Expert sandwich tips that will change your lunches

There are lots of downsides: that go awkwardly on and on, existential angst. But there’s one big advantage: the daily opportunity to make an awesome sandwich. Remember standing in front of the supermarket chiller trying to pick through option after disappointing option? Instead, make yourself a new meal deal – not to settle for a bad sandwich. Here’s how to make the sandwich you deserve.

Don’t hold back on sauce

The sandwich team, Sandwich Sandwich, Bristol

“Making the perfect sandwich is all about fillings and layering. Sauce first is always key; whether you are a pickle, mayo or chutney lover, starting with the sauce holds your sandwich together perfectly. You can fit almost anything into a sandwich as long as you layer and don’t cram.”

Get the look: Blinged up mayo is a great sauce for lots of sandwich fillings, from ham or chicken to eggs or roasted vegetables. Our scampi po’ boy, pictured above, uses frozen scampi to take the fish finger sandwich to a new level. The sauce is crunchy, mustardy celeriac remoulade, but the recipe includes tips for other ways to jazz up storecupboard mayo. And keep that hot sauce handy.

Keep it crisp and filled up to the crusts

Lorraine Duthie, owner, Lettuce Eat, Aberdeenshire

“Salt tomato and cucumber slices and sit them on a piece of kitchen paper for about 5 minutes. This allows the excess moisture to seep out, intensifying the flavour, and should prevent the slices from sliding out of your sandwich. Adding lettuce? Always wash and dry it with a paper towel, as this prevents it from making your bread or roll soggy.

“Also, if you’re using grated cheese, put the cheese on after the condiment, as it sticks the cheese to the bread and saves it from dropping out of your sandwich when you eat it.

“Finally, since most meat slices tend to be round, and most bread is square, each circle of meat into quarters and place the straight side of the meat facing outwards when putting it onto the bread. This way you end up with a neat finish and no bare corners without filling on them.”

Get the look: To add crispness to your sandwich, get ahead by making or buying pickle such as pickled cucumber or kimchi. A tidy square of focaccia demands neat and square edges. The muffaletta sandwich crams in a selection of cured meats – salami, coppa and mortadella are standard – plus provolone cheese and an olive-caper salsa. Wrap the sandwich and store it for an hour to allow the bread to soak up.

Choose your bread wisely

“For sandwiches, we focus on the personal touch, and use freshly baked bread rolls (rather than sliced bread) made up and filled in front of the customer. Our top tip is to remember the bread is half of the sandwich, so always use freshly baked high-quality bread. There are lots of exciting and really flavoursome types of bread available.”

Step outside your filling comfort-zone

Sally White, owner, Salcooks, Birmingham

“For me, a sandwich doesn’t have to contain meat or cheese. It just needs something saucy (hummus, chutney, pesto, tahini, garlic butter, ricotta, fruit ‘cheese’, tofu ‘mayo’, sweet chilli sauce – never actual mayo, unless it’s a homemade herby garlicky one, maybe), and something crunchy (crisp lettuce, toasted nuts or seeds, pickles, crisps).”