Tacos de Papa Hwy 99 (Potato Tacos)
Photography by Romulo Yanes

Inspired by the potato tacos at Loncheria Otro Rollo in Bakersfield, these Tacolicious versions are stuffed with fluffy mashed potatoes and pan-fried until crisp. The accompanying smoky ranchero sauce also would be great as an accompaniment for meat or fish or spooned over eggs.

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Featured in: On the California Taco Trail

Yield: serves 6
Time: 1 hours


  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles en adobo
  • 1 (15-oz.) can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 12 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 (6″) corn tortillas
  • 12 cup canola oil
  • Thinly sliced green and red cabbage and red radishes, for garnish
  • Crumbled queso fresco, for garnish


  1. Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium. Cook garlic and onion until soft, about 5 minutes; transfer to a blender. Add chiles, tomatoes, and salt; purée until smooth and set sauce aside.
  2. Cook potatoes in a 4-qt. saucepan of salted boiling water until cooked through, about 15 minutes; drain and return to pan over medium. Add remaining olive oil, the cumin, and salt; mash potatoes.
  3. Working in batches, place about 1⁄4 cup potato in the center of a tortilla; fold tortilla in half and secure with a toothpick. Heat canola oil in a 12″ skillet over medium. Fry tacos, flipping once, until golden and crisp, 2–3 minutes. Discard toothpicks and transfer tacos to a platter; top with reserved sauce, the cabbage, radishes, and queso fresco.