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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Banh Mi Hot Ga Op La (Vietnamese French Bread with Sunny Side Up Eggs)

Banh mi op la 1

Since I was buying Vietnamese French bread for my Banh Mi Thit Heo Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sandwich), it was also the perfect opportunity to share one of my favorite Vietnamese breakfasts - banh mi hot ga op la (Vietnamese French bread with sunnyside-up eggs), frequently referred to as simply op la for short.

So simple really. Two eggs, sunny-side up, with a splash of Maggi Seasoning Sauce, or soy sauce if you don't have it, and a loaf of bread.

In Vietnam on the street, this breakfast might set you back a whopping 25 cents. Plated and in a restaurant, it might cost as much as 50 cents. *Gasp.* I know! How extravagant!

I never thought this common Vietnamese breakfast was all that unusual until college when I introduced a Japanese-Chinese American friend to the wonders of soy sauce on eggs. She became an instant fan.

Maggi seasoning sauce is really essential. It's similar to soy sauce, without the soy. Think of it as a liquid version of beef bouillon. So beloved is this sauce that Guilty Carnivore and Dylan of Eat, Drink, & Be Merry each devoted a whole post to Maggi. If you can't find it, substitute with soy sauce, although it just won't be quite the same.

Banh mi op la 2

Banh Mi Hot Ga Op La (Vietnamese French Bread with Sunny Side Up Eggs)

You'll need:
2 eggs
1 loaf of Vietnamese French bread
Maggi seasoning sauce

Toast bread.

And in case you don't know how to cook sunny side up eggs...

Turn heat to medium-high. In a saucepan add a few drizzles of oil. Crack two eggs, making sure not to break the yolks. Cover with lid. After a few minutes, check and see if the yolks are slightly white, but not opaque. You want to keep the eggs still runny.

Slide onto a plate. Drizzle Maggi or soy sauce over the eggs.

Eat by dabbing the bread into the runny yolks, and scooping up the fried eggs with the bread.


My other Vietnamese sandwich recipes:
Banh Mi Thit Heo Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Sandwich)
Banh Mi Thit Kho Trung (Vietnamese Braised Pork and Egg Sandwich)
Banh Mi Xa Xiu (Vietnamese Barbecued Pork Sandwich)
Banh Mi Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich)

1 year ago today, the golden crocus and primroses and Punxsutawney Phil says spring is coming.


  1. Man does that bring back memories. There's something about Maggi and French bread and a dab of butter... yum!

  2. I like to douse with Maggi then flip the eggs over easy to the salty MSG goodness imbues into the eggy flesh.

    I usually eat this though after 9 pm.

  3. I learned about Maggi on fried eggs from my aunt, but I never realized other Vietnamese peeps did it too! I thought it was some odd family quirk, happy to know it's an odd cultural quirk instead. :)

  4. Nikki,
    Isn't it great how simple foods brings back memories of childhood?

    Oooh, thanks for reminding me you're a Maggi whore too. I linked you now! Actually, I think I made this for dinner when the photo was taken.

    Yup, it's a traditional breakfast in Vietnam.

  5. I'm drooling!!!I normally stuff the eggs inside banh mi as well. :)

  6. My dad adds spam too. It's even more delightful and really stretches the meal for my big family. I love the bread in Vietnam, but my visit was after the bird-flu scare, so no eggs for moi. Oh well, next time.

  7. We'd have the same thing growing up but with nuoc cham. The running yolk with the nuoc ham was always yummy.

  8. I usually roll with tobasco on my sunny side up eggs. I'll have to look into this maggi sauce.

  9. oh my gosh! i love eggs and soy sauce! my mom makes it for me sometimes at home and it tastes so good! i only like it when they are sunny side up though.

  10. Hedgehog,
    This should be an easy recipe for you. :)

    I ate this with Spam in VN too.

    I put nuoc mam in my scrambled eggs. Hehe.

    You've never heard of Maggi sauce? *Gasp*

    Magical Korean,
    I agree. For some reason, the Maggi or soy sauce is best on sunnyside-up eggs.

  11. I love this dish - we had it every morning when we visited Viet Nam. It really is the breakfast of champions! Maggi is indespensible in our house.

    By the way, do you spring for the $7 bottle made in France? My mom seems to think it's completely different than the regular one that's made in China...

    P.S. Thanks for the rau ma post - just bought a big bunch today to make the drink :)

  12. Christine,
    I've heard that they're totally different but even $4 seems like a lot to me. I just don't use that much of it.

  13. OK...sorry that I was too lazy to compliment you over here instead of on EDBM, but this ROCKS! I hearby declare it a breakfast staple in our household from here on.

    My son will grow up considering this comfort food that brings back fond childhood memories (this along with other greats such as pan de sal and spam or spam and eggs and rice).

    Fortunately I live around the corner from a bakery that sells the bread. And the nice lady there told me how to pop them in the oven for a few seconds to get them nice and crusty on the outside. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    OK...I couldn't leave well enough along of course. I added some minced scallion for color. But that's it. Damn that was good! ;)

  14. Jan Frederick,
    Haha! I wasn't chiding you about commenting on here, just didn't want to annoy Dylan (even though he says it's OK). BTW, if you haven't, you should try making Spam musubi for your son. I bet he'd love that too.

  15. what a wonderful post! THis is my favorite meal ever!

  16. Seasonal Lust,
    Such a simple meal but it seems to make everyone happy!

  17. my mom makes it waaay yummier than me! i was like it's just fried eggs, how can u possibly make it different? apparently hers taste better b/c she fries it w/ some garlic and uses eggs that have gone to room temp. try it and see! :)

  18. Van,
    Oooh, garlic. Love garlic. Will try it next time. I like room temperature eggs too.

  19. Wow. Differences.

    In the midwest I've known folks to eat scrambled eggs, on toast, with ketchup. It's an odd taste (which I like but my husband hates!) however I also introduced him to fried salami and eggs, which he loves, so it all evens out.

    Now I can't wait to go out and get a bottle of maggi to see if there's one more thing we can both like!

  20. Oddlyme,
    I like ketchup with my scrambled eggs too, but never on toast also. Fried salami and eggs, though, I haven't tried.

    Plain soy sauce works great too.

  21. WC -

    I think you'd really like fried salami and eggs. It's very rich and savory, but simple.

    First you take jewish salami and slice it thin, then in strips or quarters. Cook it in butter or margarine (not oil) in a skillet. Cook until you have rendered some of the fat out into the butter and, the salami has a bit of color. (You are flavoring the butter.) Then pour in beaten eggs, salt and pepper, stir and cook like a flat pancake. Flip so both sides are done. That's it!

    It's good hot, room temp or even cold from the fridge. And you can eat a big portion of it for lunch or, cut squares and nibble as snacks.

    Good luck!

  22. Oddlyme,
    Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to try it some day!

  23. OMG! This is exactly what my grandparents used to cook for breakfast every single morning! Along with the coffee and condensed milk. Def reminds me of my childhood. Thanks for posting! I didn't know other Vietnamese families made the same b'fast. Thought our family was just quirky. hee hee! :)

  24. I want it... that looks delicious! Funny enough, got here by a very roundabout means (Googled one thing, came across another thing, sent the link to a friend, who came back with a link from that same site, which contained a broken link to this post, so I Google'd 'op la' and you were the first result, so I had to click to see!).

  25. Jane,
    This is definitely a very common VNese breakfast. I have it several times a week when I'm in VN. Now you don't have to feel so quirky. :)

    Yvo Sin,
    Haha. That is roundabout, but I'm glad you got here.

  26. Yummy Maggi and Eggs. My favorite! LOL It looks delicious.

  27. Jessica,
    Haha. I don't know why such a simple combo has got everyone so excited. :P

  28. Wow, it has been a while since I had this. When I read the title, it brought me back to VN. This is something so simple yet so delish!

  29. T,
    Funny! When you commented, made me think of how long it's been since I've eaten this. Your comment totally made me crave it too.


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