Tostada (tortilla)

This article is about the Mexican fried tortilla and dish. For the toast, see Tostada (toast). For the fried fruit, see Plantain.

Shrimp tostadas (Mexican style)
Course Appetizer or snack
Place of origin Mexico
Main ingredients Tortillas
Cookbook: Tostada  Media: Tostada

Tostada (/tɒˈstɑːdə/ or /tˈstɑːdə/; Spanish: [tosˈtaða]) is a Spanish word meaning "toasted". In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, it is the name of various local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation.

In Mexican usage, tostada usually refers to a flat or bowl-shaped (like a bread bowl) tortilla that is deep fried or toasted. It may also refer to any dish using a tostada as a base.[1] It can be consumed alone, or used a base for other foods. Corn tortillas are usually used for tostadas, although tostadas made of wheat flour may occasionally be found.


An Oaxacan tlayuda

The tostada avoids waste when tortillas are not fresh enough to be made into tacos, but fresh enough to be eaten. The tortilla can be eaten fried or raw, even in dough form. The tortilla is fried in boiling oil until it becomes golden, rigid and crunchy, rather like a slice of toasted bread. Commercial tostadas—similar in taste and consistency to tortilla chips—are also widely available nowadays.

A tostada is served as a companion to various Mexican food, mostly seafood and stews, such as menudo, birria, and pozole. The latter is usually accompanied with tostadas dipped in sour cream. Tostadas can be found anywhere in Mexico, but Oaxaca has the largest, the tlayuda; it is the size of a pizza and is sometimes topped with fried chapulines (a variety of grasshoppers).

Tostadas are a dish on their own in Mexico and the American Southwest. Mostly, the toppings used are the same as with tacos, known as "guisados"; beans, cheese, sour cream, chopped lettuce, sliced onions, and salsa are mainstays that may be spread on a tostada, which is then topped with diced and fried meat, usually chicken or pork. They are also popular with seafood such as tuna, shrimp, crab, chopped octopus, and ceviche. Vegetarian tostadas, while not as common, can also be found. The "tostada de pata" (made with chopped pork fingers in conserve), is considered a classic and is found wherever tostadas are eaten. Due to the fragile nature of a tostada, the topping must be pasty enough to stay on; this keeps the other toppings or garnishes from falling off while being eaten.

They can also be an appetizer, cut into small triangles to make tortilla chips to dip into salsa, guacamole, beans, cream, cream cheese or served with chile con queso. This version of the tostada has its origins both in the "totopos de maiz" and the New Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Commercial tortilla chips—sometimes known as "nachos"—are also commonly sold in stores and supermarkets.

In Central America, tostadas are often prepared with black beans, parsley, ground beef and curtido.

See also


  1. Rick Bayless, JeanMarie Brownson & Deann Groen Bayless (2000). Mexico One Plate At A Time. Scribner. pp. 62–70. ISBN 0-684-84186-X.
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