This type of torta was sold at a street food stand in my hometown of Tampico, Tamaulipas, many years ago. The stand was located at the corner of the municipal market one block from the Maritime Terminal; it was a busy area, since the train station was also close by. For some reason, these sandwiches were only sold in the evenings. Sometimes my dad would buy some tortas to bring home for dinner, but since we didn’t live close to that area, the sandwiches were already cold when my father arrived home. We still enjoyed them anyway, since it wasn’t very often that we got to have them. Nowadays, I prefer to have them cold, just to go back in time to those moments with my dad!
One of the things that made this sandwich so special was the salsa. Local sandwich vendors always offered their own bottled salsa, found alongside the traditional pickled jalapeños and carrots used to spice up the sandwich. I posted the recipe for the red hot bottled sauce last week and you can find the link HERE, but you can also use a store bought red sauce. It really changes the whole flavor of the sandwich.
In Mexico, tacos are the number one favorite street food, but tortas are in second place. Kids take them to school for lunch, since most schools don’t offer a cafeteria service.
- 8 ounces Pork Carnitas, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)*
- 2 Crusty bolillos or teleras; you can use Kaiser rolls, too.**
- 4 tomato slices
- 2 onion slices
- ½ cup of cabbage, finely sliced
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 6 Tablespoons refried beans
- A few drops of hot red bottled sauce
- * You can also use baked pork or cooked pork meat.
- **Other types of bread to use: French or Italian bread. The bread I used for these pictures are from my local Sprouts grocery store.
1. Cut the rolls in half lengthwise, and remove some of the crumbs from the middle of the bread.
2. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. When hot, place the rolls upside down to warm. This will take about 1 minute, then remove.
3. Spread mayonnaise on one side of each roll and beans on the other.
4. Divide the carnitas between the two bottom sides of the rolls. Top the meat with the shredded cabbage, tomato, and onion slices. Finally, place the tops of the bread on the sandwiches.
If you want your torta to be crispy, place on the hot griddle again, making sure the tops don’t fall off, and add some butter or oil to the griddle. Heat the tortas, while pressing down with a spatula, turning once for about 1-2 minutes per side.
To serve, drizzle on some hot bottled sauce or add some pickled carrots.
Leave a comment and share you experience with the recipe.
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