This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Mexican homemakers and restaurateurs alike serve this dish when the inventory of leftover tortillas — fried or not — gets sizable. It’s very popular as a breakfast dish.


Leftover meats can be stirred into the mixture with the tortilla strips. Previously fried tortilla chips can be used; do not refry. To reduce calories, omit frying.

Makes4 to 6 servings

Cooking Methodfrying



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Recipe Coursemain course, snack

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealbreakfast, snack

Taste and Texturecrunchy, spiced


  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3 green chiles, parched, peeled, and finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
  • 4 lightly fried or poached eggs (optional)


  1. Heat about ¼-inch oil in a large heavy skillet. Cut the tortillas in half and then into ¾-inch-wide strips. Add strips to the hot oil and fry until almost crisp. Drain on paper towels.

  2. Combine the chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan; simmer about 5 minutes. Add the tortilla strips and simmer no more than 5 minutes.

  3. Spoon onto plates and sprinkle shredded cheese on top, if desired. Or top with a fried or poached egg for a hearty breakfast or brunch.


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