Crispy Potato Tacos

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There’s something extra special about homemade tacos. The aromas of spices sizzling in oil, the crunch of a freshly fried tortilla, the satisfying assembly of flavorful fillings – it’s like a little edible celebration. And these crispy potato tacos? They take that feeling to the next level.

I still vividly remember the first time I tried tacos de papa. It was at this funky little taco joint near the beach that my friends and I discovered during one college summer. We’d roll up with sand between our toes after surfing all day, plop down at a rickety picnic table, and go to town on basket after basket of these crispy, creamy, flavor-packed tacos. Each bite was pure beachy, sun-soaked bliss.

Ever since then, tacos de papa have held a special place in my heart (and stomach!). There’s just something so irresistible about that contrast of the crispy, warmly spiced fried tortilla exterior giving way to a lusciously creamy, savory potato filling. And let me tell you, this particular recipe absolutely nails it.

Variations:

  • Add diced roasted peppers or jalapeños to the potato filling for extra kick
  • Top with salsa, guacamole, sour cream or other favorite taco toppings
  • Substitute pepper jack or Oaxaca cheese for the cheddar

Tips & FAQs:

  • For best flavor, look for good-quality corn tortillas from a Mexican grocery store. Warming them enhances taste and pliability.
  • Safflower oil has a high smoke point and neutral flavor, but canola, sunflower or peanut oil also work well for frying.
  • Make ahead: The potato filling can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored covered in the fridge.
  • Leftovers: Store leftover tacos tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat in a 350°F oven or toaster oven until heated through and crispy.
  • “Papa” means potato, not “dad’s”, clearing up a common language mix-up!

These tacos are humble yet insanely delicious – the perfect combination of simple but deeply satisfying flavors. Let’s get cooking!

Crispy Potato Tacos

There’s something extra special about homemade tacos. The aromas of spices sizzling in oil, the crunch of a freshly fried tortilla, the satisfying assembly of flavorful fillings
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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 454g Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt divided
  • 1/2 cup 120g sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup 120 ml safflower oil, for frying
  • 4 oz 113g shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 small red onion minced

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in a small pot, cover with cold water and add 2 teaspoons of the salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Drain and return to pot.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne.
  • Add the sour cream mixture to the drained potatoes and mash until smooth and well combined.
  • One by one, heat the tortillas in a dry 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 10-15 seconds per side to warm through and enhance their flavor and pliability.
  • Spread a generous 2 tablespoons of the potato filling down the center of each warmed tortilla. Gently fold in half to form a taco shape.
  • Heat the safflower oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Working in batches, fry the tacos for 80-90 seconds per side until crispy and golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • To serve, top or stuff each crispy taco with cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, and minced red onion.

These tacos are humble but deeply satisfying, the kind of meal that makes you close your eyes and savor each glorious bite. Crispy yet creamy, with layers of warming spices and just the right kick, they’re guaranteed to become a cherished favorite. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself dreaming about them long after the last crumb is gone!

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