topic posted Mon, April 16, 2007 - 3:38 PM by 
In the 'deep fried cactus' thread we've started discussing huaraches- a delightfully greasy Mexico City street food item that's hard to find in the US (and impossible for Jana to find in Switzerland, I'm so sure...)

Here's what I remember of them down there:

They start life as a thick long patty of masa dough - a 'huarache' is actually a type of sandal, and the masa patties slightly resemble a shoe sole. They're probably 6" long by 2 1/2" wide and about 1/4" thick.

They later get fried and topped with a wide variety of toppings- mushrooms, squash flowers, Oaxacan cheese, beans, and various spicy stuff.

What I remember seeing in DF was that street vendors would first cook them on a nice dry griddle. Healthy, you might think. Then they'd transfer the nice, good-for-you cooked huarache into a wok-type pan and cook them in oil till they absorbed a bunch of it. I even seem to remember them getting dipped in batter first so as to carry more oil (maybe? maybe I"m misremembering this part?).

Anyway, once they're no longer good for your heart, the vendors proceed to cover them in a thick pile of toppings. This is the really special aspect- I've seen huaraches in the US occasionally and they just aren't the same with shredded iceberg lettuce and styrofoam tomatoes on top! I also vaguely remember thinking that they sometimes came with a bean stuffing in the middle (just refried beans) of the masa patty.

Allow yourself a few hours of stupor for the ensuing food coma that eating one , or , god forbid, two, of these will cause.

I couldn't eat fried food AT ALL for about 6 months after that Mexico trip, after gorging on these everytime we passed through DF.

Can anyone refresh my memory on the types of toppings they get- there's squash flowers which I don't recall the exact preparation of- I htink they're just sauteed?
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  • Re: huaraches

    Mon, April 16, 2007 - 4:04 PM
    OH, please recipes I need recipes, sounds so good.
    • Re: huaraches

      Mon, April 16, 2007 - 4:42 PM
      Here's an approximation:
      • Re: huaraches

        Mon, April 16, 2007 - 4:47 PM
        Also, I think nopales (prickly pear) is another topping that gets put on these, though again I could be mis-remembering as I ate nopales on everything in Mexico. You basically cook up a prickly pear pad (google for recipes, I'm not sure how long) that's been cut into strips, and then these strips are one of the toppings that end up on everything. Nopales strips are also sold in most Latino supermarkets, in a jar. They taste like slimy green beans.

        Squash flowers are your basic zucchini flowers (um, I think theoretically they're the female flowers, but I think any would work, I could be wrong)- they're sold in food stores sometimes in the US. I have to ask some Mexico City expatriates sometime how they're prepared, I seem to remember that they're just stir-fried and used as a topping.
        • Re: huaraches

          Mon, April 16, 2007 - 5:23 PM
          ooh, yum, fat with salt! reading the recipe makes my mouth water.. but look at the nutricional breakdown! wowie.
          maybe its a good thing we cant get hold of these too often!

          Sounds like a wonderful Sunday treat though!

          Yes girlmark, I havent seen them sold here,- though I wouldnt say it doesnt exist..
          There is a surprising ly large Mexican population here, and the Swiss are fairly adventurous eaters. There are a number of "International" markets popping up here and there, and such foods would probably be sold then. I just havent managed to go to any of them yet. When I see a huarache being sold though, I'll be sure to try one now!
        • Re: huaraches

          Tue, April 17, 2007 - 10:40 AM
          If you live somewhere that you can buy nopales fresh it is worth the work to get them. You need pliers to pull out any spines left in then just use a vegetable peeler to take of the skin, chop and saute lightly. You can also use them in salsa and they add a really fresh flavor.
  • Re: huaraches

    Fri, April 20, 2007 - 7:28 AM
    I love living in Dallas....
    There is a little joint on the corner of Maple and Inwood that makes huaraches. To die for. Their salsa is also top notch. <ponder> It IS almost time for lunch.... sorta...
    • Re: huaraches

      Sun, April 22, 2007 - 5:28 PM
      so what do they put on them? huh? huh?
      • Unsu...

        Re: huaraches

        Mon, April 23, 2007 - 5:34 AM
        I live in a heavily populated area where many of the nationals and citizens relatives came from mexico.
        They are not found in the kitchens or stands -I have heard of it but they don't share them with markets when they get them .
        I don't think they are that easy to come by -there are other cacti that are more readily availale they they are sliced then and salted and pickled. I will ask around and find out more about them-I am sure a neighbor might even share one with me if they have any.
      • Re: huaraches

        Tue, April 24, 2007 - 7:58 AM
        I don't atually remember other than I think it was a shredded pork thing.... lettuce, crema, <ponder> All I remember is being in love. They had options, I seem to remember?
  • Re: huaraches

    Sat, May 19, 2007 - 1:00 PM
    I've only had them at El Huarache Azteca in Fruitvale, and from what I remember, they could have a variety of topping much like a taco. I remember them being pretty substantial. Well, I think I might have to go research them as soon as possible!

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