The Ups & Downs of Making Tortilla Española

In the United States, we’re influenced more and more by Hispanic culture coming up from the south. Personally, I could eat Mexican food for every meal and be completely content. It’s because of that mindset that I was extremely confused the first time I heard about tortilla in Spain and was given a slice of pretty much a potato, onion, and egg pie. “What’s this? I can’t make quesadillas out of this!” Then I took a bite and forgot about any disapproval I had felt.

Since that first run in with tortilla española, I’ve had about 10 different takes on the recipe, and I’m in love. I mean, we’re coming from the Land of French Fries, so who couldn’t appreciate some oily cooked up potatoes in omelet form? Since we have access to a kitchen, I had to take a crack at one of Spain’s most popular dishes.

Have your class of tinto de verano close by? Then let the cooking begin!

Heat oil, make a layer of sliced potatoes, throw some onions in there, salt it, add more oil, and repeat forever.

Once that mixture’s cooked so that everything’s slightly tender, drain it and let it cool.

Alternate wine drinking with egg beating while you wait.

Unfortunately, there’s more waiting involved while you let the potato mix sit in the eggs for about 10 minutes.

Now the fun begins! Throw all that stuff back in the pan with (surprise!) a TON of olive oil.

The most important part: It’s all in the flip.

The results: One solidified and one was just a mess of egg and potato, but both were delicious! I think we needed to use more egg to hold it all together.

Not too shabby for a first try!

If you’d like to accept the challenge of making tortilla, here’s the recipe that we used. They’re really not kidding when they say that you should use that much oil! Thankfully, we tried this out in Spain where olive oil flows like water and is almost as cheap. There will definitely be a second round coming up.

– Alexa

9 thoughts on “The Ups & Downs of Making Tortilla Española

  1. cute pic !!! I have been trying to make a successful tortilla espanola for 3 years! no success. hardest. recipe. ever. what is up with the flip?! so hard. luckily even when it doesn’t look perfect – it is still super delicious!

    • It’s so deceiving! The flip is definitely tricky. Or extra messy. Actually, both. But you’re right; at least the flavor’s still worth it!

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  3. My favorite thing ever! My host mom taught me how to make it and I’ve got the recipe up on my blog ( if you’re up for trying another recipe that unfortunately was slightly estimated.
    My mom had a giant plastic lid looking thing with a handle that was specifically for making tortilla so she could flip it easier. I think she might have said to try to find one at Corte Ingles. There’s a picture of it on this link since it’s kind of hard to describe…

    • Thanks so much, Katie! We definitely could’ve used some extra pointers, so I’ll have to look at that recipe if I try it out again. Might as well, right?

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