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Enter the spotlight; South Africa’s very own Great Gatsby sandwich! If you’re ever in the Cape Town area, you’ll be surprised at just how many places have their version of the Gatsby sandwich recipe readily available to delight patrons! What’s great about the Gatsby sandwich? Well, as far as South African food goes, it’s a mouthful (or ten)! It’s probably the biggest or longest sandwich you will find in Africa, and if you’re looking for an authentic taste of home while you’re abroad, it’s time to whip up one of these bad boys!


Before we get started on making one, let’s take a moment to remember the creator of this fine and fabulous dish! The Gatsby sandwich has local origins! It was invented in Athlone (near the Cape Flats) in 1976 by a shop owner called Rashaad Pandy. He wanted to feed the workers renovating his store and so whipped them up this treat. And guess what? The idea stuck! Now we all get to enjoy this South African food creation!

Of course, we’ve got our own firm favourite Gatsby sandwich recipe, and we are dying to share it with you. So without much further ado, here it is!

How to make a Gatsby sandwich & slap chips (of course, can’t forget those) South African style

While all South African food is delectable to the average Saffa, something special must be said for the Gatsby sandwich. Many restaurants sell it in the country, especially in the Western Cape are, but you can whip up one of your own in the comfort of your own home. Here’s how…

What you need

First, let’s gather all the goodies.

For the chips:

  • 750g bag of frozen slap chips
  • 3 cups of cooking oil (this is for frying, so go for a canola oil if possible)
  • Salt to taste

For the Saffa style basting sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of peri-peri spice mix or masala mix
  • 2 grated garlic cloves
  • ¼ beef stock cube dissolved in 2 cups of warm water
  • 4 tablespoons of BBQ (you can substitute this with chutney if you wish)

For the main event:

  • 2 thinly sliced onions
  • 500g of thinly sliced minute steaks (beef)
  • 1 large roll (the longer, the better)
  • 1 head of shredded lettuce
  • 2 sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced cheese
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You will also need some sauces for serving. Mayo, tomato sauce, and chutney are always good options, along with some hot English mustard!

What to do

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to whip it all up into a Great Gatsby sandwich! Follow these simple instructions.

  • In a large pot, preheat the oil and cook the slap chips for around 5 to 8 minutes. Place the cooked chips into a bowl and place to one side.
  • Add salt to the chips and any other spices that you prefer and combine well. Make sure all the chips are well coated.
  • Cover the chip bowl with a kitchen towel and let the chips rest for around 5 minutes. This will ensure that they become genuinely slap.
  • Bring to boil all the honey, peri-peri or masala mix, garlic, beef stock, and BBQ sauce/chutney in a pot.
  • Let the ingredients simmer until the sauce becomes a bit thicker.
  • In a frying pan, fry the onion until it starts to brown, and then add the basting sauce.
  • Season the steak and then fry the strips in a separate pan until they are just cooked through.
  • Pour the basting sauce over the steak strips and cook for a further minute to allow the sauce to sink into the meat.
  • Slice the extra-long roll open and start to layer the ingredients. Start with a layer of shredded lettuce.
  • Then place the sliced tomato onto the top of the lettuce, followed by the slap chips and then the steak strips and sauce.
  • Fry the eggs in the basting sauce frying pan – the remnants of sauce will add extra flavour to the eggs.
  • Place the eggs on top of the steak strips and top with slices of cheese.

Generously add sauces for a bit of extra indulgence!

Now you have a delectable Gatsby sandwich, and it’s time to dig in. This is a sharing meal, so don’t forget to ask everyone to help themselves to a portion of the loaf. Remember to grip the roll between your hands tightly to ensure that the contents don’t slip and fall out. All that’s left now is to enjoy!

Turn to FinGlobal for all your tax and financial emigration planning

Once you’ve wrapped your head and mouth around the mouth-wateringly delicious Gatsby sandwich, it’s time to think of other pressing matters that impact your emigration from South Africa. If you’re living abroad or planning to live overseas, have you considered your tax and financial emigration obligations, and have you adhered to the latest rules and regulations? If you’re unsure or haven’t started the process yet, it’s time to chat with a consultant at FinGlobal. With ten years of experience in the industry and a reputation of offering premier advice and guidance to SA expats the world over, we are confident that we can streamline all relevant processes for you.

Whether you need assistance accessing your retirement funds from abroad or need some advice and guidance when it comes to your tax and financial emigration obligations, we’re ready to assist. All you have to do is get in touch with us to discuss your needs and requirements. You can give us a call on +27 28 312 2764 or email us at info@finglobal.com for more information and advice.