This 30 minute Jibarito is made with fried plantains instead of bread and filled with all of your favorite sandwich ingredients. It's a truly delicious piece of Puerto Rican American culture, full of unique flavor and texture.
This post may contain affiliate links; this means if you purchase an item linked, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to learn more about my disclosure policy.
You haven't truly experienced Puerto Rican American food until you've tried a Jibarito.
Created by Puerto Rican immigrants in Chicago, it's the perfect combination of the two cultures, with classic American sandwich fixings piled atop perfectly fried green plantains and a generous smear of mayoketchup.
It's like a sandwich made with tostones instead of bread!
Here is what you will need to make a jibarito
- green plantains
- cooking oil
- steak or deli meat of choice
- mayoketchup or whatever condiments you like
- tomatoes, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
See recipe card for quantities.
Prep the filling ingredients. Make the mayoketchup, slice the tomatoes, and rinse and dry the lettuce. Chop if desired.
Fry the plantains. Start by peeling them while the oil heats in a pot. Cut the plantains in half before frying until they begin to turn golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cool.
Smash the plantains and fry again. From here, it's time to smash the plantains. Place them in between two cutting boards or in a Tostonera and gently smash until they flatten. Fry again in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy.
Here you can add any other sandwich ingredients you want like avocado, cheese, pickles, etc..
Assemble the jibaritos. Start with one fried plantain and start assembling by spreading a generous spoonful of the mayoketchup, topped with the meat, followed by the veggies, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Here you can add any other sandwich ingredients you want like avocado, cheese, pickles, etc.. Top with the second fried plantain and enjoy!
Depending on your dietary preferences, you can definitely substitute the ingredients to make this sandwich work for you. Here are some easy ideas:
- Vegan - instead of steak or deli meat, try using sliced tofu or shredded jackfruit with your favorite seasonings
- Vegetarian - double up on the cheese and skip the meat altogether for an easy vegetarian sandwich
Here are some of my favorite ways to customize my jibarito:
- Pickled onions - some raw or pickled onions can add a great flavor and crunch
- Banana peppers - I'm a big fan of adding pickles or peppers to any sandwich
- Avocado - some thinly sliced avocado makes a delicious creamy addition as well
- Fresh herbs - I really love cilantro but feel free to use your favorite herbs to round out the flavor here
The options are truly endless with this sandwich and the variations you can make!
What to Eat it With
While this sandwich is pretty filling on it's own, there are a few traditional Puerto Rican sides that go really well alongside it:
- Mofongo - because there is no such thing as too many plantains in Puerto Rican cuisine!
- Arroz con Gandules - the perfect rice & beans dish to fill you up if the sandwich didn't do the trick.
For this recipe you will need a good quality pot or pan to fry the plantains.
You will also need some kind of tool to smash the fried plantains, but a traditional Tostonera is made for making tostones, which are often much smaller and not compatible for smashing a whole plantain.
For this reason, I recommend just using flat two plates or cutting boards like I did (see image above).
Because of the twice fried plantains, this sandwich is best enjoyed fresh and does not stand up well to freezing.
The biggest tip to successfully making a jibarito? Prep your filling ingredients ahead of time!
This way you can enjoy the sandwich while the plantains are still hot and fresh.