For 2 months in 2006, I lived in Nha Trang, a beach front town in South Vietnam where my mom currently resides. It’s a beautiful and somewhat touristy town with delicious food. One of my favorite parts of the day was waking up in the morning and deciding which street food vendor I would try next. Unlike most urban American street vendors, where you have your standard pretzel, hot dog, or falafel carts, the vendors in Vietnam serve a smorgasbord of different dishes. On one corner, you can treat yourself to beef noodle soup. If you go down a block, you can gorge on savory sizzling crepes. Kitty corner from that vendor, you can indulge in a brothy seafood soup.
It’s truly a never ending quest for new food experiences, but one of the most memorable street vending moments I can recall took place on a very lazy Sunday. As I remember, I was almost too sore to move from all the swimming (benefits of living near a beach) and I didn’t feel up to do some edible venturing into town. Instead, I limped just downstairs where a nice family held there Banh Mi cart. I ordered Banh Mi Op La, which is basically an egg sandwich. They toasted a freshly baked baguette, cooked 3 eggs over a cast iron skillet (sunny side up, of course), and poured roughly a tablespoon of soy sauce over the sizzling eggs. I broke the sandwich in half and shared it with my younger sister. As soon as we bit into the warm crust dripping with salty yolky goodness, we looked at each other and it was as if we communicated telepathically. “Yumm” was our shared thought.
I know what you’re thinking, eggs and soy sauce? What’s the big whoop about? Right? For us, it was a memory, a memory of Saturday mornings with the family, around the kitchen table, sharing a big skillet of fried eggs and soy sauce with sandwich bread and breakfast sausage. It was much more than an egg sandwich, it was a big slab of nostalgia between 2 halves of french bread.
Now, I know it looks odd, but if you’ve never tasted eggs with soy sauce, I highly encourage you to try it! The umami flavor from the soy mixed with the rich velvety egg yolk is something truly incredible. At the risk of sounding like your mother –> try it, you just might like it!