Breakfast is hugely important in Filipino culture, a legacy of the country’s rich agricultural past, when farmworkers ate large morning meals to get through the day. Accordingly, the morning after Thanksgiving, the brothers Chad and Chase Valencia — who own the Filipino restaurant Lasa in Los Angeles’s Chinatown — make breakfast sandwiches for their family out of leftover asado (a salty-sour pork dish), ham or turkey. The sandwiches are endlessly customizable: Chase mixes the asado and its accompanying sauce into the eggs, like a scramble, to become the base of the sandwich, while Chad crowns his with a fried egg. But the constants are the queso de bola, a nutty Filipino cheese (similar to Edam cheese) served during the holidays that melts elegantly atop the meat, and pan de sal, a slightly squishy, yeasted roll whose sweetness stands up to all the savory components of the sandwich. Both the cheese and the pan de sal are readily available at many Asian grocery stores, and well worth getting to make superior sandwiches.
Preparation of Filipino-Style Breakfast Sandwiches
Step 1. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. Slice the pan de sal in half and slather mayonnaise on both cut sides of the rolls.
Step 2. Place cut sides down on the heated pan and toast until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. (You may need to do this in batches.) Remove from pan and set aside.
Step 3. In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, reheat asado with enough sauce to bring to a simmer. Alternatively, if using ham or turkey, add 1 tablespoon butter and cook ham or turkey slices until brown on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. (You may need to do this in batches, adding more butter if necessary.)
Step 4. When the asado comes to a simmer or while the ham or turkey is heating, fry the eggs in a separate pan: Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-low and add 1 tablespoon butter. Break eggs into pan and cook just until egg whites are fully set. Season with salt.
Step 5. Assemble the sandwich: Place the meat on the bottom half of the roll and top with a slice of cheese, a fried egg and the top bun. Repeat with remaining sandwiches and serve.