Cemita Poblana is an overstuffed sandwich filled with meat, avocados, oaxaca cheese and papalo. Other fillings include onions and peppers. A cemita is a large Mexican bread roll made with eggs and topped with sesame seeds.
The most common meats used are beef and chicken but veal and pork are also used. The meat is pounded thin, breaded then fried. In South America this method is called milanesa, which translates to breaded in English.
One ingredient essential to Cemita Poblana is Papalo which is a herb native to Central and South America. It’s usually referred to as a Mexican herb since it is most popular in Mexican cooking. It is also known as Bolivian Cilantro or papaloquelite and its taste is described as being similar to a strong cilantro.
The Cemita Poblana sandwich is not thrown together haphazardly. Many Mexicans believe there is a right way and a wrong way to build a cemita poblana. Rather than being used as a topping, the avocado is the first layer on the crispy bread as its creaminess acts like a spread. The avocado layer is followed by the meat, shredded oaxaca cheese then the other toppings.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Cemita Poblana originates from the Mexican state of Puebla where it is a big deal and can be found everywhere from restaurants to food courts where the sandwich is prepared on an assembly line.
The cemita bread is influenced by European baking techniques brought to Mexico by the Spaniards, such as the use of wheat, bread shaping and the custom of decorating the top of the bread with sesame seeds. While the standard fillings for the cemita poblana bread is meat, avocado, cheese and peppers, early fillings for the bread were beans, potatoes and cactus (nopal).
- Eggs, beaten - 4
- Bread crumbs - 3 cups
- Chicken cutlets - 4
- Salt and black pepper - to taste
- Cooking oil - ¼ cup
- Cemitas rolls or brioche rolls topped with sesame seeds - 4
- Ripe avocados, sliced - 2
- Queso Oaxaca, shredded - 10 oz.
- Sweet onion, sliced - 1
- Pápalo - 12 leaves
- Chipotle peppers or jalapeño, thinly sliced - 4
- Olive oil
- Place the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in two shallow separate dishes.
- Season the cutlets with salt and pepper.
- Dip both sides of the cutlets into the eggs, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil then fry the cutlets, turning them once, until golden brown on both sides (about 4 to 5 minutes per side).
- Place the cutlets on paper towels to drain the excess oil.
- Slice the cemita rolls and slightly toast them.
- On one side of the roll, place the avocado slices.
- Place the chicken on top of the avocado.
- Layer on the cheese, onions, peppers and papalo and more avocado if desired.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Cover with the top side of the bread and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1513Total Fat: 76gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 48gCholesterol: 457mgSodium: 2187mgCarbohydrates: 130gFiber: 17gSugar: 18gProtein: 78g