Tortitas de Papa en Caldillo

Potato Fritters in Broth


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

This dish perfectly captures the art of making something from nothing. 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. This dish becomes a main course real quick when you ladle tomato salsa over it and serve it with rice, beans, and a pile of tortillas on the side.


  • pounds (1 kg) potatoes
  • Sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup (75 g) crumbled queso fresco
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil

For the Caldillo

  • Generous 1 pound (500 g) Roma tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (30 g) chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley


In a large heavy-bottomed pot, put the potatoes and enough water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm), along with a fat pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Dump the pot over a colander in the sink and discard the water.

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.

Roll the potato mixture into balls about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Flatten each ball to make 4-inch (10 cm) disks that are about ½ inch (12 mm) thick.

Heat the oil in a deep skillet. Once hot, add the potato disks and fry on both sides. Remove and reserve on a paper towel–lined plate to absorb any excess grease.

Make the Caldillo

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

Heat the oil in a skillet and carefully add the tomato mixture to the pan. When it starts to boil, add another ½ cup (120 ml) of water and the parsley. Simmer for 5 minutes more.

To serve, arrange a few potato patties on each plate and ladle a bit of the tomato salsa over each patty.