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Tortilla de patata is a traditional tapa served in Spain either by itself, hot or cold or snugged between a piece of crusty bread rubbed with tomatoes, salt and olive oil (see pan tumaca). That’s right- I just busted out one of the few words I can say in Catalan, which happens to be my families native language. I can understand it and speak a word here or there, but I speak Castellano and not so much Catalan. Since I was a little girl, I can remember my favorite dinners with my mom: tortilla de patata, pan tumaca and some good green olives with a side salad. You may find one step of this recipe challenging, which is flipping the tortilla, but follow my fool-proof method and you can surely make this on your own. There are only 4 ingredients (and one is optional).

Tortilla de patata


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 small red potatoes, peeled & diced into little squares
  • 5 large eggs
  • salt (optional)


  1. Heat a skillet to frying temperature (350?). Something like that.

2. Fry your potatoes until they are nice golden, but not brown or crispy.

3. In the mean time, take your 5 eggs and put them in a medium bowl. Add the salt.

4. When the potatoes are golden and getting mushy, add them into the bowl of eggs. Scramble it all together until it looks like a yolky mush. Yum! Important: remove most of the oil from the pan leaving maybe 10% of what you used to fry or let me put it this way, just enough keep the pan lubed up. Graphic, I know. Then, dump the yolky mixture into the pan and lower the heat to medium.

5. Now here comes the tricky part. Because you’ve lowered the temperature enough, you’re NOT burning the bottom of the tortilla, RIGHT? Right. Take a spatula (a thin one) and peek underneath. Does it look golden and like it’s hardening? Good! Let it go at least 10 minutes so that the top also gets a little cooked and less runny. Then – it’s time to flip!

6. Take a plate that’s larger than your pan and cover your pan.

7. Normally if you work out constantly and huge big strong arms like my boyfriend, you can just grab your pan by the handle, hold the other hand on the plate and flip it over in one swift move. Unfortunately, my arms can’t handle that much weight, and niether can my wrists. So, my method is a little silly. Here’s how I do it. I put on TWO oven mits (because I’m about to touch the bottom of a screaming hot pan). I grip the top and bottom of the plate and pan on both sides, and squeeze REALLY tight and flip it onto my counter. Obviously, a picture was impossible at this point, but here’s the result:

8. Now, remove the pan and put it back on the stove. SLOWLY shovel the tortilla back into the pan pushing it little by little so half of it doesn’t end up outside the pan.

9. Push the edges down with your spatula so that the tortilla is nice and round and pretty.

10. After about 15 minutes of waiting and checking and making sure it’s not too hot, you’re ready to serve. Take a new, freshly cleaned plate (or wash the other one), and flip your tortilla again onto it’s serving platter (see method above).