Tacos de Papa

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now lives in New York with his wife. Got a suggestion for an upcoming topic? Email Kenji here, and he'll do his best to answer your queries in a future post. Become a fan of The Food Lab on Facebook for play-by-plays on future kitchen tests and recipe experiments

Tacos de Papa

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: How To Make Tortillas


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced on a microplane
  • 1 pickled jalapeño, finely chopped (fresh can be substituted)
  • 2 whole canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of sauce from the can
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema or 1/3 cup sour cream thinned with 1 tablespoon milk
  • Finely sliced scallions
  • Crumbled cotija cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Salsa of your choice
  • 24 fresh tortillas, kept warm in a clean dish towel


  1. 1

    Place potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a medium saucepan and cover with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and simmer until potatoes fully tender and just starting to break down, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, add oil, onion, and garlic to a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions and garlic are fully softened but have not taken on any color, about 6 minutes. Add pickled jalapeño, chopped chipotles, and adobo sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to fry, about 1 minute. Add potatoes, capers, and cream and stir to combine, mashing potatoes slightly. Season to taste with salt and transfer to serving bowl.

  3. 3

    To serve, bring potato mixture, scallions, cotija, salsa, lime wedges, and hot tortillas to the table. Each taco should be made by stacking two tortillas, adding a small amount of the potato mixture, and topping as desired.


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