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RECIPE: Tramezzini Venetian 'crab' sandwiches

I first encountered these special sandwiches on a trip to Venice years ago. Tramezzini are generally triangular shaped, on soft white crustless bread, and bursting with a variety of rich fillings (which are generally not vegan-friendly). For our version, this is a take on the tuna/crab Venetian-style filling and using a few plant based ingredients to mimic the texture and flavour. Serve this as a light lunch or for aperitivo with a spritz or cold glass of prosecco.

Traditional tramezzini fillings include tuna, crab, hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise, with additional marinated or fresh vegetables. For our veganised recipe, jackfruit mimics the texture of crab meat, and dried sea vegetable and fish sauce are used to create the flavour of the sea. Young (unripe) green canned jackfruit can be found in Asian grocery stores and some supermarkets. Just ensure you choose the one in brine, not syrup.


Serves 2-3 | 20 minutes + marinating


  • 400g can of young green jackfruit pieces in brine

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried sea vegetable, like wakame or dulse

  • 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise + extra for spreading

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or spring onions

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 6 pieces thin white bread, crusts removed

  • optional fillings: blanched asparagus, capers, pickled cucumbers, marinated artichokes, olives


  1. Drain the can of jackfruit and wash the fruit thoroughly to rinse off the brine. Lightly squeeze out excess water.

  2. Cut off the ‘core’ segment from each piece of jackfruit. This core is similar to the hard segment of a pineapple. Discard the core pieces.

  3. Taking the remaining jackfruit, rip the fruit into shreds with your fingers. This will be your crab meat.

  4. Place the shredded jackfruit into a medium bowl. Stir through the lemon juice, dried sea vegetable, fish sauce, mayonnaise, chives or onions, salt and pepper. Test seasonings and set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

  5. Spread each slice of bread with the extra mayonnaise. Divide the crab meat over 3 slices of bread. You may include optional fillings. Top with remaining bread. Cut diagonally for the classic style tramezzino shape.

  6. Serve immediately. Better yet, enjoy with a cold glass of prosecco, spritz, wine or beer!

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