The Right Sandwich for Right Now

Flavored with garlic mayonnaise, chiles, cilantro and lime, Kay Chun’s salt and pepper shrimp roll screams summer.

By Emily Weinstein

Hello from New York Times headquarters! I’m writing to you from my desk at the office, where I am for the first time since Covid banished me to my home, which I know makes me fortunate. It’s sort of thrilling to be here, even though it’s still empty, and to imagine the newsroom hive buzzing again. But, wow, I felt stress pangs as I left the house. What time would I be getting home? How will I make dinner in the fall when I’ll be commuting more often? Were my phone and keys even in my bag?

OK, sorry, I hope I did not just stress you out, too. It’s still summer! We’re fine! Here are five recipes that are fast and easy enough to break out as soon as you walk through the door. And of course they are just as good when there is no commute, and especially so on warm evenings when the first order of business is a cold drink. Thoughts? Requests? Reach out to me anytime: [email protected]

1. Salt and Pepper Shrimp Rolls

This easy sandwich by Kay Chun screams summer to me, and I can’t wait to make it. The seasonings are inspired by Chinese salt and pepper fried shrimp; the shrimp here are tucked into a toasted hot dog bun with a swipe of garlic mayonnaise and some chiles, cilantro and squeezes of lime.

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2. Rotisserie Chicken Salad With Greens and Herbs

A ready-to-eat chicken is a great kind of chicken. Sam Sifton shreds the meat and mixes it with arugula, scallions, cilantro and avocado, dressing it all with olive oil and lime. If you have an assortment of herbs to toss in, all the better.

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3. Gochugaru Salmon With Crispy Rice

An efficient and extremely delicious dinner: Eric Kim sears salmon fillets, then uses the rendered fat from the fish to season and crisp precooked rice that’s pressed into the skillet like a pancake. The big finale is a fast sauce made with gochugaru, maple syrup and rice vinegar; the red-pepper glaze is poured over the fish to coat.

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4. Arepas de Choclo With Avocado Salad

These arepas, from the cookbook “Colombiana” by Mariana Velásquez, incorporate fresh corn kernels and cheese into the batter, which is pan-fried into a golden cake. Pair them with a tomato and avocado salad for an irresistible light meal, the kind that’s just right for late July.

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5. One-Pot Zucchini-Basil Pasta

This is immensely clever cooking from Alexa Weibel: a pasta dish in which the noodles and zucchini cook directly in stock, with mascarpone, crème fraîche or even softened cream cheese stirred in for silkiness. Excellent for both adults and kids.

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