CHINESE ROAST PORK ON GARLIC BREAD
It was a sandwich that became popular in the Catskills region of upstate New York in the 1960s and 1970s.
Borscht Belt or “Jewish Alps” was the name given to villages in the Catskills during the summer months when New Yorkers would flock to the area for vacation.
It wasn’t unusual for meals at Catskills resorts to be predetermined. Because the Kosher menu was limited and offered between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., you were out of luck if you weren’t a fan of the food. After a night of late-night comedy, card games, or horse racing at the Monticello Raceway, people were eager for Chinese food!
Chinese Roast Pork and Garlic Bread Sandwich: Where Did It Come From?
Herbie’s, a Chinese/Italian/American restaurant in Loch Sheldrake, New York, is rumored to be the originator of the “RPG,” or “Roast Pork and Garlic.”
It was a popular hangout for nightclub performers and comedians who stayed for late-night munchies and beverages following their Catskills resort shows.
The Chinese Roast Pork Sandwich from the restaurant was so famous that it was copied by many other local establishments and then spread to the city, appearing in restaurants, pubs, and delis in Brooklyn.
My girls thought I was crazy when I told them about the RPG sandwich; it’s conceivable you’ve never even heard of it. After that, I showed them this piece by a Senior Critic at Eater, who wrote about his quest to find the legendary sandwich.
CHINESE ROOTED PORK
For this sandwich, any roast pork will not do!
Isn’t Cuban-style roast pork the only way to make an authentic Cuban sandwich?
Char Siu, or Chinese Roast Pork, must be used to make a genuine Chinese Roast Pork Sandwich. It’s preferable to make it from scratch and eat it right away.
Good news: It’s simple! It’s easy to create and doesn’t require much time (minus marinating time). View our recipe for Chinese BBQ roast pork to see how we prepare it.
- 1 lb. of sliced Chinese roast pork (char siu)(450g)
- 3 cloves of garlic (mashed)
- 1 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. of salt (or to taste)
- 2 Italian or submarine rolls
- 4 tsp. of 20g softened butter (optional)
- 2 tbsp. of Chinese hot mustard to serve
- 2 tbsp. of Duck sauce to serve
- Slicing tiny slices of char siu (Chinese roast pork)
- Put the mashed garlic, salt, and olive oil in a basin (or use a garlic press).
- Cut the Italian roll into half. If the roll is quite thick, you may want to remove some of the soft bread inside. Lightly toast one side of the bread by sprinkling the bread with garlic and olive oil.
- Use 2 teaspoons of butter (if desired) to apply butter to the other side of the bread. If you don’t want to use butter, you can spread the garlic and oil on both sides of the bread.
- Stack the pork slices on the sandwich, then close it and cut it diagonally on the dish with a Kosher dill pickle and Chinese hot mustard.