a subway underpass. Yes, it was worth it.)

I am far from the Japanese egg salad sandwich's only enthusiast. Anthony Bourdain sings the praises of the one from Lawson, a 7-Eleven competitor. Others are loyal to the one from FamilyMart, another widespread Japanese "conbini." I've tried all three and I profess loyalty to 7-Eleven's, perhaps because there was one a stone's throw from where I was staying, and I pretty much started and ended my Tokyo days and nights there.

It took me a year, and a few times tinkering with no-recipe egg salads, to realize that I could absolutely re-create this at home. I browsed a few recipes for "Japanese egg salad sandwich" online and found that I liked Sylvia G Eatery's proportion of 6 tablespoons of mayo to 4 eggs. Lone shark that I am, I modified it to a single serving of 2-3 tablespoons of mayo for every two eggs, which leaves some leftover egg salad to dip bread crusts into (and then some). I also skipped the onions because I'm lazy.

Our Head Recipe Tester Stephanie Bourgeois said that the fresh eggs she got from her friend's mother's farm made for a brighter yellow salad than store-bought eggs, so you'll want the freshest eggs you can find for this recipe. However, considering we're trying to re-create a mass-produced sandwich here, regular eggs would work fine. Just as with any other egg salad, this is no time to shy away from mayo—Kewpie mayo, to be exact, which is available online and at most East Asian markets. If you don't have Kewpie mayo and want to make this ASAP, try it with regular mayo. Just make sure to use soft white bread, free of crusts. If you can make Japanese milk bread at home or buy it, great; if not, good old white bread works too.

But the eureka moment of my experimentation—the detail that took me right back to Akasaka—was that I had to blitz the egg salad in my food processor. This gave it the cloudy, fluffy texture that's garnered legions of fans across the globe. Enjoy it open-faced, if you want to keep things KonMari-level neat. After all, this is not the official 7-Eleven recipe—just a recipe that comes closest to my memory. —Nikkitha Bakshani

Watch This Recipe
Japanese 7-Eleven Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes 1 sandwich
Ingredients
  • 2 slices soft white bread (shokupan is best)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. You can boil eggs however you like, but I recommend a method that still yields a bright, yellow yolk. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add a splash of rice vinegar. Place the eggs in the water and boil, uncovered, for 9 minutes. Remove and place in a large bowl of ice water. Peel the eggs in the water (it comes off easier). Cut the hard-boiled eggs in halves or quarters and place in a food processor.
  2. While eggs are boiling, cut the crusts off two slices of bread.
  3. Add the mayo to the food processor, and a little bit of salt. Puree for a few seconds. Taste, add more salt and pepper, if necessary. You won't be processing it for too long—just enough for the egg salad to look smooth and unified.
  4. Spread over one slice of bread, so that there's a thick layer. You might not want to spread it too close to the edges, as the pressure of your fingers on the sandwich might make the filling ooze out a bit. (But it's a pretty oozy sandwich, so don't fret.) Top with the other slice and cut in half, gently, with a sharp knife. You can also enjoy this open-faced; that's not the 7-Eleven way but it's still good. There will be leftover egg salad; set it aside, refrigerate, and use within a few days.

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27 Reviews

Elaine April 11, 2021
It is “konbini”, with a “k”, isn’t it?



 
leigh F. May 12, 2020
What about Lawson’s?
 
heySacha March 2, 2020
I was so happy to stumble upon this recipe. I adore 7-11 egg salad sandwiches in Japan. I was looking for a soft boiled egg recipe but now I need to make this!
 
btglenn July 10, 2019
This may be en excellent sandwich, but with mayonnaise, it does not travel well, even when made with Kewpie, unless kept well chilled. Mayonnaise is a notorious base for harmful bacteria to form, especially in warm weather.
 
Adrienne M. April 13, 2020
Refrigerate. . .Mayo is delicious. I've been eating it since childhood and it hasn't caused me any harm.
 
Lauren C. July 1, 2019
Best egg salad I've ever made. It finally gets the texture right! Will always make it this way from now on.
 
Gayle H. May 15, 2019
I love Japanese egg salad soooo much. Doing this tomorrow 🥚
 
Woofgang May 12, 2019
What is kewpie mayo? And more importantly, where can I get it if I want to try this recipe (I LOVE egg salad....)
 
kittrasis May 12, 2019
Kewpie has a lot more flavor than regular mayo. It tastes richer. You can order it online from Walmart (best price) or order from Amazon.
 
Woofgang May 12, 2019
Thanks. I've read it's "sweeter" - is it like Miracle Whip "sweeter?" I really don't care for Miracle Whip so I am hesitant to buy a sweet mayo. Thanks for your answer....
 
Heidi May 13, 2019
Be aware, there are two versions of Kewpie mayo -- the original Japanese with a red cap and the American version with a blue one.
Personally, I use a James Beard mayo recipe in the blender with lemon juice and avocado oil.
 
A May 13, 2019
I'd say it's sweeter, but like Kittrasis says, it's more rich and flavorful all around so the sweetness isn't really the star. It's amazing. Sometimes I mix half Kewpie half Hellman's (or Duke's if possible) and everyone freaks out over my potato/egg/macaroni salads. The Kewpie makes it sing. It's NOTHING like Miracle Whip (blech).
 
MsJoanie May 16, 2019
I think Kewpie is much sweeter, and I grew up on Miracle Whip so I know sweet. I don't buy mayo with added sugar anymore but I do find my egg salad and coleslaw is missing *something* vs. the tastes I grew up with, so now I add a tiny drizzle of agave when mixing and it balances everything just right.
 
CDJohnston January 25, 2021
The Costco in La Quinta has it. It's the american-made version. Tastes pretty close to the imported Japanese-made kewpie.
 
Woofgang January 25, 2021
I have to laugh. My sister and family live in NC and they all swear by Dukes saying it's better than Hellman's. A couple of years ago, we descended upon my parent's house for the holidays. I brought a jar of Duke's and a jar of Hellman's and we did a blind taste test. Hellman's won each and every vote, albeit, by a smidge, but nonetheless, they all preferred the Hellman's. She repeated the blind taste test with friends and in-laws in the South, exact same results. :-)
 
Mari O. March 18, 2019
How is Kewpi mayo different from say Hellman's (Best Food's in the West). As it is, I have to add a little powdered lemon jc to Hellman's as it's slightly too bland for my taste.
 
Micah B. March 18, 2019
One of the reasons that Kewpie Mayonaise is so delicious is because of the MSG... mmmmm mmmm good!
 
Kathy September 9, 2019
Just checked ingreds in my red capped (Japanese) Kewpie--NO MSG listed. I recommend The Ojai Cook brand Lemonaise--especially w/tuna salad.
 
kittrasis December 15, 2018
This sandwich is such a huge thing and I really don't know why. I used the beloved Kewpie mayo (fabulous stuff) and followed the recipe, adding salt and white pepper. It is incredibly bland and tasteless. Sorry, I know some people like that. It's like something you would feed a baby. Not my idea of a great sando.
 
Susan L. September 18, 2018
Oh, I need a touch of minced onion or shallot, and celery.
 
Jason September 17, 2018
As far as I can tell, your recipe makes a crustless salty mayo sandwich, with unused hardboiled eggs.
 
Jason September 17, 2018
Whoops, I see it now.
 
Becky S. September 16, 2018
I have always made my egg salad like this as did my mother. Love it!
 
Thomas M. July 19, 2018
At least in Kyushu, I'm pretty convinced 7-11 adds some extra egg yolks to their egg salad, which makes them extra tasty.

Genius.
 
Assonta W. July 10, 2018
My favorite ones had a thin slice of ham with the egg salad! I miss konbini!
 
Melissa S. May 9, 2018
I used to eat the 7-Eleven sandwich eggs for breakfast every morning when I lived in Japan! A few years back the USA 7-Elevens carried them but shortly thereafter they changed the recipe. I'll never recover. ;A;
 
Samantha W. September 22, 2017
YES!!!