Authentic Pueblan-Style Cemita Sandwiches: A Mexican Culinary Adventure

Authentic Pueblan-Style Cemita Sandwich Recipe - Mexican Cuisine

Embark on a flavor-packed journey with our Pueblan-Style Cemita Sandwiches recipe. This iconic Mexican street food combines crispy fried cutlets, creamy avocado, and zesty herbs for an unforgettable taste experience.

Discover the art of crafting the perfect cemita, from selecting the ideal bread to layering ingredients like a pro. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious foodie, this recipe will transport your taste buds straight to the vibrant streets of Puebla, Mexico.

Unraveling the Cemita Mystery

Cemitas are more than just sandwiches – they’re a cultural phenomenon. Originating in Puebla, these hearty handheld meals have evolved as they’ve traveled, taking on new forms in places like New York City and Los Angeles. Our recipe stays true to the Pueblan roots while offering tips for modern twists.

The star of any cemita is the bread – a sesame-crusted roll that gives the sandwich its name. We’ll guide you through finding (or making) the perfect cemita roll, ensuring your sandwich foundation is rock-solid.

Key Ingredients: The Heart of Your Cemita

Every great cemita boasts these essential components:

  • Crispy fried cutlets (beef, pork, or chicken)
  • Creamy, ripe avocado
  • Stringy Oaxaca cheese
  • Zesty papalo leaves (or cilantro as a substitute)
  • Spicy chipotle peppers or jalapeños
  • Crisp raw onion

We’ll show you how to prepare each element to perfection, maximizing flavor and texture in every bite.

Pueblan-Style Cemita Sandwiches


  • 4 (6-ounce) pieces beef, pork, or chicken cutlets, very thinly pounded
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ripe medium Hass avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced
  • 4 homemade or store-bought cemita buns (see notes), sesame seed buns, or brioche buns, halved
  • 2 cups shredded Queso Oaxaca from 1 (14-ounce) ball of cheese (see notes), or fresh mozzarella or string cheese, divided
  • 12 raw onion rings (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 4 chipotle chiles from 1 (7-ounce) can whole chipotle chiles in adobo, or pickled jalapeños from 1 (12-ounce) can
  • 20 leaves papalo (see notes), or fresh cilantro leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. Prepare your breading station. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan. Pour milk into a shallow dish. Place flour in another dish and bread crumbs in a third. Dip each cutlet in milk, then flour (shake off excess), back in milk, and lastly in bread crumbs. Press to adhere. Place breaded cutlets on a baking sheet.
  2. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a cast-iron skillet to 375°F (190°C). Fry cutlets in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper while hot.
  3. Begin assembling your cemitas. Spread avocado on bottom bun halves. Top with fried cutlets and half of the shredded cheese.
  4. Layer on onion rings. Add torn chipotle pieces or pickled jalapeños. Sprinkle papalo leaves and top with remaining cheese. Drizzle with olive oil for added flavor.
  5. For easier eating, scoop out some bread from each top bun. Close sandwiches and serve immediately while still warm and crispy.


Look for cemita buns, papalo, and queso Oaxaca at well-stocked Mexican and Latin American bakeries and grocers. Shred queso Oaxaca by hand into very thin strands, similar to string cheese. If papalo is unavailable, cilantro makes an acceptable substitute, though the flavor profile will differ slightly.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1008 Calories
50g Fat
64g Carbs
75g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1008
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 65%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 202mg 67%
Sodium 1150mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 75g
Vitamin C 47mg 233%
Calcium 555mg 43%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 1142mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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