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Midnight Tortas

This spectacular torta (Mexican sandwich) is Kogi chef Roy Choi's gift to Los Angeles's late-night partiers. The over-the-top combination of fried eggs, spinach, pork belly and roasted jalapeños is a little Mexican and a little Asian—a uniquely Choi hybrid.

video Best New Chef 2010: Roy Choi


slideshow  More Easy Recipes from the 2010 Class of Best New Chefs


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 large jalapeños

  • 12 ounces meaty fresh pork belly, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 5 ounces baby spinach

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 4 large Mexican torta or bolillo rolls (crusty, soft white rolls 5 to 6 inches round or oval–shaped), split and toasted

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  • Grated cojita cheese, cilantro leaves and sliced tomatoes, for serving


  1. Roast the jalapeños over a gas flame until charred all over. Transfer the jalapeños to a bowl, cover and let cool. Peel, stem and seed the jalapeños, then cut them lengthwise into thin strips.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, arrange the pork belly slices in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and add the spinach to the pork in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and stir until the spinach is wilted. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Using a wide spatula, gently turn the eggs with the pork and spinach, trying not to scramble the eggs. Cook just until the whites are set but the yolks are runny, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the lime juice.
  3. Spread the mayonnaise on the toasted rolls and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Using a spatula, divide the filling between the rolls. Top with the roasted jalapeños, cotija cheese, cilantro leaves and tomato slices. Close the tortas, cut them in half and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

These indulgent sandwiches go best with a big, juicy red that has good acidity. Try a Spanish Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache).

Contributed By Photo © Anna Williams Published July 2010

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