Tortillas de Papa en Caldillo (Potato Fritters in Broth)

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potato fritters in broth recipe
Quentin Bacon/Oaxaca

Bricia Lopez’s new cookbook, Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico, reads like a love letter to traditional Oaxacan cuisine. It’s filled with approachable, authentic recipes, but the potato fritters in tomato broth are first on our list of things to make.

“This dish perfectly captures the art of making something from nothing,” Lopez writes. “In this case, this dish is always there for you when you forgot to buy vegetables or meat but still need to put food on the table.

“These fritters are essentially mashed potato patties fortified with a little whipped egg and cheese to make them surprisingly substantial and delicious,” she continues. “This dish becomes a main course really quickly when you ladle tomato salsa over it and serve it with rice, beans and a pile of tortillas on the side.”

We can hear those fritters sizzling now.

From Oaxaca by Bricia Lopez, published by Abrams Books © 2019.



2¼ pounds (1kg) potatoes

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

½ cup (75g) crumbled queso fresco

¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil


1 pound (500g) Roma tomatoes

¼ cup (30g) chopped white onion

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 sprigs fresh parsley


1. Make the Fritters: In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, put the potatoes and enough water to cover by 2 inches, along with a fat pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Strain the potatoes over a colander in the sink and discard the water.

2. When the potatoes are cool to the touch, use your fingertips to peel them and place them in a large mixing bowl. Mash them with a masher, add the eggs and 1 teaspoon salt, and continue to mash until you form a dough. Add the breadcrumbs and queso fresco and keep mixing until everything is incorporated.

3. Roll the potato mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Flatten each ball to make 4-inch disks that are about ½ inch thick.

4. Heat the oil in a deep skillet. Once hot, add the potato disks and fry on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel–lined plate to absorb any excess grease.

5. Make the Broth: In a blender, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic and 1 cup (240ml) water. Blend until smooth.

6. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and carefully add the tomato mixture. When it starts to boil, add another ½ cup (120ml) water and the parsley. Simmer for about 5 minutes more.

7. To serve, arrange a few potato fritters on each plate and ladle a bit of the tomato salsa on top.

Nutrition Facts
  • 331 calories

  • 18g fat

  • 35g carbs

  • 10g protein

  • 4g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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