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Cheesy Fried Egg & Mortadella Banh Mi

Banh Mi carts stand precariously at the ready on wild roadsides across Vietnam, each selling at least a few versions of the famed baguette sandwich. Any time of day, a fried egg sandwich is a welcome, inexpensive high-protein meal. Make a large batch of the herb-packed mayo to use on other sandwiches, as a veggie dip or fold in some crab and bake it for a hot dip.

Yield: 10 Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pickled vegetables (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups Spicy Herb Spread (recipe follows)
  • 20 Cheesy Fried Eggs (recipe follows)
  • 10 each, 6- to 8-inch, thin-crusted, light-textured baguettes
  • 1 lb. Mortadella, sliced
  • ½ cup Asian basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 5 cups arugula, watercress or other spicy greens
  • ½ cup fried shallots

Steps

  1. Toss pickled veggies with arugula and basil.
  2. Toast baguettes in 400° F oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Split in half lengthwise, leaving one side intact.
  3. Generously spread top and bottom of each baguette with Spicy Herb Spread (about 1 tbsp. on each side.)
  4. Layer two to three slices mortadella on spread in each baguette.
  5. Next, evenly distribute green-herb-carrot mixture.
  6. Gently top with two fried eggs per sandwich.
  7. Sprinkle some fried shallots into each sandwich. Serve immediately.

Pickled Vegetables

Ingredients

  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned less than 1-inch length
  • 1 cup red peppers, minced or rings of mini-peppers

Steps

  1. Whisk vinegar, sugar and salt together in bowl. Mix in carrots and red peppers. Marinate at least 30 minutes. Will hold refrigerated 3 to 5 days. Drain liquid before adding vegetables to sandwiches.

Spicy Herb Spread

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. chili sauce (Sriracha, chili garlic, sambal, etc.)
  • 2 tsp. Maggi sauce, soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 cup cilantro, leaves + tender stems, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup green onion, thinly sliced

Steps

  1. Fold together all ingredients into thick spread. Store refrigerated.

Cheesy Fried Eggs

Ingredients

  • 20 eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. Jack cheese, shredded (can substitute Cheddar)
  • Cracked black pepper, as needed
  • Salt, as needed

Steps

  1. Crack eggs into individual bowls/containers, so they are easy to dump and cook quickly.
  2. Add 2 tsp. oil to 8- to 10-inch, nonstick pan; heat over medium heat.
  3. Distribute shredded cheese (2 to 3 tbsp.) on pan where eggs will be poured. Add eggs two at a time, sprinkle with pinch of salt, cracked black pepper. Fry until egg whites are cooked (yolks runny), edges should be bubbly and browned in some places. Remove and drain briefly on paper towel before layering in sandwich.
  4. Add eggs two at a time, sprinkle with pinch of salt, cracked black pepper. Fry until egg whites are cooked (yolks runny), edges should be bubbly and browned in some places. Remove and drain briefly on paper towel before layering in sandwich.