Crispy Pork Jibarito
Marinated mini crispy pork, lettuce, tomatoes and micro greens drizzled with jalapeno cilantro sauce sandwiched between two fried plantains is our riff on a Jibarito. Traditionally, a Jibarito is made with fried, smashed, fried, green plantains, an extra garlicky mayo sauce, steak, cheese, lettuce and tomato. With summer fully blazing we wanted to make a light summer sandwich. Our plantain sandwiches can be made in about an hour, but you will need to allow additional time for marinating the meat.
I am sure you have heard the phrase; timing is everything. It could never be more true than with this recipe. Your ultimate goal is to have warm crispy fried plantains, hot out the pan breaded pork strips, assemble your sandwiches and eat them while they are fresh. These are definitely not a make ahead sandwich. Best when fresh are their motto! At South Shore Kitchen our favorite days to make this recipe is when everyone is sitting around the kitchen telling stories or out on the deck ready to eat. Even better if you have a pair of extra hands to help with the frying. One working the plantains and the other on the pork. Even if you don’t have a helping hand it is fairly easy if you keep on top of things with the following tips.
We Got the Meat
Make sure that your meat is pounded very thin. These are a delicate creation and you want to be able to bite through the meat without destroying the structure of your whole sandwich. Starting out with a very thin slice of meat is essential because they will bulk up considerably after breading or frying.
We pounded our pork very thin which makes for a quick cooking time. Keep in mind you don’t want to overcook because they will dry out easily. To cook pork safely “The National Pork Board recommends cooking chops, roasts, loins, and tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145° F, followed by a three-minute rest.” for best results. At South Shore Kitchen it has been our experience that it takes approximately 4 minutes per side.
We used plantains aka cooking bananas as a substitute for bread in our sandwiches. You will need to use unripened plantains; they should be green and firm in texture. At this stage they will be starchy with a neutral flavor. As they ripen the flavor becomes sweeter, so it is best for this recipe to be very green. The skin on plantains is much thicker than you find on Cavendish bananas which means no peeling by hand. We use a sharp knife to open the skin. Lay plantain flat on its side, cut away from your body along the length only cutting deep enough to go through the skin but not cutting the fruit itself. Peel skin away and cut in half on the short side. Next take one of your half pieces and cut it in half again lengthwise. Making the same cut on the other large piece of plantain. Now that your plantain is cut into fourths take each piece and cut off the outside curved edge. They are now ready for frying. Keep in mind cutting the plantains doesn’t have to be exact you are just trying to make the best slices for your mini sandwiches.
Mini Crispy Pork Sandwiches
- Yield: 8 Sandwiches 1x
- Cuisine: Caribbean
- 4 green plantains, halved and sliced into 1/4ths lengthwise
- Seasoning salt or table salt
- Oil for frying
- 4–5 cloves of garlic
- Large handful of fresh cilantro
- ¾ cup white grapefruit juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp tajin
- ¼ tsp umami seasoning
- Salt & pepper
- 1-pound pork steak pounded thin and cut into strips (approx. 4×3 inches)
- 1 cup Siggi’s Skyr Yogurt
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp seasoning salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 Jalapeno, seeds removed
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup water + 2 tbsp
- Tomato, sliced
- Micro Greens or Alfalfa Sprouts
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Place marinade ingredients in the blender and puree.
- Pour marinade in container, add pounded meat, cover and refrigerate, while preparing other ingredients.
- Next, add the sauce ingredients to a personal blender and process until smooth if sauce is too chunky incorporate more lime juice until the texture is just right. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Get 2 medium flat bottom bowls. In one bowl all the breading ingredients and in the other bowl add batter ingredients minus the water in the other. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat add about 1/4th inch of oil. Once heated add plantain slices fry each side for about 2 minutes, remove from oil, using a heavy flat-bottomed plate smash each plantain slice, add back to hot oil and fry for an additional minute on each side. Remove from oil, place on a wire rack or paper towel and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
- Take a straight sided skillet, add about two inches of oil and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove meat from the refrigerator and drain off the marinade liquid. Set aside while you add water to batter mix. You will dip pork strips in wet batter and then immediately coat both sides with breadcrumbs. Gently lay strips into oil and fry breaded pork at 350 degrees for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillets and place on wire rack or paper towel to drain off excess grease. Let sit for 3 minutes before assembling sandwiches.
- To assemble your sandwich layer on a plate in the following order starting at the bottom working your way up. One fried plantain, a bed of lettuce, a piece of pork, micro greens, drizzle with sauce and top with one fried plantain.
You can easily supplement a hoagie or slider bun if you don’t have plantains.