Take Steak Sandwiches Up A Notch With A Kick Of Wasabi Cream Sauce

Amongst the most popular sandwiches in the U.S. sits the reliable grilled cheese, the nostalgic peanut butter & jelly, and the simple yet delicious BLT. Amidst these somewhat common fillings is also a sandwich whose key ingredient is utterly superior: steak. Just like the anticipation of a special celebration, this sandwich's presence is eagerly awaited and excitingly devoured. If you're usually inclined to add a little hot sauce to set the tone for this occasion, you might consider trying wasabi cream instead.

Wasabi and cream are different ends of the flavor spectrum, yet once combined, comes a genuinely incredible unification of tastes. While a subtle kick from the wasabi remains, the cooling cream subdues the sharp, nostril-clearing heat. With the inclusion of a little acidity or umami, this sauce becomes a complex vessel of aromas whose primary mission is to elevate the flavors in that steak sandwich. It's meaty, it's creamy, it's crunchy, and it's delicious — everything you hope a steak sandwich to be.

Consider how much thought goes into selecting the cut of meat for a steak sandwich, and imagine dedicating the same level of time and effort to the sauce that ties this sandwich together. A wasabi cream sauce demonstrates a thoughtful culinary perspective. 

Wasabi cream sauce revealed

While some brands, such as Kikkoman, produce premixed wasabi sauce in bottles, this robs you of the freedom to craft a cream sauce that accentuates the flavor combinations you crave. It's not particularly difficult to make, either. Using freshly grated wasabi may present problems because you only have about 15 minutes to enjoy it, but luckily, wasabi paste and wasabi powder are both excellent alternatives.

The sauce can use either heavy cream, sour cream, or a combination of the two. To achieve a thicker consistency, you may wish to heat the heavy cream first, but don't worry about it splitting, as the high-fat content will prevent this from occurring. If you want to avoid these dairy-based creams, you could achieve a similar wasabi cream consistency with blended avocado and coconut oil instead.

Finely diced shallots can be added for extra tang in the sauce, while citrus juice (like lemon or lime) can be incorporated for a touch of acidity and brightness. If you're a fan of the profoundly savory taste of umami, then a drizzle of soy sauce into the cream may also be for you. Play around with the spiciness, freshness, creaminess, and umami flavors in this sauce, and see which elements you want your steak sandwich to sing with.

Who said steak had to be beef?

Tuna steak has as much right to be in a steak sandwich as beef, and, what's more, it also deserves to be smothered in a wasabi cream sauce. Picture a seared tuna steak whose center still has that pinky-blue hue encased in a crusty dinner roll dripping with that creamy, moreish wasabi sauce. Its taste is lighter and fresher than steak, but it remains equally high in protein.

Tuna and wasabi are a classic pairing, particularly in sushi, so unifying the two in a sandwich is a no-brainer. The cream moistens the bread, while the wasabi cuts through the fresh taste of tuna with a little heat. This sandwich would also excel with a layer of fresh arugula leaves, which would elevate the filling with a slight pepperiness.

Wasabi cream sauce is the ultimate way to take your steak sandwich up a notch, whether you're looking for alternative ways to spice up your sando or you're just intrigued by the meat and wasabi combination. The next time you're feeling decadent, whip one of these up.