Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 18-24 tortillas
Homemade Corn Tortillas are a requisite companion to many a Mexican dish. While you can buy them at the store, there is nothing like homemade.

Good corn tortillas are the one foods I miss the most from home. During a trip to Texas, I was blessed to be able to spend time with my brother Ramiro and his new wife, Norma Leticia. I was especially excited when she told me she had owned a Mexican food business for a couple of years and how she prepared a variety of authentic tacos. During my stay there, she prepared the very traditional chorizo con huevo (chorizo with egg) with homemade corn tortillas.

I have made thousands of tortillas over the years, but when I took that first bite of hers, it just melted in my mouth. The texture was soft and very flexible, compared to mine, which always seemed a little more dry and would crack sometimes. I instantly quizzed her and asked what her secret was, LOL! So, here is my interpretation of Norma’s recipe. I can’t believe just a few changes made all the difference in the world. Gracias, Norma Leticia Mendez.


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  1. In a large bowl, add the water and the salt, stir to combine. Gradually add in the masa harina until the dough forms. It will be slightly sticky — if too sticky, add another couple of tablespoons of masa harina. Cover with plastic wrap and let set for 20 minutes.
  2. Cut the plastic bag into 2 separate, but equal squares that fit the inside of tortilla press, about 5×5.
  3. Preheat the comal or griddle to medium/high heat for 6 to 8 minutes. The right temperature on the comal makes a big difference on if your tortillas will puff up or not. Roll 18 to 24 dough balls, about 1½-inch in diameter. Keep them cover with plastic so they don’t dry out.
  4. When ready, roll it several times in your hands, rolling it to resemble a cigar, then back into a ball shape before pressing in lined tortilla press. I believe this releases a little of the moisture, plus add some air into the dough. Transfer to lined press. Press down gently until it forms a tortilla about 4 inches. Making sure the tortilla fits in the palm of your hand, peel off the plastic and transfer to hot comal or griddle. If the tortilla tears, just roll it into a ball and start over.
  5. Tortillas are ready to turn when they release easily from the comal. Turn over and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Turn again and using a flat metal spatula, press gently on one side of tortilla. This will create an air bubble in between the tortillas, making a softer and lighter tortilla! Yay!! Remove from heat and keep warm in between two kitchen towels. Cool completely before storing in plastic storage bag. Keep refrigerated and reheat on a hot comal for a minute.

Chef Notes

Notes: 1. The dough is a bit stickier than my old recipe, so rolling several times in your hands releases a little of the moisture before cooking. 2. My hands are small, so I can only make small tortillas, bigger hands, bigger tortillas! 3. Don’t give up… My first half were not the greatest… The second half were awesome… Practice, practice, practice…  

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