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Hangover Helper: The Breakfast Banh Mi

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The bacon and egg breakfast sandwich is the undisputed heavyweight champion of all hangover helpers. Crisp, fatty, salty bacon with protein-rich eggs and a nice carb sponge to soak it all ups. But let me introduce you to the breakfast banh mi, here to give your regular egg-on-a-roll a run for its money.

It has pickled carrots and daikon for some extra salt, sugar, and vitamins (hello electrolytes!), a big smear of fatty mayo with a few savory dashes of amine-rich Maggi seasoning, some sliced Thai chilis to give you a good kick in the seat, and cucumber and cilantro to help wash it down, all on a crisp, Vietnamese banh mi bun.

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Of course, the bacon must be extra crisp, and the eggs must be cooked in the bacon fat over relatively high heat so that the white edges bubble and crisp (the best part of a fried egg!) while the yolk remains nice and runny (the other best part of a fried egg!). I like to baste the top side of the egg by spooning hot bacon fat over it as it cooks so that the top surface blisters and bubbles.

The eggs I used were from Ronnybrook farm, and were amongst the freshest, tightest whites and tallest yolks I've ever seen. They make for especially pretty sunny-side ups.

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As for the rest of the ingredients, you can make your own butter/mayo blend for true authenticity, but with bacon and eggs, we've already given totally authenticity a miss, so I'm fine with plain old mayo. I won't even hold it against you if you absolutely must squirt some Sriracha on here.

I like cutting the cucumber for my banh mi into one long bread-sized slice so that it stays in place as I eat.

As for the Maggi seasoning, it's not essential, but it is what gives banh mi their characteristic savoriness (not, as has been falsely reported, fish sauce).

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If you're anything like me, you'll actually end up using this sandwich as a prophylactic hangover helper, consuming it in the wee hours of morning the night before you know there's a bad one coming up. It'll give your body that restorative edge that it needs to get up in the morning feeling fresh, healthy, and stuffed.

Get the full recipe here.

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