These crispy Yucatecan fried tortillas are schmeared with refried black beans and topped with slaw and pickled red onions. They originated in Yucatecan markets sometime in the early 1900s, where vendors would make use of day-old beans by puréeing them and slathering them on fried tortillas with hard-boiled egg and some onions. As their popularity grew, more focused panucherías opened up around the region, and the toppings expanded to include things like Pavo en escabeche oriental or shredded chicken.

Virgilio Martínez
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After cooking in prestigious restaurants around the world, Virgilio Martínez returned to Peru in 2009 and opened Central. Since 2013 Central has appeared on the World’s 50 Best list and has been named the #1 restaurant in Latin America multiple times. This year, he launched The Latin American Cookbook with Phaidon Press.

Shop The Latin American Cookbook below then make these delicious Fried Tortillas and experience the flavor!

The Latin American Cookbook

The Latin American Cookbook, $49.45

Adapted/Reprinted from The Latin American Cookbook by Virgilio Martínez. © 2021 Phaidon Press

Yucatecan Fried Tortillas

Serves 6 people

By Virgilio Martínez

15 minutes


45 minutes




  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup/21/2 fl oz (75 ml) cider vinegar
  • 6 x 5-inch (13-cm) Corn Tortillas (page 136)
  • 3 cups/1 lb 2 oz (500 g) cooked black beans
  • 2/3 cup/5 fl oz (150 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 lb (450 g) Mexican chorizo
  • salt and ground pepper

To Serve:

  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • 1 lettuce, finely shredded
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped


  1. First, pickle the onion slices. Place in a pan, cover
    with water and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, cook for
    1 minute, then drain. Grind the black peppercorns and
    cumin seeds together in a mortar, then add them to
    a small pan with the oregano, garlic, vinegar, drained
    onions, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Pour in enough water
    to just cover, bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.
    Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add
    one tortilla at a time and flip frequently until it becomes
    stiff and leathery, puffing in the middle. Using a small
    knife, cut along the sides of each cooked tortilla, about
    a third of the way around. Carefully open the pocket,
    trying not to tear it. Place 1 tablespoon of beans inside
    each pocket and spread them around by pressing down
    gently on the top of each tortilla.
  3. Pour the oil into a large frying pan over medium-high
    heat. One at a time, add the stuffed tortillas and cook
    on each side for about 2–3 minutes, or until crisp.
    Meanwhile, cook the chorizo in another frying pan
    over medium heat for 8 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove and coarsely chop.
    Place the panuchos on a plate and sprinkle with
    the chorizo and drained pickled onions. Serve with
    chopped tomatoes, mashed avocado, shredded lettuce,
    and chopped jalapeños.

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