I’ve been craving a cuban sandwich for months. There’s this food truck near us that has the best cuban sandwiches and I haven’t had one in ages. I was brainstorming a few weeks ago and thought about making a Paleo bread and trying to recreate that delicious sandwich but then this popped into my head. A cuban sandwich bowl! I basically took your classic cuban sandwich and deconstructed it and made a salad.
I was weary of adding mustard to a salad but it rocks. It was actually Alex who kept pestering me until I gave in and I’m SO glad I did. It wouldn’t be a true cuban sandwich without the mustard. And the pork? Well the pork is the most tender pulled pork I’ve ever made. I slow cooked it for 5 hours on high with a bit of applesauce which gave it a wonderful sweet undertone. Then I shredded it and tossed it with a mojo sauce. The bomb.
Besides the plantain chips everything else can be made ahead of time, even shredding the cabbage can be done earlier. Then all you have to do is fry the plantains and assemble everything together. Easy! If you’re not a huge fan of cabbage you could also just use shredded iceberg lettuce. Oh, one more thing! The ham is just a standard all-natural honey roasted deli ham cut about a 1/2 inch thick. I bought 1 slice and it was enough for 4 bowls.
Do me a favor and make extra plantain chips okay? They’re seriously the best.
Cuban Sandwich Bowls
Ingredients for the Pork
- 1 lb pork loin
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Ingredients for the Plantain Chips
- 2 green plantains
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil
- Salt, to taste
Ingredients for the Mojo Sauce
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Juice of 2 small limes or one large lime
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 lb deli ham (1/2 inch thick), cubed
- 8 cups shredded cabbage
- Dill pickle chips
- 1 avocado, cubed
- Yellow mustard
Instructions for the Pork
- Place pork in slow cooker and cover with applesauce and apple cider vinegar. Set to high and cook 5 hours. When done shred and toss with 1/2 of mojo sauce.
Instructions for the Mojo Sauce
- In a small pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Brown the 3 minced garlic cloves until fragrant about 1-2 minutes. Do not burn.
- Transfer garlic to a small bowl and whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Instructions for the Plantain Chips
- Place one cup of water, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 3 minced garlic cloves in a medium bowl.
- Peel the plantains and cut into 1 inch disks.
- Heat 5 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan over medium high heat. Fry the plantains 1 minute per side until browned. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.
- Using the back of a flat wooden spoon mash the plantains until it's about half it's original size. Soak in the garlic water for one minute, pat dry, and fry once more about 1 minute per side.
- Transfer to a new set of paper towels and season generously with salt.
- Place 2 cups of shredded cabbage or lettuce in 4 bowls. Top with pork, ham, pickles, avocado, plantain chips, and a drizzle of mustard. Serve remaining mojo sauce on the side.