Num Pang’s Peppercorn Catfish Sandwich

  • Num Pang #1
  • Num Pang #2

Following my stay in Connecticut, I took a trip to the Big Apple, mostly to visit my little brother, a freshman at NYU, and my best friend Alex.  Also important was seeing Will, a good friend from college and a New Yorker through and through.  Therefore, I knew Will would be imperative to finding a great sandwich in New York.

He took me to Num Pang, a hole in the wall off Union Square, that serves Cambodian-style sandwiches.  The pork sandwich is their best seller, and consistently sells out early in the day, which was the case on my visit.  Will suggested the catfish sandwich, and if the pork really is better, it must be one hell of a sandwich.  Ordering takes place on the sidewalk through a small window in the restaurant, and just behind the guy taking your order, you can see the entire kitchen.

The sandwich itself was complex in all the right ways.  The catfish was cooked perfectly, flaky and spicy.  For those of you who have been following along, you know that the presence of cucumbers on the sandwich always scores major points with me.  The chili mayo accentuated the peppercorn aspect of the catfish, while the sweet soy sauce complemented the kick provided by the other ingredients.  I’ve never seen cilantro used the way it is in this sandwich: a handful of it takes up the role usually held by lettuce.  One of the best parts of this sandwich for me however, is the tagline on the menu:

Our sandwiches were created to enjoy as they are so PLEASE, NO MODIFICATIONS.

These are the kind of sandwich purists I like.


  1. Reply
    Deb December 17, 2010

    no rating?

  2. Reply
    Tony December 20, 2010

    how do u contact the author here? thanks, tony

  3. Reply
    Payton July 8, 2011

    While wondering past union square this past June I started to feel those lunchtime hunger pangs and figured I’d just grab a slice from an old stand by from my college days… Strombolli Pizza on University Place. As I got to 13th Street I saw the line outside Num Pang, remembered your blog and boy am I glad I did!!!

    I obviously got there early… the Pulled Pork was still available. The pork was succulent and juicy, the bread and vegetable toppings fresh and the combo quite simply delicious. Can we talk about the side of Corn on the Cob with Chili Mayo and Coconut flakes? The absolute best piece of corn I have ever eaten. After one bite I devoured the entire ear.

    Sorry Strombolli 🙁 … next time I feel those pangs I’ll be headed to Nom Pang. Thank you Anatomy of a Sandwich for a brilliant suggestion!

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