Jibarito Recipe: Chicago's Puerto Rican Smashed Plantain Sandwich Is a Low-Carb Phenomenon by 30Seconds Food
The jibarito (pronounced hee-bar-EE-to) is Chicago's twist on Puerto Rican food. The breadless sandwich is made with fried and flattened plantains, garlic aioli or mayonnaise, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and sometimes avocado. The meat can be steak, pork, chicken or even roast beef.
Story goes that a Borinquen restaurant owner in the 1960s was reading an article about a Puerto Rican sandwich made with plantains. (Borinquen is the Taíno name for Puerto Rico.) Inspiration hit, and he started making his version, which spread across Chicago.
Cuisine: Puerto Rican / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 green plantain, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounces beef steak, cut into bite-sized pieces (skirt steak, flank, ribeye, sirloin, hanger steak, etc.)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (or to taste)
- mayonnaise or garlic aioli (to taste)
- sliced cheese (American, muenster, Swiss, cheddar, Gruyere or your favorite cheese)
- tomato slices
- lettuce leaves
- avocado slices (optional)
Here's how to make it:
- Heat about 2 cups of oil in a small pot to 350 degrees F. Add the plantain halves and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until they float. Remove and drain on paper towels. Put the plantains onto a cutting board. Top with another cutting board and press to flatten. Carefully put them back into the hot oil and cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet. Season the steak with the cumin, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the steak and garlic to the skillet and cook until steak is to desired doneness.
- To assemble the sandwich, top one plantain with lettuce leaves, tomato slices, avocado, steak, cheese and mayonnaise. Top with the other plantain. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, if desired.
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