While I was working on the recent posts Mikkusu Sando and Katsu Sando, I decided to make Ichigo Sando (Strawberry and Cream Sandwich) at the same time because it is also a cafe-style sandwich. My Ichigo Sando is a sandwich with fresh strawberry and cream cheese inside. This is a simple sandwich, and the strawberry is quite refreshing.
You might wonder what Ichigo Sando is because most people have probably never heard of a sandwich with strawberries as a filling. Cafe-style Ichigo Sando (苺サンド) is one of the fruit sandwiches that are very popular in Japan. It is usually consumed as a desert or with afternoon tea because it is a sweet sandwich.
About Fruit Sandwiches
The fruit sandwich is a Japanese Invention. It existed about 100 years ago, but the exact origin of the fruit sandwich is unclear. There are two possible places where such a unique sandwich might have originated.
Kyoto is one of them because there are many cafés that specialised in fruit sandwiches. The other one is Senbikiya Fruits Parlour in Tokyo, which opened in 1868. There is a record of fruit sandwiches on the menu in 1926 when a new Senbikiya branch opened in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Fruit was very expensive and considered to be a luxury and a stylish food at the time. Fruit sandwiches were invented to make fruit more appealing and easier to eat for common people.
The fillings of fruit sandwiches are chopped fresh fruits and sweetened whipped cream. So, fruit sandwiches are consumed just like a cake, but they are not as sweet as cakes because of the bread in place of a sponge cake.
You can put one kind of fruit or a few different fruits in the filling. Depending on the fruits in the filling, the sandwiches have different names, like my recipe today. Here are some popular fruit sandwiches:
- Ichigo Sando (苺サンド) – Strawberry sandwich
- Kiui Sando (キウイサンド) – Kiwi sandwich
- Mangō Sando (マンゴーサンド) – Mango sandwich
- Budō Sando (葡萄サンド) – Grape sndwich
- Mikkusu Furūtsu Sando (ミックスフルーツサンド) – Mixed fruits sandwich
What’s in my Ichigo Sando (Strawberry and Cream Sandwich)
My Ichigo Sando is a bit different from the standard Ichigo Sando. Instead of sweetened whipped cream, I used cream cheese. It is a quite different strawberry sandwich and I like this better than the very sweet sandwich.
- 2 slices Japanese sandwich bread
- Softened butter
- Softened cream cheese
- Strawberry jam
- Fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
To give a touch of sweetness to the sandwich, I added a small amount of strawberry jam. You only need a few strawberries to cover the surface of the bread slice.
How to make Ichigo Sando (Strawberry and Cream Sandwich)
The process of making Ichigo Sando is the same as Mikkusu Sando that I shared in Cafe-style Japanese Sandwiches earlier. The difference is just the fillings. So, you can watch the Mikkusu Sando video and see the step-by-step photos below as a reference.
- Butter inside the sandwich bread.
- Spread cream cheese on one of the buttered sandwich slices.
- Spread strawberry jam on the other buttered sandwich slice.
- Spread the sliced strawberries on the cream cheese, covering the entire surface of the bread.
- Place the other slice of bread on top, jam-side down.
- Trim the crust off.
- Cut the sandwich into 6 pieces.
The combination of strawberry, cream cheese, and jam sandwiched between breads is surprisingly tasty. You may never have thought of matching strawberries with a piece of bread, but if you think about it, people do use fresh strawberries and cream cheese to make a cake. It’s just that the cake is replaced by a slice of bread.
This concludes the series of Café-style Japanese sandwiches. Here is the complete set of sandwiches that I posted. Don’t they look pretty and delicious? I even managed to cut the Katsu Sando small! When I ate this whole set of sandwiches, I had Ichigo Sando last as it is a kind of dessert. It also cleansed my palate.
While I was working on the recent posts Mikkusu Sando and Katsu Sando, I decided to make Ichigo Sando (Strawberry and Cream Sandwich) at the same time. It is a sandwich with fresh strawberries inside.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 2 slices Japanese sandwich bread (note 1)
- 2 tsp butter softened (note 2)
- 15g/5oz cream cheese softened (note 2)
- 2 tsp strawberry jam
- 3-4 fresh strawberries sliced into 3mm/⅛” thick , lengthwise (note 3)
Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread and place them on a workbench, buttered side up.
Spread cream cheese on one side of the buttered bread.
Spread strawberry jam on the other side of the buttered bread.
Place the sliced strawberries on the bread slice with the cream cheese, covering the entire surface of the bread. Try not to overlap, with minimal gaps between the strawberries.
Place the other slice of bread on top, jam side down, then press down gently with your palm.
Remove your palm and leave it for 5 minutes or so to let the ingredients blend in.
Using a sharp knife (do not use serrated knife), trim the crust off each slice. Ensure that the corner of the bread is 90 degrees (note 4).
Cut the sandwich in half lengthwise, then cut them perpendicular to the first cut into three equal widths. You should have 6 small pieces.
Place the sandwiches cut side up.
1. Japanese sandwich bread is only 1cm/⅜” thick. Please visit my post Mikkusu Sando for more details with photos.
2. I microwaved the butter and cream cheese for 5 seconds at a time to soften it.
3. Depending on the size of your strawberries, the number of strawberries you need varies. You need enough slices to completely cover the surface of your bread.
4. The sliced bread might not be in an exact rectangle shape. You need to adjust the width of the crust when trimming it off.
5. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 154g calories: 340kcal fat: 15g (23%) saturated fat: 8.3g (42%) trans fat: 0.3g polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g monounsaturated fat: 3.7g cholesterol: 35mg (12%) sodium: 417mg (17%) potassium: 193mg (6%) carbohydrates: 45g (15%) dietary fibre: 2.9g (12%) sugar: 13g protein: 6.9g vitamin a: 8.2% vitamin c: 55% calcium: 9% iron: 14%
A typical Japanese meal consists of a main dish, a couple of side dishes, a soup and rice. I try to come up with a combination of dishes with a variety of flavours, colours, textures and make-ahead dishes.
Ichigo Sando is probably not for dinner, but it can be a good dish for a breakfast or lunch. I picked other dishes to make a good breakfast/lunch today.
Naturally, an egg dish has to be added to the menu. Since Ichigo Sando only contains fruit and dairy products, and Ramen Egg is not a meat, I picked a salad with tuna to add more protein.
Although this breakfast/lunch idea consists of Japanese dishes, you can make it totally Western style by replacing these dishes with a scrambled egg, bacon, and hash browns if you wish.
- Main: Ichigo Sando (Strawberry and Cream Sandwich) – today’s recipe.
- Side dish 1: Sautéed Potato with Shio Konbu (Salted Dried Kelp) – make ahead.
- Side dish 2: Baby Mustard Greens and Tuna Salad – or other salad with a bit of protein.
- Soup: Roasted Seaweed Soup (Nori Sui) – or other light soup.
- A cup of tea or coffee
These look so elegant! I was watching Makanai on Netflix and there they made a similar sandwich. I am going to try it tomorrow. Thanks for a wonderful blog.
Hi Poornima, please let me know how what you thought of Ichigo Sando.
Unfortunately my local shop did not have the bread. Have to look around Melbourne now🤔
Margaret Pass says
Made these for English High Tea… Simple, elegant and delicious….fantastic!…Thank you
Hi Margaret, that’s great! You are right – simple, elegant, and delicious.
John M(in the uk) says
Made this. A Japanese version of the English cream tea in which we use scones strawberry
jam and clotted cream. I must say I prefer the clotted cream to cream cheese. Very nice
recipe though. Thank you
Hi John, thank you. I guess it’s a matter of preference.