Tortilla Chips and Strips

All, Appetizers, Mexican

Tortilla chips and strips have lots of uses, either as a snack, an appetizer, or part of a main dish. You can make them or buy them, and of course this page is about making them.

I make chips and strips out of both flour and corn tortillas, depending partly on the purpose and partly what I have on hand. Chips made from corn tortillas are typically what you buy in a bag for snacks. They are not as delicate as flour tortilla chips, and are better suited for dipping.

The photo shows flour tortilla chips made from wedges sliced from an uncooked flour tortilla. These are lightly salted and almost melt in your mouth. Almost like pastry. I use these as garnish for tortilla soup, for example, and also as a quick appetizer if company shows up and I don’t have anything ready.


All you do is heat 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet, slice up the tortillas, and lay them out in a single layer in the hot oil. The oil should be shimmering but not smoking. About 375 degrees if you have a thermometer.

The tortillas will cook quickly, and will stop bubbling when it’s time to take them out. You will probably need to use a large fork or spatula to turn them over, because they float and the top doesn’t brown as quickly as the bottom.

Use a slotted spoon or spatula to take them out of the oil, place them on paper towels, and salt them lightly. If they are for a snack or appetizer, you can experiment with other seasonings, like garlic salt, onion salt, or hot salt.

If you really dress them up, you might wind up with a plate of nachos, where the chips are garnished with salsa, melted cheese, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, refried beans, and who knows what else. Heck, invent an appetizer and name it after yourself.

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