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Bifanas – Famous Portuguese Pork Sandwich

Bifanas are the most famous sandwich in Portugal! You will find them anywhere you go with countless variations that are all simply delicious!

bifanas Portuguese pork sandwiches

Bifanas – Famous Portuguese Pork Sandwich Recipe

Bifanas are traditional Portuguese sandwiches made with thin slices of pork that are marinated and simmered in a sauce of white wine, garlic, onions, hot pepper paste, lemon juice and spices. Serve them on papo secos (Portuguese buns) and top with sautéed onions and peppers.

You will find bifanas all over Portugal and like any famous recipe, everyone has their own version. My recipe has been handed down to me from my mom. It couldn’t be any tastier or easier to make and I hope you enjoy it.

What is in Bifanas?

ingredients to make bifanas Portuguese pork sandwiches
  • Thin sliced pork loin is marinated in a blend of white wine, onions, garlic, salt, paprika, smoked paprika, lemon juice, bay leaf and pimenta. Pimenta is a Portuguese hot pepper puree. It can be found in most grocery stores.
  • The pork is marinated overnight to soak up all the amazing flavors. The meat is then pan fried and simmered in the marinade. The result is perfectly tender and flavourful pork.
  • Bifanas are traditionally served on papo secos (Portuguese buns) and then topped with onions and sautéed peppers. You can use any crusty bread roll of choice, or you can cut out the bun and serve them on a plate with a side salad and rice.
  • The spice level of this dish is customizable, therefore, add as little or as much pimenta (or hot pepper puree/sauce) as desired. In addition, add some hot peppers when serving for an extra bit on spice!

How to Make Bifanas

steps to make bifanas Portuguese pork sandwiches

Full Printable Recipe Below

Check out my short video tutorial here

1 Place the thinly sliced pork loin into a large food bag (or bowl). Add in all the marinade ingredients and mix together until evenly combined. Push all the air from the bag, seal, and transfer to the fridge. Marinate for 5 hours or overnight, mixing a few times.

2 Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Pan fry the slices of pork in batches and sauté until just cooked through (Note: keep the remaining marinade aside). Set the pork aside.

3 Sauté the bell peppers and onions until just beginning to soften.

4 Pour the remaining marinade into the pan and bring to a simmer. Return the pork to the pan.

bifanas Portuguese pork sandwiches

5 Let simmer until the pork is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. You can add more white wine at this time to make more sauce if desired. Season to taste with salt and/or more hot pepper paste.

bifanas Portuguese pork sandwiches

Serve on papo secos (Portuguese buns) or crusty bread roll of choice. Enjoy!

Looking for an Easy Portuguese Dessert?

Pair your bifanas with one of my favorite classic Portuguese desserts:

  • Queijadas de Leite (Milk Tarts) – similar to the famous Pastel de Nata but much easier to make! Custard on the inside, crispy on the outside. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!
  • Chocolate Salami – I first had this unique treat in Portugal with family. It is a fudge like dessert but looks like salami. How cute!
  • Rice Pudding – one of my favorite desserts growing up. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Enjoy!

– Sab

bifanas Portuguese pork sandwiches

Bifanas – Portuguese Pork Sandwiches

Bifanas are traditional Portuguese sandwiches made with thin slices of pork that are marinated and simmered in a sauce of white wine, garlic, hot pepper paste, lemon juice and other seasonings. They are served on papo secos (Portuguese buns), topped with sautéed onions and sweet peppers. You will find bifana sandwiches all over Portugal and similar to any famous recipe, everyone has their own variation. My recipe has been handed down to me from my mom. It couldn’t be any tastier or easier to make and I hope you enjoy it.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Marinating Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 5 – 6 servings
Calories 423 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2.5 lb pork loin, thinly sliced
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • oil, for cooking

Marinade

  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups white wine
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup pimenta, Portuguese hot pepper paste, or hot Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Place the thinly sliced pork loin into a large food bag (or bowl). Add in all the marinade ingredients and mix together until evenly combined. Push all the air from the bag, seal, and transfer to the fridge. Marinate for 5 hours or overnight, mixing a few times.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Pan fry the slices of pork in batches and sauté until just cooked through (Note: keep the remaining marinade aside). Set the pork aside.
  • Sauté the bell peppers and onions until just beginning to soften.
  • Pour the remaining marinade into the pan and bring to a simmer. Return the pork to the pan.
  • Let simmer until the pork is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. You can add more white wine at this time to make more sauce if desired. Season to taste with salt and/or more hot pepper paste.
  • Serve on papo secos (Portuguese buns) or crusty bread roll of choice. Enjoy!

Video

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NUTRITION

Calories: 423kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 52gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 1833mgPotassium: 1145mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1827IUVitamin C: 85mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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