Spanish Tortilla

OK, so now you know where I was for five days. And I came back wanting more. How could I come back craving this thing so badly? It’s not like I had never had it before in my life. It’s just that made in Spain, by people who know what they’re doing, it was pretty darn tasty to a starving tourist! I was excited to find out that I had all but eggs and potatoes in my kitchen when I came back, but it wasn’t until one whole week later until things lined up for me to make it.

This is my very first ever attempt at making this and I would like to apologize to my Spanish friends for not making them proud. My only defense is that due to the kind of stove top I am limited to using, I can’t use a non stick pan because it just doesn’t work with the induction stove. Therefore, using a stainless steel pan – baaaaad idea!!!! Considering I’ve made crêpes in said pan, that tells you the determination and will one I have to get to my food. Nothing stands between me and my finished recipe.

I looked up many recipes and I decided on using again Felicity Cloake’s version from the How to Cook the Perfect… Spanish Omelette article in The Guardian. There is of course always the debate between purists (nothing but eggs and potatoes) and other, more liberal cooks (adding just onions, or other ingredients as well). Felicity’s recipe adds onions, but I decided to go the purist route only because I have never had it with anything else and it was never served to me in Spain with anything else. And that is the reference I was willing to follow. Considering that just these two ingredients are so freaking awesome alone and they skyrocket when together, you could totally add other things to make it even better. The onions would be nice, also some chopped chorizo inside or green peppers… Mmmmm… Maybe next time as I intend to improve!

Also, to flip or not to flip. I flipped. I didn’t want to grill it under the broiler, frittata-style because I believe it dries it out. Ms. Cloake agrees with me. She mentions a nice little flipping trick. Usually, once the bottom has set, you place a plate over the top of the tortilla, flip it over, then slide it inside the pan to cook the top part. Well, how about first sliding it in the plate, then inverting the frying pan over the top of the plate, flipping it right side again and removing the plate! Ta da! (all this is of course possible in other pans and not stainless steel ones…. :/)

I really don’t know if waxy potatoes would have made a difference. For the life of me, I don’t know what they are and it’s not like they’re going to be labeled as such or necessarily be had in my supermarket. It’s a potato, ok? I actually had two kinds of potatoes 🙂

The last thing that I did that was probably a no no (haha) was the fact that I browned my potatoes! (hear the collective sigh of all Spain!) I did this because, it kind of happened on its own, because I was not, I repeat I WAS NOT going to use 300 ml (that’s nearly 1 1/4 cup!!!) of oil for this!!!! The point is that, the potatoes need to fry in the oil, not brown, therefore they won’t really be touching and sticking to the bottom to get the chance to brown. Felicity Cloake had also tried frying the potatoes in less oil, to sauté them (didn’t say if they browned) and she says they “lacked the silky richness”. I actually quite liked my tortilla. And I liked the taste the browned potatoes gave to the end result. It was kind of sweeter 🙂

Lastly, I read in the comments there and elsewhere, that people were saying it needs to have more eggs than potatoes in ratio. She uses 600 gr potatoes with 6 eggs. She had even tried a recipe with 700 gr potatoes and 5 eggs! To tell you the truth, I wanted just a liiiiiitle bit more egg and I had 550 potatoes…

Word of warning: maybe because of my stainless steel pan, maybe due to paranoia, I cooked this on low heat, just below medium heat. The potatoes AND the tortilla in the end.


550 gr potatoes, peeled and sliced on thin round slices, a couple of mm thick

6 eggs, beaten

olive oil, for frying

salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. When heated, add a layer of potatoes (I cooked the potatoes in 4 batches, and I only added oil before the 4th batch) Fry until tender and reserve the potatoes on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

you can see how little oil I used that lasted me 3 batches

2. Season the beaten eggs to your liking and add the fried potatoes in the egg mix.

did I slap my hand a few times cause I kept stealing the fried potatoes? Yeees

3. In a clean pan, heat up a bit less oil than what you used before for the potatoes. When heated, pour in the egg/potato mix and spread the potatoes around so that it’s even.

everyone at the ready….

I was starting to get scared…..

4. Once the bottom has set (you’ll see it start puffing up) and loosens from the edges (this didn’t happen for me, it was around the edges that stuck on the pan, not necessarily the bottom, and I did turn the pan around to oil the sides!), place a plate on top to flip it over (or do the other plate trick (read above), then continue cooking for a few more minutes.

tortilla gods, bear with me!

before the flip; I had to unstick the sides… ugh, do yourselves a favour & don’t do this in a stainless steel pan….

top side looking more presentable 🙂

And that’s it! I hope you make it, I hope you improve in making it; I hear it’s not actually an easy thing to master! It’s all in the technique here!What you can’t see is the amazing looking plating I did here with the tortilla slice, the chorizo rounds and salad. You can’t, cause my camera was extremely low on batteries. I took the picture, but it hadn’t registered in the end… 🙂

not that bad, eh?

delicious cold too, with some mayo. Which is how the Spaniards sometimes have it between two slices of soft white bread… which to me is a starchoverload, but hey, who am I to judge? 🙂


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