Totopos (tortilla chips)

Totopos (tortilla chips)
These are primarily associated with American nachos, but they are also a traditional way of using up tortillas that have gone stale, especially in the classic Mexican comfort-food chilaquiles.

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  1. 12 or 13 corn tortillas (or as many as you have available)
  2. Oil of your choice
  3. Salt
  1. Cut the tortillas into triangular wedges. (I actually use a pizza-cutter for this). To save time, cut through several tortillas at once. This will also help achieve a more uniform shape.
  2. The traditional way to cook totopos is to fry them, and the traditional Mexican frying fat is pork lard. However, I find olive oil works better, considering the amount of fat you need for frying (and it’s a bit healthier). You can also use a flavourless oil like sunflower.
  3. In a wide, heavy-bottomed pan, heat ¾ of an inch of oil over high heat.
  4. Drop your tortilla wedges into the oil and fry them a minute or two until they turn a golden colour. If necessary, turn them to fry a few seconds (not more than half a minute) on the other side.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper, and sprinkle with salt before they cool.
Although I live in Scotland, I have a fear of gratuitous frying, so I often bake my totopos. To bake
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Lightly grease a baking tray with oil (preferably olive oil).
  3. Lay the tortilla wedges on the tray (be careful not to crowd them) and brush with olive oil.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp (they will go a shade darker, but don’t let them brown).
  5. Remove the totopos to some kitchen roll and sprinkle with salt before they cool.
  6. Repeat until you have baked all your tortilla chips.
  7. The Cool Chile Company makes by far the best corn tortillas available in the UK. Most big-name brands use wheat flour to bulk up their tortillas, which affects texture and flavour, apart from being completely inauthentic.
  1. Is an Edinburgh-based blogger and his site is a journey in celebration of Mexican food in the UK: home cooking, restaurant reviews and the finest products and ingredients on the market. Find more recipes and news at
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