What is tostada?
A Mexican tostada (pronounce: “tos-TAA-daa”) is a crispy corn tortilla with bean puree, mayonnaise or guacamole and topped with a variety of vegetables and/or other toppings. The precise topping depends on the region of the country and may consist of chicken, pork or fish, as well as lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even choose chipotle mayonnaise, raw tuna and avocado!
The basis of the tostada is a flat taco shell. It is described as a Mexican version of an open sandwich, but also as a variation on Italian pizza. The dish is eaten everywhere and at all times, so may be served as a breakfast, a sneaky street food treat, or a culinary tour de force in restaurants.
Tostadas are traditionally made from leftover baked corn tortillas. In Mexican tortilla bakeries, these are cooked until golden and crispy in a frying pan.
Did you know...
An authentic tostada must never be made from wheat tortillas as they soak up too much fat. The topping should also not be too moist, because then the whole dish will become soggy; crispiness is a must.
How to make tostadas
The word tostada means “toasted” and the tortilla is traditionally fried. If you want it less greasy, and don’t mind less crispy, then use an oven or a microwave. Very versatile, tostadas can use both hot and cold toppings.
Lettuce leaves, watermelon and pumpkin seeds with crumbled feta, for example, make a quick topping with no cooking involved. Cooked and shredded chicken, homemade salsa and warm bean puree is another option. Whatever you use, once the tortilla base has been covered with the topping, it is ready to serve.
How to eat
The idea is that you eat a tostada by hand without breaking the tortilla into pieces and without the topping falling on your plate. Mexicans have a special talent for it, but it is quite a challenge for the rest of the world! The trick? Slowly nibble around the tostada, with the middle piece as the last bite. Not working? Use a fork. And then try again with the next one. PS: Finger licking is allowed.
Serve with iced tea or a Mexican beer.
Difference between tostada and taco
Originating in Mexico, tostadas start with a corn tortilla grilled in oil until crispy and golden brown, then served flat on a plate with the same toppings you might expect to find in a burrito: diced and fried meat (usually chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp), with a base layer of beans, cheese, sour cream, chopped lettuce, sliced onions, and salsa, Tacos are basically a smaller version of the tostada, prepared crispy or soft, folded around similar ingredients, and eaten handheld.