Is your Mexican recipe calling for crispy tortilla strips? And you're not sure what to do?!
You've got two good options for making your own at home. First up is the old-fashioned way -- frying them!
Start by cutting a few corn tortillas into thin strips:
Then we'll add a thin layer of oil to a pan over medium-high heat.
We're only going to cook a handful at a time so you really don't need to use much oil -- I used less than 1/4 cup canola oil for this batch.
You can use a kitchen thermometer to bring up the oil to 360F, or you can just test it by dropping a single strip into the oil -- if it sizzles quite a bit then it's ready.
Add a handful of the tortilla strips to the oil. Note: always use caution when cooking with hot oil, I find tongs are easiest for this technique.
They'll sizzle loud for a bit and then calm down.
Once they get quiet and turn golden brown you can remove them -- I usually put them on a plate lined with paper towels to catch any excess oil.
Note that they may cook a bit more as the oil cools down, so I usually take them out a smidge early. Once the oil is back up to temp you can continue cooking the rest of the tortilla strips.
Of course, everything that is fried is dee-licious, but I have to admit that I don't use this option as much as I used to.
Why? Because you can get an equally good result by baking them and that is just more sustainable for my kitchen.
For the baking option, start by preheating the oven to 350F. Then give some corn tortillas a thin layer of oil on both sides -- I usually just drizzle on some oil and rub it around with my fingers.
Bake at 350F for around 8-10 minutes total, or about 4-5 minutes per side.
I usually flip them after 4 minutes and then take a peek after another 4 minutes.
Take them out once they are starting to turn darker brown -- this batch was in for about 9 minutes total.
Let these cool and then crumble them as you see fit.
You may not be able to get perfectly rectangular strips, but they will taste just as good.
Note that this baking option works best when the tortillas are thin!
Take a look at the difference in tortilla thickness in this pic:
That top tortilla is a much better choice for baking tortilla strips. Sometimes you'll see these ultra-thin tortillas sold in bulk and labeled as "frying" tortillas.
Yes, you can use the bottom tortilla and still get a good result, but you may find that the center doesn't crisp up as much as the edges.
Okay, now that you've got crispy tortilla strips in the house it's time to use them!
They are the perfect final garnish in an authentic bowl of Tortilla Soup:
And I also use them for this awesome Taco Salad:
They're also the starting point for a batch of droolworthy Migas.
You can also use tortilla strips as a final garnish in our latest recipe -- Red Pozole.
Okay, I hope this post solves crispy tortilla strips for you! No more sweating the next time you see them listed in a recipe as they are super easy to make at home 🙂