Authentic Spanish tortilla recipe is its simplicity. It has only five ingredients (and onion-haters would say only four!): eggs, onion, potato, olive oil, salt.
Ingredient Notes & Replacements
Eggs: Use the best quality you have available to you.
Onion: Use a large white onion, though you can experiment with other varieties.
Potatoes: Use waxy potatoes for your tortilla — Yukon Golds work well.
Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Spanish Tortilla
Take your time. The best tortillas aren’t quick.
Lower the heat. Some people have the heat too high, similar to when making other egg dishes. This resulted in a rubbery tortilla.
Cook the eggs and onions separately. Many recipes cook them together, but to get each to its prime Spanish omelets point, its worth separating them.
Let the egg, potato, and onion mixture sit for at least 15 minutes — minimum! This makes a HUGE difference to the final result. It is a must.
Don’t fear the flip! You have to go forcefully and quickly to make it happen. Don’t be afraid!
Use a small frying pan and make two tortillas when starting out. This makes the flip so much easier.
Use great quality olive oil. Considering the potatoes are slowly cooked in olive oil, they absorb a lot of it. If you use good quality olive oil everything will be tastier and much healthier too.
Spanish tortilla is an extremely versatile food, and something that is eaten in Spain for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack.
Spanish tortilla and Italian frittata are both omelette like egg dishes. The difference is the way that they are cooked. A Spanish tortilla is cooked in a frying pan on the stovetop and is flipped over halfway through to ensure both sides cook evenly. Sometimes it is served a bit runny or raw. A frittata is usually started on the stovetop, but finished in the oven. It is fully cooked through.In Mexico, tortillas are made with either a flour or corn dough, and cooked over fire to make a flat bread that is usually filled with or accompanied by meat or beans.
Most people in Spain eat Spanish tortilla at room temperature. It can be eaten warm, room temperature or cold.
To store a Spanish omelette you must first wait for it to cool fully. Then cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
3 days in the fridge.
To reheat Spanish tortilla you can microwave a slice for a very short period (try 15 seconds to start). Alternatively, you can pan fry on the stove with a bit of olive oil. Note that Spanish tortilla does not need to be reheated, many people enjoy it cold or room temperature and don’t want to risk the eggs getting rubbery by reheating.
Yes! The most famous is the tortilla de patatas (potato omelet). Try cheese and ham, fresh asparagus and mushroom, or goat cheese and caramelized onions. Or Spinach tortilla with sauté onions.
WHEN TO EAT SPANISH TORTILLA?
Since tortilla is so versatile, it really depends when you’re eating it!
Breakfast: I love starting my day with a slice of Spanish omelette and a piece of toast. I drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the bread and then place the tortilla on top.
Snack: It is also incredible when placed into a warm baguette and eaten as a tortilla sandwich– it is actually the sandwich of choice among Spanish school children and a popular afternoon snack.
Here is the Recipe
- 2 lbs potatoes (1kg)
- Salt to taste
- 8 large eggs free range if possible
- 1 large onion
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil enough to fry the potatoes and cook the tortilla. You can substitute canola oil for frying if you wish (but good quality olive oil really makes a difference!).
Peel the potatoes and rinse them under cold water.
Slice the potatoes into thin slices, I prefer about 1/2 centimeter (some prefer thicker). I use a mandolin to do this quickly and easily.
Pat the potato slices dry and put them into a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, and mix well.
Heat a 1/2 inch of high quality extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan at medium low heat.
When the oil is hot, add the potatoes and add more oil if necessary until all are covered.
Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes at a low heat (they may break apart, that is okay).
While the potatoes are cooking, beat the eggs in a large bowl and season with some salt.
Slice the onion as thin as possible (julienne style) and fry over a low heat in a separate heavy pan (I like stainless steel) for about 10-20 minutes until they begin to caramelize (stir often).
When the onions are caramelized, drain off any excess oil and add to the egg mixture.
When the potatoes have been frying 20 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon into a strainer and allow to cool off while any excess oil drips away.
After a few minutes, add the potatoes to the egg mixture and stir well.
Let the egg mixture sit for about 15 minutes.
In the same pan where you fried the potatoes, remove all the oil (you can reuse it!) and over a medium low heat add the egg mixture.
Over medium-low heat, cook the tortilla for about 6-8 minutes per side. Make sure the heat is low enough or the tortilla will cook too quickly and be rubbery. You can run a rubber spatula along the edges to make sure the tortilla isn’t sticking.
When you are sure that the bottom is cooked and you want to flip the tortilla, take a large plate and put it over the pan and flip quickly! Some egg will likely slip out– it’ll be messy– but that’s okay!
Finally, slide out of the pan onto a serving plate and let cool a little before diving in.