How to Cook Corn Tortillas: A Step-by-Step Guide

Corn tortillas are a staple in Mexican cuisine, and are enjoyed all over the world. They are a versatile food, and can be used in a variety of dishes like tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook, learning how to cook corn tortillas is an essential skill for anyone who loves Mexican food. In this article, we will walk you through the process of making corn tortillas at home, step by step.

Choosing the Right Corn Flour

The first step in making corn tortillas is selecting the right type of corn flour. It is important to use masa harina, which is a special type of flour made from corn that has been treated with an alkali solution. This process, called nixtamalization, improves the flavor and texture of the corn flour. You can find masa harina at grocery stores or specialty food stores.

Mixing the Dough

Once you have your masa harina, the next step is to mix it with water to make a dough. The ratio of masa harina to water should be 2:1. That means you need two cups of masa harina for every one cup of water. Mix the masa harina and water together in a large mixing bowl until a dough forms. You can use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix the dough.

Making the Tortillas

The next step is to shape the dough into tortillas. Start by dividing the dough into small balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. Place the balls of dough on a lightly floured surface, and use a tortilla press to flatten them into thin rounds. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into thin rounds.

Cooking the Tortillas

Once you have shaped the tortillas, it’s time to cook them. The traditional way to cook corn tortillas is on a comal, which is a flat, round griddle made out of clay or metal. If you don’t have a comal, you can use a regular frying pan or griddle. Heat the comal or frying pan over medium-high heat, and cook the tortillas for about 30-45 seconds on each side. The tortillas should be slightly browned and cooked through.

Serving Suggestions

Now that your corn tortillas are cooked, it’s time to serve them up! Corn tortillas are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Some popular serving suggestions include:

-Tacos: Fill your tortillas with your favorite meats or vegetables, and top with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

-Quesadillas: Fill your tortillas with cheese and your favorite fillings, and cook until the cheese is melted.

-Enchiladas: Fill your tortillas with meat and cheese, roll them up, and cover with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your tortillas aren’t turning out quite right, here are some troubleshooting tips:

-If your dough is too dry, add a little more water.

-If your dough is too wet, add a little more masa harina.

-If your tortillas are sticking to the press or rolling pin, try dusting them with a little more flour.

-If your tortillas are too thick or thin, adjust the pressure on your tortilla press or the thickness of your rolling pin.


Q: Can I use regular flour instead of masa harina?
A: No, it is important to use masa harina to make authentic corn tortillas.

Q: Do I need a tortilla press?
A: While it is helpful, you can also use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into thin rounds.

Q: Can I make the tortillas ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can make the dough and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. However, it is best to cook the tortillas right before serving.