They are colorful. They are festive. The are Mexican. They are light to eat. They’re easy to prepare and make a perfect dish for a sunny day: tostadas de carne!
Tostadas are like tacos, but flat and crunchy. On a fried corn tortilla, you add a coating of refried beans (the famous frijoles) like you were spreading tomato sauce on a pizza base, on top of this layer you place shredded meat, and on top of it all, lettuce, some sliced carrots, queso fresco, avocado, onion, cucumber slices, and topping it all, your favorite spicy sauce (guacamole, chili sauce, or Guacamanya…). It should look like this:
These tostadas go with an extra-spicy broth that is usually poured all over them, and eaten with spoon. As always happens, the exact recipe for a tostada change from place to place, so here I’m gonna try to explain the ‘generic’ or traditional version of this Mexican dish.
Remember when we were talking about ceviche and using totopos or tostadas as a cutlery? Well, here it is the same. Tostadas are just fried until hardened tortillas. I recommend buying commercial tostadas, ready to use specifically for this dish, but if you want to homemade them, the process is almost the same as with the totopos: heat oil and fry the tortillas lightly on both sides. Remove and drain the excess of oil on a paper towel. They should be crispy and toasted. NOT cooked!
When they are cooled down, they are ready to use. Learn more about tortillas here.
Ok, homemade tortillas are not hard to make, but when it comes to shredded meat things can get tricky, as it essentially depends on the meat: if your choice is beef, you better buy the canned one, because the traditional way to prepare this meat takes hours. I also have no clue on how to make them, so if it is chicken, it will be way easier: just cook or boil chicken strips and shred them with a couple of forks.
They depend on the region, but the usual ones are chopped lettuce, slices of carrot, queso blanco, and many others, depending on your tastes: slices of avocado, maybe pickled onion slices, cucumber…
The list could be endless, so I’m going to point out that the most usual are guacamole (please, don’t mix guacamole sauce with avocado slices… it’s the same!), chili and Guacamaya… For example, the red droplets in the picture below are from Guacamaya sauce. By the way, please, readers from the USA, UK, Australia: do not use ketchup or mustard. Please.
Of course, spicy too. This is one of those regionalizations of the Mexican cuisine we’ve been talking about, as I have only seen it served in Sinaloa. It is made of meat broth, spices and tomato juice and maybe parsley. It is served as a side drink, or to be poured it all over the tostadas.
Well, I hope if you prepare one of these you’ll enjoy it! Provecho!