9 Tips for Cooking the Perfect Spanish Omelet

9 Tips for Cooking the Perfect Spanish Omelet

Jun 16th 2020

It is just three ingredients: Potatoes, Egg and Salt (you can also add a fourth ingredient: onion). Everybody can do it. It sounds simple, right?

Well...if you think that way, you are wrong!!

The Origin of the Spanish Omelet

It is also known as as Potato Omelet or Tortilla de Patata in Spanish.

Its existence was first documented in Villanueva de la Serena, a village in Badajoz, Spain in 1798. It was invented with the focus of creating a nutritious food made with cheap ingredients to fight the hunger of those times in the population.

The first idea was to make an oven baked potato bread, but some savvy cook recommended to use egg to keep the potato together and cook it in a pan and...voila!!! The Spanish Omelet was created!!!

A Classic Platter in Spain

The popularity of this plate was quickly expanded because: who doesn't like fried potatoes and eggs?? And nowadays all regions in Spain are proud to think that they have the best tortilla de patatas. Who is right? To make a decision it depends on how you like the egg cooked although the majority of Spaniards like it to be juicy to the point that when opened you can see that the potato is moist.

In Spain they are natural-born competitors. So, guess what? Yes! They all like to compete for the best Tortilla de Patata. There are magazines that give updates constantly of Best Places to eat Tortilla de Patatas in Spain.

The Perfect Spanish Omelet

These are the tips to make a wonderful Spanish omelet:

  1. Use good fresh potatoes. Discard old potatoes.
  2. Free range eggs, the freshest the better.
  3. Potatoes should be fried, preferably in olive oil. Do not boil the potatoes. Should be cooked at low/medium heat covered with oil and when you see the potatoes are soft, put the heat on high for the last 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. Use a strainer to let the potatoes drain the oil.
  5. When whisking the eggs, add the salt to the egg, not to the potatoes.
  6. Blend all together carefully, trying not to break the potatoes. Otherwise, you will get a potato puree. The egg should cover and be totally integrated with the potatoes. Approximately, think that a medium omelet would be 6 medium size potatoes and 7 eggs, although proportions can vary depending on likings.
  7. Let the potatoes soak in the egg for at least ten minutes, before cooking the tortilla. This will allow the potato to be moist and juicy.
  8. Place the pan with a little oil and when it is hot, pour the mixture. If you want it moist, you should cook each side for 3 or 4 minutes, medium heat.
  9. Be careful when turning the pan. Use a plate or a lid to help yourself to turn it. If you have not done it before, it may take some training-time. Also, now there are tortilla pans available to buy that make it very easy.

Now, it is time to enjoy your cooking experience! Remember that the most important part of cooking at home is to have fun and to learn from your mistakes for the next time!