Take Pastrami Beyond the Sandwich with Tacos, Pizza and More
A pastrami sandwich is pretty much a perfect dish, so it's no surprise that chefs are turning to the spiced, smoky meat for inspiration for other dishes. Whether it's using pastrami spices on different types of protein, like salmon or cod, or basically turning an entire pastrami sandwich, mustard, sauerkraut and all, into a taco or a pizza, these chefs prove that the beauty of pastrami isn't limited to tucking it between slices of bread.
It’s a deli sandwich-mash-up at Bar Moga in New York City, where Executive Chef Takanori Akiyama plates his spicy, pastrami-smoked salmon on a light bed of watercress topped with red onion and capers. No bagels or rye bread required.
At Santa Fe’s Eloisa, Chef/Owner John Rivera Sedlar turns spicy beef pastrami into tacos, by tucking the meat into blue corn taco shells. The tacos come topped with sauerkraut, pickled chilies and yellow ballpark mustard.
Michael Schwartz took pastrami to Italy (via one of his Miami restaurants, Harry’s Pizza) as part of a “pass the pastrami” promotion with New York’s Katz’s Deli. His take on the iconic sandwich took the form of a pastrami pizza, made with a rye crust, and topped with kraut, mustard sauce, and melted gruyere (recipe).
At New York City’s Sunday in Brooklyn, Jaime Young gives black cod the pastrami treatment, coating the mild fish with pastrami spices and gently smoking it for a dish that had us and the diners around us questioning why other chefs hadn’t thought to do this before. He serves it with rye sour cream and garden pickles at dinner, and on a platter with smoked salmon and whole wheat toast for brunch at the all-day café.