Secrets to Super Simple Meals 


Huaraches, aka Your New Favorite Mexican Dish

2 Mins read

When Michael came to California this winter, we went to a little Mexican restaurant in Highland Park. I hadn’t been to the area before so it felt like vacation for me too. What we found was some of the cheapest, most delicious Mexican food I’ve had in all my years in LA. I knew these places existed, but I’d never really looked until then.

We went to El Huarache Azteca, as the name would indicate, for huaraches. The Spanish word for sandal is also an oblong masa patty filled with a thin layer of refried beans. Imagine a thick, doughy tortilla, slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Then top it like a taco. Oh, and only charge $2.50 for this baby.

We knew we had to recreate them. My first few attempts to spread beans in the corn flour mixture, then shape it like a sandal were messy and ugly, but I eventually got it down. We had ours with marinated flat iron steak (Have I mentioned that’s my new favorite cut? It’s cheap and tender and cooks in two minutes once you slice it up).

Huaraches are really something. If you don’t have an authentic place near you that serves them, you should definitely try them at home.


Inspired by El Huarache Azteca in Los Angeles

I found the restaurant’s vague recipe here, but I was short on masa harina (precooked cornmeal). I used a mix of PAN, flour and yellow cornmeal, which eventually came together enough to roll out and fill with beans. They tasted really good (especially if you love flour tortillas as much as I do) but if you don’t want to experiment, stick with the masa harina, which typically offers instructions for making proper cornmix.

  • 2 cups masa flour
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (I’ve seen recipes call for chicken broth, which would be extra flavorful. We used water, and with all the toppings and everything, I’m not sure broth would have made much of a difference.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. You may find you need a lot more water to create a dough that can be rolled out properly, but I started with far too much liquid, and ended up adding

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more and more white flour (since I was out of masa flour) to soak it up.

  • 1 onion (yellow, white or red, doesn’t matter)
  • 1 jalapeno, or your favorite chili pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • lime juice
  • olive oil
  • splash of tequila (I didn’t have any for this, but it’s always good in a marinade)

Serve with any marinated meat (steak, chicken, pork). We had it with marinaded flat iron steak (recipe below) and again with leftover lengua (beef tongue). Also serve with salsa, sour cream, queso fresco or any toppings you’d normally have with tacos.

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