Potato tacos or tacos de papa with rajas are a traditional go-to in Mexico when you want to make a home-cooked, hearty, hot meal for a large family or group of friends. They are creamy-spicy-melty delicious—and our new favorite taco here at Familia Kitchen.
If you’ve never had tacos de papa before, you might be surprised to hear about this carb-on-carb take on the taco. “They were inspired by a recipe from my sister-in-law who is from San Juan de Los Lagos in Jalisco. She made these often when she lived with us,” says Anjie Villalobos of California, one of our favorite abuela cocineras and a tremenda Mexican-comida cook.
“Her name is Carmen, but we all call her China. She is an incredible cook. And one of my favorite things that she made—actually I shouldn’t say I have a favorite, because everything China made was so good—but one of the dishes I loved that she made is tacos de papa.
”China came from a family of 15 brothers and sisters. So: huge family, lots of cooking always going on. Their family has a great love for food and for gathering,” says Anjie. ”When you think about Mexican food, you are often feeding big families—like China’s. Meat is expensive. So something very easy to cook that is hearty and provides sustenance is a potato. Making potato tacos as opposed to meat tacos for a large family is an important part of cooking and caring for big groups of people you love.”
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These tacos are ”basically mashed potatoes with poblano green chile rajas cut in strips,” says Anjie. “China would roll them up and fry them and cover them with thinly sliced cabbage and slices of avocado, salsa, crema—whatever you like to top your tacos. She made these tacos the papa on the regular.”
We predict that this humble version will become a new favorite taco, too. After sampling them, we’re full-on taco de papa fans.