Lekker Brekker Monday: The traditional Uitsmijter

Lekker Brekker Monday: The traditional Uitsmijter
Tony Jackman’s uitsmijter. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Like many of the best sandwiches, an uitsmijter is quick to make but packs just the kind of punch you need if you wake up ravenous and desperate to see what’s in the fridge and larder. With luck, you’ll find bread, ham, cheese and eggs.

In the early Seventies, not yet out of my teens, I fell in with a Dutch crowd in Cape Town, most especially a longhaired, black-bearded dude called Rob who wore a calf-length trench coat and was given to chuckling ironically at almost everything.

But the other thing I remember most about him was his love for an uitsmijter

Uitsmijter. The word means “to forcefully throw out”, so you could say that a nightclub bouncer is an uitsmijter. The word is redolent of courage, facing up to things, and getting a decisive result. In food terms it refers to a sandwich that does that in a sense: it deals decisively with that need to eat.

This is what people call an “open sandwich”, even if that term kind of folds in on itself, because the whole point of a sandwich is that something is encased between something on top and something beneath. Such as two slices of bread. So nothing here is sandwiched, which is one difference between an uitsmijter and a croque monsieur, for instance. They both have bread, ham and cheese, though there’s no egg in or on the latter; unless you do add an egg, in which case you’ve made a croque madame.

Mustard is not usually a part of an uitsmijter, and traditionally it would be topped with not one but two fried eggs. So bear this in mind when choosing the bread for the base, or use two slices edge to edge.

I used regular Gouda, but if your budget allows for it try to find an aged Gouda. Something with a bit of depth to it. You do need butter, both for the bread and to fry the eggs in. I never fry eggs in anything but butter.

It’s best to use a good quality smoked ham, as best as you can find.

Should the bread be toasted? I gave the slices of bread a light toasting, so that the bread still had a pleasing softness with a slight warm crunch.

An uitsmijter can be built on one very large slice of bread or two smaller slices placed cheek-by-jowl next to one another before being piled with ham and cheese and topped with the fried eggs.

Please adapt the number of slices of the ham you buy does not fit the bread edge to add. You may need to add extra slices.

(Makes 2)


4 slices of white bread


4 slices of good quality smoked ham (2 slices per uitsmijter)

4 thick slices of mature gouda or other Dutch cheese (2 per uitsmijter)

4 extra large eggs

Salt and black pepper


Lightly toast the bread, place the slices edge to edge on a plate and butter the top sides well.

Place the ham on top. Add the cheese, and don’t be shy with it.

Fry the eggs gently in butter and leave the yolks soft and sunny side up.

Place them neatly alongside each other on the cheese.

Season with a little salt and black pepper if you like. DM

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Writer 2023, jointly with TGIFood columnist Anna Trapido. Order his book, foodSTUFF, here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed on a plate by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.



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