Roy Choi’s Midnight Tortas

Tortas (Mexican sandwiches) are a staple of LA cuisine, so it stands to reason that LA chef Roy Choi would have a killer recipe. This torta combines Mexican and Asian ingredients, resulting in a unique flavor you won’t want to miss.

Roy Choi’s Midnight Tortas


2 large jalapeños
12 ounces meaty fresh pork belly, sliced 1/4 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


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.

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.

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.

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