Banh Mi Op La Recipe – Banh Mi with Omelette. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Banh Mi Op La Recipe – Hoi An Style Banh Mi with Omelette Inspired by the Banh Mi Queen

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This banh mi op la recipe, which is essentially a banh mi or Vietnamese baguette sandwich with an omelette, is a great breakfast or brunch dish combining the Southeast Asian classic breakfast of grilled pork with the addition of an omelette all wrapped up in a baguette.

We had been going to our favourite banh mi shop, Bánh Mì Phuong, in Hoi An for a couple of weeks into our three month stay in the Central Vietnam port town, when a local friend suggested we ask the ladies to make us their bánh mì ốp la (also written as ‘banh mi opla’ sometimes) instead of our usual banh mi ‘with the lot’ (see our banh mi recipe).

Once we tried Phuong’s banh mi op la, there was no turning back. And then we were switched on to Madame Khanh’s bahn mi op la by our friend, Neville, who had named her the ‘Banh Mi Queen’. I hate to think how many eggs we ate a week during our months in Hoi An.

Banh Mi Op La Recipe – Hoi An Style Banh Mi with Omelette

While the translation of ‘op la’ best equates to the French ‘oeufs au plat’, what arrived was not fried eggs on our baguettes, but a French-style omelette made with two eggs and a dash of fish sauce and black pepper.

We should probably be calling this banh mi op la recipe a Hoi An style banh mi op la, because if you ordered banh mi op la outside the charming riverside town you would get a very different type of Vietnamese sandwich. The more correct term, especially in Southern Vietnam, would be bánh mì trứng where you could ask for this and it would get you the same thing.

It’s very different to bánh mì ốp la Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, where you’d receive a metal pan with fried eggs and sausage tossed with a baguette on the side. Not exactly an inspiring dish, unless you have a craving for a simplified English fry up.

Vendors in Hanoi also do banh mi with omelettes, but they’re a decidedly more simple affair compared to those in Hoi An, made for eating on the run. Generally you’ll get a baguette filled with cucumber, chillies, coriander (cilantro to our American readers), and a dash of soy sauce. It’s a tasty but rather utilitarian version compared to the more extravagant version in Hoi An.

There’s a great and very straightforward recipe for the Hanoi style banh mi with omelette in this Vietnamese Street Food cookbook.

While this banh mi with omelette became our go-to order at Bánh Mì Phuong for a while, we didn’t order it if the stall was too busy as it took one of the ladies off the production line of assembling the banh mi for the long queue of customers they mostly had.

However, Lara would soon learn on the Last Great Taste of Hoi An street food tour that banh mi op la was the specialty of the lovely old Madame Khanh, whom tour operator Neville Dean had nicknamed (and made famous as) ‘the Bahn Mi Queen’.

And Madame Khanh’s bahn mi op la was even better than Phuong’s omelette baguette. In a tiny pan over a fierce flame this dear little old lady deftly and very quickly made an omelette using just a pair of chopsticks. It was quite a thing to behold.

So… decent slices of char siu pork, an omelette, and plenty of hot Hoi An chilli sauce is the basis of this Hoi An style banh mi op la recipe. Madame Khanh only sparingly used her homemade pâté, and no pickled carrot, just daikon radish, cucumber and coriander, all used quite frugally.

Banh Mi Op La Recipe – Hoi An Style Banh Mi with Omelette

Banh Mi Op La Recipe – Banh Mi with Omelette. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Banh Mi Op La Recipe – Hoi An Style Banh Mi with Omelette

This Banh Mi Op La recipe, which is essentially a banh mi or Vietnamese sandwich with omelette, is a great breakfast or brunch dish combining the Southeast Asian classic breakfast of grilled pork with the addition of an omelette all wrapped up in a baguette.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings made with recipe1
Calories 686 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 demi-baguette
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • fish sauce
  • pepper
  • pork liver pâté
  • mayonnaise
  • 1 cucumber - sliced thin
  • ¼ bunch coriander
  • 1 banana chilli - thinly sliced
  • handful of pickled carrots and daikon
  • decent slices of char siu pork - belly, tenderloin or both
  • chilli sauce or chilli paste to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F).
  • Place the baguettes in the oven until warm – usually about a minute.
  • Slice the baguette lengthways but don’t cut all the way through.
  • Break the eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly, add a dash of fish sauce and a little pepper. Don’t add salt, the fish sauce is salty enough.
  • Add a tablespoon of vegetable to an omelette pan over medium-high heat, add the eggs and make an omelette following the directions in this post.
  • Spread a little pâté on the bottom half of the baguette and mayonnaise on the top half.
  • Add the cucumber slices on top of the pâté, the omelette and then slices of the char siu pork.
  • Add the chilli slices, pickled carrots and daikon and then the coriander.
  • Add chilli sauce or chilli paste to your taste.
  • Eat immediately!

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 686kcalCarbohydrates: 61.1gProtein: 37.3gFat: 32.8gSaturated Fat: 8.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 24.2gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 265mgSodium: 1952mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 20.7g

Do let us know if you make this Banh Mi Op La Recipe – we’d love to hear how it turns out for you.

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AUTHOR BIO

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Terence Carter is an editorial food and travel photographer and infrequent travel writer with a love of photographing people, places and plates of food. After living in the Middle East for a dozen years, he settled in South-East Asia a dozen years ago with his wife, travel and food writer and sometime magazine editor Lara Dunston.

8 thoughts on “Banh Mi Op La Recipe – Hoi An Style Banh Mi with Omelette Inspired by the Banh Mi Queen”

  1. Making my mouth water just looking at this. Lost track of how much Banh Mi we ate while in Vietnam – delicious!

    Need to try to make something back at home, but need to think of a good vegetarian replacement for the pork and pate!

  2. Thanks, Karianne! I think the omelette and salad is tasty enough without needing a replacement, but what about trying Vietnamese fried tofu with it? Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Hi Fee, the Vietnamese love their pork, and pork and eggs go so well together. Terence and I have never tried lamb, but let us know if you do and how it tastes. What about chicken and egg perhaps? Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Lived in Hoi An for a year, just off Cui Di road, by the bridge ot of Old Town, the Op La trolley that appeared there in the mornings was mind blowing, I had two everyday….thank you so much for this, had been looking for a good recipe :)5 stars

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