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Fried Tacos

by Iván Guillén

30 minutes | Serves four

  • 1 yellow onion, diced 
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup neutral oil, such as safflower or canola 
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded, for serving
  • Charred salsa
  • Cotija cheese, for serving

In a cast iron skillet over medium, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion, garlic, and beef, sauteing until the beef is cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika, cumin, sage, and salt.


While the beef cools, warm the tortillas a couple at a time on a clean cast iron skillet over medium heat until pliable, about 30 seconds each side. Wrap the stack of tortillas in a clean dish towel so that they continue to steam.


Assemble the tacos, placing two spoonfuls of the beef into a tortilla. Fold the taco and weave a toothpick into each corner to seal the taco shut. Fill another cast iron with the frying oil, so that the pan is about ¼ full of oil, and heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the tacos until golden brown, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.


Once tacos are cool enough to handle, remove the toothpicks and stuff with shredded lettuce, salsa, and cotija cheese.

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