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Aug 28, 2013 12:57 PM

Best way to make crispy corn taco shells?

We've had a jones going on for fish tacos lately and my wife likes her tortillas crispy. On two separate nights I've tried frying them in vegetable oil, then folding them over before they get too crisp. I guess my oil isn't hot enough because the tortillas are stay pretty oily. The first time I made them I patted them with paper towels and put them in the toaster oven to dry and finish crisping. That seemed to work, but was rather time consuming.

Googled and found two other methods:
1. Microwave a bit to soften, then hang over the bars of the oven rack at 350°. This was very difficult to do as the tortillas kept wanting to fall off the rack, and I think doing it without oil would be less flavorful. Sorry Martha Stewart, I guess I'm a poor student.
2. Hold tortilla with tongs and fry one half while folding the other half over; then do the same with the other half. Still kindof oily and didn't seem to get as crispy that way as the 'full immersion' frying way.

What's your best method for making crispy corn tortilla taco shells?

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  1. Quickly fry the shells in oil to soften them. Pat dry with paper towel, then build taco with fish or meat and cheese if you like. Fold over, and fry in skillet on medium heat, turning once, until crispy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: primebeefisgood

      Frying again with the filling already in??? We like fish tacos with cabbage, tomato, salsa, and avocado. I suppose we would wait to add those things, but isn't the shell too crispy at that point?

      1. re: Midlife

        Yes, wait to add everything else. It doesn't take long to cook an already lightly fried shell. The oil on the tortilla is enough to fry it.

    2. Alton Brown has a technique using an aluminum foil mold:

      Starting at about 3:30.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Soul Vole

        I assume you're not in the US. That link shows the video blocked "in my country" due to copyright issues.

        I found it here as well:

        Seems like a lot of work to go to though. I'd be surprised if there weren't manufactured racks that could be bought.

        Edit: Here's on of several I found.

      2. My brother used to make a form with a wire coat hanger. He would bend the hanger in half, bend the hook down, and prop the lightly fried tortilla in the "sling" to shape it and let it drain while frying the next one. Hope this makes sense! Your apparatus will have the shoulders and hook as the base. Worked really well!

        1. We've moved on to soft shell, but I used the apparatus in the picture for many years. It worked great, I would stuff a wadded up paper towel inside the taco after removing it to keep it open.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BeefeaterRocks

            OK............... now you've done it! A new gadget treasure hunt!!!