LA’s Favorite TikTok-Famous Sandwich Guy Shares His 5 Best Recipes

Making chicken vodka parm, French dip and lamb burgers with Salt Hank

September 12, 2023 6:35 am
Two halves of a sandwich on a table
Henry Laporte, aka @Salt_Hank, ranks his favorite sandwiches that he's made
Courtesy of Henry Laporte

The first question I have for Henry Laporte — aka @Salt_Hank, a wildly popular foodie creator on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube — is simple: Is he sick of sandwiches yet? “No! Of course not. How dare you?” Laporte says with a laugh, feigning outrage at the thought, as making gooey, grilled, stacked and sweating sandwiches is exactly what’s put him on the map — and earned him over two million followers on TikTok, another million on Instagram and 80,000-plus YouTube subscribers who regularly tune in to watch his longer-format show, Side Of Salt

On the show, which launches a new season very soon, Hank deconstructs and recreates such salty, savory classics as Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch and In-N-Out’s Double Double with Animal Fries. The occasional, and typically decadent, soup, crispy taco, buttery pasta or lovingly braised meat dish will make its way into the mix — but mostly, he sticks to sandwiches. “I love sandwiches — they’re the perfect food,” Laporte tells InsideHook. “But also, they do work well for short-form content. It’s more of a novelty way to make some incredible food, but also make it fun, because literally anything can be turned into a sandwich. You can get so creative with them and there’s never-ending possibilities.” 

Born and raised in Petaluma, California, Hank recently moved from the Bay Area to Venice in Los Angeles. And though he’s been a foodie of sorts since the tender age of eight — as in, his mom had to hide cured meats like salami from him or he’d consume them in one sitting and make himself sick — Laporte cites YouTube chefs and the recent rise of more casual video cooking tutorials for inspiring him to try his hand at making content. First and foremost, he gives credit to chef Matty Matheson, current supporting actor on The Bear and a bonafide social media and TV star in his own right. “He’s definitely my biggest inspiration,” Laporte says. “He was one of the dudes that was early on just kinda screwing around, and swearing, and screwing up, too. He’d make mistakes and be like, ‘Ah shit, whatever, who cares, keep it moving.’”

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With plenty of room for improvising

After spending years applying for PA jobs at places like Tastemade, Laporte started just doing it himself instead. “As far as the @Salt_Hank thing, I just got super lucky and went viral on TikTok about two years ago,” he remembers. “That’s when I gave up on literally everything else. I quit my job — prematurely, probably — but I was pretty laser-focused. All I wanted to do for the rest of my life was make food content.” These days, guests on Salt Hank’s Instagram include celebrities like music producer Benny Blanco, who are just as fascinated by his insanely creative sandwich content as the rest of us.

When he’s not running a cooking show or making viral social media videos, you’ll still find Laporte making and eating decadent sandwiches in his free time. Which means there’s literally no better person to ask to rank his top five sandwiches. So without further ado, here’s the five best sandwiches @Salt_Hank has ever made.

Pork Belly Banh Mi With Dip

“I lived in Vietnam for a couple months back in 2019, and ate banh mis four times a day. If you really want to go crazy, make the banh mi dip, which is adding the au jus on the side with some hoisin sauce, fish sauce and sriracha. Boil that down into a really intense, flavorful Vietnamese broth.”

Chicken Vodka Parm

“Here’s one of the best food hacks of all time: compound butter. The Chicken Vodka Parm is where I first tested the waters with that, and the amount of flavor the compound butter adds beats out all the other ingredients combined. It’s the most juicy, delicious addition and can be applied to any sandwich. The easiest way to do it is to throw a stick of butter into a food processor and blend it up with any other flavorful ingredients. This one was roasted garlic, Calabrian chilis, butter, salt, pepper and parsley.”

Lamb Burger

“What sets this one apart is the whipped feta dip. There’s only five ingredients: the harissa mayo, lamb burger, arugula, pickled onion and whipped feta, but those things all combine together into the most incredible fusion of flavors. They’re all just perfectly best friends within that sandwich. Lamb is an underutilized meat, especially in burgers. It’s also the first video that really went viral on my channel, so I had to give an honorary mention.”

Chicken Pesto Sandwich 

“This is a classic. I make the pesto incredibly garlicky. The pickled peppers are a recipe I learned from Brad Leone — it adds this amazing, spicy acidity. My favorite thing to do, which I learned from Matty Mattheson, is to make an actual salad on a sandwich. It has an arugula and red onion salad dressed with lemon balsamic dressing on it. That’s the best way to add lettuce to a sandwich. Dress a full entire salad, put it on the sandwich, and then add the rest of your ingredients. That’s a nice little cheat code.”

French Dip

“This one is about the onions. I basically make French onion soup and then don’t add beef stock. There’s red wine, three different kinds of onions, cognac and Worcestershire sauce. The amount of flavor from those onions is unbelievable. That’s the biggest thing that goes crazy about that sandwich. Also, the beef jus. I load it up with as much bouillon and mirepoix as I can, fry that down, add more beef stock and strain it out. Everything comes out in this gigantic, ridiculous flavor explosion. This is honestly probably the number one sandwich, overall, forever. I’ve pretty much perfected that sandwich.”


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