Tortillas de Maiz, also known as Corn Tortillas, are an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
Homemade Tortillas de Maiz are used in countless authentic Mexican recipes like nachos, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and taquitos.
Our simple 3 ingredient recipe is prepared with masa harina corn flour, water and salt. We use a tortilladora corn tortilla press to flatten the dough and then cook each tortilla on a hot skillet.
If you’re looking to perfect your Mexican culinary game master the basics by making this recipe at home!
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What Is Tortillas de Maiz?
Tortillas de Maiz are an essential ingredient in Mexican kitchens.
Also known as Corn Tortillas, they’re freshly made in home kitchens as well as neighbourhood factories were locals visit daily to purchase the beloved kitchen staple.
Corn Tortillas are to Mexicans what baguettes are to the French!
Homemade Tortillas de Maiz are used in many traditional Mexican recipes like nachos, tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas and taquitos.
Our easy 3 ingredient recipe is prepared with masa harina corn flour, water and salt. We use a tortilladora corn tortilla press to flatten the dough and then cook each tortilla on a hot skillet.
In Mexico, the most consumed instant corn flour is the Maseca or Minsa brand, both are nixtamalized flours in which the corn grain is cooked together with fresh lime juice, which gives the final dough a unique pliable texture.
If you cook and eat a lot of Mexican food it’s important to perfect your Tortillas de Maiz skills as it is significantly cheaper to make at home.
Travel to Mexico by Making Tortillas de Maiz at Home
I love traveling to Latin America.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Tortillas de Maiz recipe. I’ve embarked on culinary adventures at local restaurants in Cuba, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
The versatile and ubiquitous Mexican culinary staple is quick and easy to make. You can use the homemade corn tortillas when making dishes like nachos, tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas and taquitos.
After enjoying your first bite, you’ll realize why tortillas de maiz is a must-try when visiting Mexico!
Where To Eat Tortillas de Maiz
Haven’t traveled to Mexico before? It may be helpful to first sample freshly made corn tortillas at a local restaurant to better understand how they are served. You’ll get an idea for the ideal thickness of the tortillas, unique dishes to incorporate the tortillas and tasty side dishes to serve at the table.
In Toronto, the best Mexican restaurants that may prepare fresh corn tortillas include El Rey, La Carnita, Playa Cabana, El Catrin, Campechano, El Trompo, Fonda Lola, Hot Mess Tex Mex, Rosalinda, Reposado Bar, Grand Electric and Milagro.
My Family Loves Homemade Tortillas de Maiz
I love cooking Mexican food for my friends and family.
I knew my parents would love eating fresh Corn Tortillas because they enjoy Mexican dishes like tacos, taquitos and nachos.
After taking our first bites everyone’s eyes bulged with glee. This simple Tortillas de Maiz recipe is now our go to when making homemade Mexican food at home.
They keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days and can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Recipe Cooking Tips
Tortillas de Maiz is a classic Mexican kitchen staple prepared with masa harina corn flour, water and salt.
- You will need a Tortilla Press, also know as a tortilladora, to make Tortillas de Maiz at home.
- We suggest cooking corn tortillas in a large nonstick skillet to ensure the dough does not stick to the pan and break apart.
- You can purchase Masa Harina Mexican Corn Flour at a Latin American grocer or online. We like the Maseca brand.
- While forming the tortilla dough into balls be sure to cover them in a moist dish towel so they don’t dry out.
- You can make the tortillas as thick or thin as you’d like. If you add a bit more water to the dough it becomes more pliable allowing for a thinner tortilla.
- Be sure to place 2 sheets of plastic wrap (transparent film) between each dough ball before flattening them with the tortilla press. This will ensure you can easily remove the dough without it falling apart.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan with tortillas when they are cooking. Ensure you have room to flip them. Our large nonstick skillet has space to make 3 at a time.
- When making tortillas you’ll know they are finished cooking on one side once the tortilla puffs up with air. Once it deflates you can flip it on the other side. Both sides of the tortilla should be lightly browned.
What To Serve with Tortillas de Maiz
There’s nothing more satisfying than munching through hot-off-the-skillet fresh corn tortillas.
The simple and affordable Mexican staple can be enjoyed on its own with salsa and guacamole or in popular dishes like nachos, tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, taquitos and enchiladas.
If you’re hosting a Mexican-themed feast you might want to serve our homemade corn tortilla recipe with:
- Air Fryer Nachos
- Chipotle Mexican Bean Soup
- Cheesy Vegetarian Antojito
- Jalapeno Poppers
- Chicken Fajita Tacos
- Mexican Sweet Potato Rice
- Tommy’s Margarita
- Mexican Mule Tequila Cocktail
- Mexican Vegan Cucumber Radish Salad with Chipotle Peanuts
- Albondigas al Chipotle Smoky Mexican Meatballs
- Salsa de Huevo Vegetarian Mexican Scrambled Eggs
How Long To Knead Corn Tortilla Dough?
As you knead, the dough will become softer and won’t stick. Depending on how much dough you are making, it should take about 5-10 minutes. If after kneading for a few minutes, the dough still seems dry and crumbly, add a little warm water and knead for a few minutes before adding any more.
Why Didn’t My Corn Tortillas Puff Up?
If your tortillas do not puff up, you need to knead the dough more. You can try to press down the tortilla with a spatula while it is in the final cooking stage to force the puffing. Also, check your cooking time and the heat. Making tortillas is a matter of practice. Don’t be scared of the trial and error.
Why Are My Homemade Tortillas de Maiz Tough?
Why do my homemade tortillas come out hard and tough? If the comal or skillet is not hot enough when you start cooking, the tortillas may come out hard. Or you may need to knead longer.
How To Make Tortillas Soft And Pliable?
Wrap a stack of tortillas in damp paper towels or a damp kitchen towel, then wrap in plastic wrap or place in a microwave-safe resealable plastic bag. Be sure to keep the bag open to vent. Microwave until warm and flexible, about 1 minute.
Is Maiz Flour The Same As Masa Harina?
When maize flour is made from maize that has been soaked in an alkaline solution such as lime water it is called masa harina or masa flour, which is used for making arepas, tamales and tortillas.
Can I Use Cornmeal Instead Of Masa Harina?
No! Cornmeal can be used in dishes like Italian polenta but Masa Harina is naturally treated with the acidity of lime, which creates a chemical reaction that changes the composition of the flour. Mexican corn flour is also prepared with a very different corn species so it is a totally different product and can’t be substituted for polenta / cornmeal.
Is Masa Healthier Than Flour?
Masa Harina has many health benefits that make it a superfood. It’s much higher in fiber and magnesium than its refined wheat flour counterpart. It is rich in niacin, an essential B vitamin that converts food into energy and aids a healthy nervous system.
How To Make Homemade Tortillas de Maiz
Homemade Mexican Tortillas de Maiz
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Tortilla Pan
- Large Nonstick Skillet
- 2 cups Masa Harina (Masa Flour)
- 1.5 cup Water
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- In a medium bowl, combine the masa harina, water and salt and mix well. Continue adding water 1 tbsp at a time until you have formed a soft smooth and thick dough that has the consistency of cookie dough.
- Form 12 golf ball-sized balls and lay a moist dish towel over them so they don't dry out.
- Warm an ungreased comal or nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Lay a pre cut sheet of plastic on the bottom of the tortilla press and place a ball of masa on top of the plastic. Place a second sheet of plastic on top of the ball and then squeeze the press firmly so that the dough is sandwiched between the two plates. Open the press and remove the flattened masa, which will be stuck between the two sheets of plastic. Place it on your left palm and use your right hand to peel off the top sheet of plastic. Then flip it over and transfer it to your right hand, so that it rests in your right palm. Carefully peel off the other sheet of plastic, freeing the raw tortilla.
- Gently place the raw tortilla on the preheated skillet. Watch for the edge of the tortilla to begin turning opaque, a signal that it is cooking. When this happens, flip to the other side and let it cook for 30 to 45 more seconds. Using the bottom of a pancake flipper, gently press down on the tortilla until you hear it squeal. Flip it back to the first side and let it cook for a final 30 seconds. After the second flip, it should start to puff up, a sign that all of the water in the masa has evaporated and the tortilla is done.
- As each tortilla is finished cooking, set it in a basket or a deep bowl and cover the growing stack with a dish towel to keep them warm.
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