Mexican Fried Tacos filled with a savory ground beef and spicy tomato filling. Crisp up your next taco night. Great Mexican recipe with a unique seasoning for the ground beef mixture. This is a recipe for fried tacos where seasoned and cooked ground beef are placed in tortillas, then pan fried and shaped.
Serve this with Gulf Coast Style Baked Rice for a balanced meal.
Tacos, our culinary hero
In the beginning there was a taco, and it was good.
Actually so good that the first taco recipe appeared in an American cookbook a century ago and that first Taco Bell rang over sixty years ago. A typical Mexican dish of a maize tortilla simply folded around food and eaten with your hands, tacos provide us with so much culinary inspiration that the variations seem endless.
Inspiration for a fried taco
Last year during a foodie field trip to Brighton and our Colorado vegetable farms, Heather and I stopped at Santiago’s a very popular Mexican Restaurant chain here in Denver. I ordered an Indian Taco, a deep fried puffy tortilla featuring my favorite Mexican flavors. I believe it was a flour tortilla rather than fry bread and it was topped with beef, lettuce, tomato and plenty of their green chili.
It was goooo-od. I’ve been wanting to try some version of fried tacos ever since. With lots of research, here’s my final product.
How to fry a soft corn tortilla to look like a taco shell
Keep in mind, to make homemade fried tacos that resemble the normal shell to fill after they are fried and shaped, follow this method. In small frying pan, heat oil until a drop of water sizzles immediately when added to it. Fry tortilla lightly on one side. Turn and fry lightly on the other side. Before tortilla becomes crisp, bend it in half, using tongs and a fork to hold it steady and crisp the folded end. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Repeat remaining tortillas. Place one to two tablespoons of cooked meat filling mixture into each taco shell. Add shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and top with cheese.
How to make rolled fried tacos with meat inside
Wanting to creating something more authentic, for fried rolled tacos fried with the meat filling inside: I don’t own a deep fryer, so I needed to come up with a taco that was pan fried. After browsing different ideas I decided on a mixture of ground beef and a combination of flour and corn tortillas.
For the corn tortillas, I spooned a small amount of the seasoned ground beef into the center of a warmed corn tortilla and wrapped them, securing the tacos with a toothpick. Heating a small amount of canola oil in my pre-heated cast iron skillet, I fried them two at a time, turning each as soon as they were browned on one side.
They can be finicky to hold together. Be patient with that toothpick.
Pro tip: You can’t just take a corn tortilla out of the package and fill it with taco ingredients. They’ll be rubbery and break. You have warm them into a pliable taco shell. I’ve always found the Rick Bayless method to yield best results. Drizzle about three tablespoons of water over a clean kitchen towel. Wrap your corn tortillas in the towel. Slide the package into a gallon sized plastic bag. Don’t seal the bag. Microwave the tortillas at 50% power for four minutes. This creates a steamy packet. Let sit 2 -3 minutes inside package before making tacos.
Can I make fried tacos with flour tortillas?
Yes! For the flour tortillas, I used smaller eight-inch tortillas and spooned the beef mixture over one half the tortilla. Then I folded the tortilla in half and added a small amount of oil to my already hot cast iron skillet, frying each until browned on both sides. I cut them in half before serving.
These are great served with sour cream and your favorite homemade salsa recipe.
Recipe for Ground Beef Fried Tacos
I hope you give this fried tacos recipe a try, and if you do, please come back and leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite fried tacos recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
Got a hankering for other unique taco recipes:
- Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos
- Fish Tacos with Cod
- Swiss Chard Vegetarian Tacos
- Crispy Fish Tacos with Hoisin Tarter Sauce
- Chorizo Potato Shiitake Mushroom Tacos
- Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
Authentic Mexican Fried Tacos
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup red or yellow bell peppers chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano preferably Mexican Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons water
- 12 tortillas for frying
- canola oil for frying
- Sour cream and salsa for serving
- Cook the ground beef in a skillet until brown and crumbly, stirring occasionally and breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Stir in the herbs and spices and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Stir in the water as needed for consistency. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes.
- Place a little of the beef mixture on each corn tortilla and roll up. Secure with a wooden toothpick and fry quickly in a little oil until golden. For the flour tortillas, place beef mixture on half of the tortilla and fold over. Fry on each side until browned.
- Serve with sour cream and salsa.
Fried Tacos … They’re what’s for Dinner.