With two eggs on hand, you can make a fried egg banh mi (banh mi trung)—breakfast for many people and my own favorite anytime food. The default is to make sunny-side up eggs or a French-style omelet, but I like to fry the eggs Thai style, in hot oil, for a fluffy, golden brown omelet with a bit of crispness. It’s brilliant, simple cooking.
Thai Fried Omelet Banh Mi
- 2 pinches of black or white pepper
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp fish sauce or soy sauce
- 1 tsp water
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 to 4 Tbsp canola oil
In a bowl, stir or whisk together the pepper, cornstarch, fish sauce, and water. Add the eggs and beat or whisk well to combine. Set aside.
Heat a wok or a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to thickly film the bottom (thick as a bean sprout). Heat until the oil is very hot, nearly smoking; a drop of egg dabbed into the oil should immediately sizzle and bloom.
Pour in the egg (from as high as 12 inches / 30 cm if you love drama). It should spread and puff like a self-inflating raft. Use a spatula to pull and push the edges toward the middle, allowing excess egg to flow out into the oil to expand the size of the omelet. Expect a crazy shape and uneven texture.
When the omelet has nearly set (it’s still wet but not jig- gly), raise the heat to medium-high or high. Fry for about 1 minute, until the edges are golden and the bottom browns a bit. Use one or two spatulas to flip the omelet over. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds longer, or until the bot-tom picks up some browning. If you like briefly refry first side.
Drain and cool the omelet on a rack. Blot excess oil with paper towels, if you like, then fold it over before sliding into bread for banh mi.
Revive a cold omelet in a toaster oven preheated to 375°F (190°C) for 5 to 6 minutes, flipping midway.
Serves Makes enough for 1 sandwich .
About the Author
Reprinted with permission from The Banh Mi Handbook by Andrea Nguyen, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.