Bifana – Portuguese Pork Sandwich
What is Bifana?
It is a traditional Portuguese Pork Sandwich. It is made with thin pork slices, but these are marinated with white wine or beer, garlic, and spices (such as black pepper, oregano, and paprika).
When do the Portuguese eat bifana sandwiches?
You can find this sandwich all over Portugal, but it is never exactly the same. Everyone has their version! There are lots of ways to serve Portuguese Pork Sandwiches. Many people add a splash of Piri-Piri hot sauce or mustard. Some care for caramelized onions on top. But at some restaurants in Braga, it is normal only to add slices of cheese.
This traditional snack is not very expensive. You can buy it in small restaurants; Tasca is like a Spanish bodega. Or you can buy it in the food truck before the football game.
How to Pronounce Bifana
Best Bifana Recipe
Preparation time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Extra time 5 hours (marinated)
TOTAL TIME 5 hours 30 minutes
- 1-kilo thin-sliced boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
- 2 cups white wine
- Six garlic cloves, crushed
- Two bay leaves
- One tablespoon of white wine vinegar
- One tablespoon of sweet paprika
- Three tablespoons of olive oil
- Four crusty rolls to serve
- salt and pepper
- Mustard or Piri-Piri sauce, for serving (optional)
- Cut the pork meat into small pieces (two fingers size).
- Place a layer of cutlets in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, bay leaf, paprika, vinegar, and garlic.
- Drop the white wine over the cutlets and marinate for 5 hours in the refrigerator. But if possible, try to leave the meat in the fridge overnight.
- Heat the olive oil and garlic in a pan (over medium heat).
- Drain the pork chops and reserve the marinade.
- Fry them over high heat, turn them one time, and fry.
- While the pork chops are frying, cook the marinade for 7 minutes as a dipping sauce.
- Once the cutlets are fried, add the reserved marinade and turn off the oven.
- Fill each bread with pork loin and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Some radicals dunk the whole bread in the sauce and then fill the bread with pork meat.
- Add a splash of Piri-Piri hot sauce or mustard. And enjoy it with a cold beer or Portuguese white wine – Vinho Verde!
Note: The meat will be hard if you add the cold marinade to the fried meat.
Pork Sandwich by Gordon Ramsay
Chef Gordon visited Portugal a few months ago. And he cooked a few traditional Portuguese dishes. But this video generated several negative comments because his version of the bifana is entirely different from the one we eat. Take a look!
Read more: How can I get to Portugal?
Where can I buy a Bifana sandwich in Portugal?
Here you can eat an authentic Portuguese sandwich!
- O Trevo (Lisbon) – The late Anthony Bourdain ate this famous Portuguese pork sandwich here.
- Parreirinha do Chile (Lisbon)
- Casa Das Bifanas (Lisbon)
- Bifanas & Companhia (Porto)
- Dona Petisca (Braga)
- Mavy (Braga)
Did you like this recipe? If you appreciate sandwiches and street food in Europe, you might also like our Braga Food Tour. Discover authentic Portuguese cuisine at Braga’s shops, traditional local restaurants, and modern cafes.