Huaraches are a popular Mexican street food made of an oblong-shaped masa base topped with refried beans, meat, cheese, salsa, and so much more. They’re ready in under an hour and perfect for lunch and dinner!
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If you’ve never had a huarache, you’re in for a savory treat! This popular street food is similar to sopes, tlacoyos, and tostadas in that they are piled high with delicious ingredients. Huaraches have a thicker masa base, making it easy to hold and eat!
What are Huaraches?
Huaraches are a traditional Mexican dish that consists of an oblong-shaped masa base that’s usually cooked on a comal or skillet, grilled, or fried. The toppings vary depending on the region in Mexico, but they are typically piled high and consist of refried beans, meat, onions, cheese, and salsa.
The masa base of huaraches is thicker and larger than that of a traditional corn tortilla, and it is usually hand-formed into its distinctive shape.
The dish is named after the traditional Mexican sandal called a huarache, because of its oblong shape which resembles the shape of the shoe.
Huaraches vs Sopes
While very similar, huaraches and sopes do have some differences. They are both made of masa that is then shaped, toasted, and lightly fried. The main difference is in their shape. Sopes are round with crimped edges, almost creating a bowl to hold all the toppings, while huaraches are flat and oval-shaped.
How to Make Huaraches
Prepare the masa: Prepare the dough by combining some masa harina and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the water until a dough forms. Using your hands, knead the dough until it fully comes together and all the water is absorbed.
Divide the masa: Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, then roll each portion into balls and cover them with a clean damp cloth or plastic wrap to keep the dough moist while you press and cook the huaraches.
Shape the huaraches: Using your hands, roll each dough portion into a 5 to 6-inch log. Working one at a time, place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and flatten gently with a tortilla press, a heavy glass baking dish, or the palm of your hand until it’s about ¼-inch thick and looks like the outline of a sandal.
Carefully peel the plastic wrap or parchment paper back and transfer the huarache to your hand.
Cook the huaraches: Cooking 1 or 2 at a time, place the huarache on a hot griddle or skillet and cook for 1 minute, or until light brown spots appear on the bottom. Flip and cook the other side for 1 more minute.
You can eat the huaraches like this or continue to fry them for a crispier and more delicious dish!
Fry the huaraches (optional): Fill a large sauté pan or deep skillet with about 1 inch of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Carefully add 1 or 2 huaraches at a time into the frying oil and fry for about 1 minute per side until golden brown.
If frying: Transfer the huaraches to a large baking sheet lined with paper towels or onto a baking rack to help remove any excess oil.
Assemble and serve your huaraches: Spread a spoonful of warm refried beans onto each huarache, then top with cooked meat (recipe for the meat is in the recipe card below).
Tips and Tricks
- To make sure your masa dough is moist, press down on it with a finger. If the edges of the dough crack, the dough is too dry. If the dough sticks to your skin, it’s too wet. Add more water or masa harina as necessary
- Frying the huaraches will not only give them extra delicious flavor, but it will also make them more crispy and sturdy to hold all of the toppings and be easier to hold.
Storing and Reheating
To store, Place the huaraches in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Meat and other toppings should be placed in separate containers and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
To reheat, reheat the huaraches in a skillet or comal over medium-high heat until warm. If you fried your huaraches, you can reheat them for a few minutes in an air fryer or oven to crisp them up again!