Jibarito Recipe: Chicago's Puerto Rican Smashed Plantain Sandwich Recipe Is a Low-Carb Phenomenon From the 1960s by 30Seconds Food

Jibarito Recipe: Chicago's Puerto Rican Smashed Plantain Sandwich Recipe Is a Low-Carb Phenomenon From the 1960s

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 steakporkchicken 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

This jibarito sandwich recipe is simple to make and a welcome change from typical sandwiches, especially if you're watching your carbs or gluten

Cuisine: Puerto Rican / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1


  • 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: 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.

Need help converting cooking and baking measurements? Here are some handy kitchen conversion charts.

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Wow, does this bring back great memories! I ate these growing up in Chicago, and they are delicious! Haven't had one is a long time, so I look forward to making one at home now. Thanks for the easy recipe! #yum
Never had one but am game to try this...

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