Spanish Omelette (Tortilla de Patatas)

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A Spanish omelette or tortilla de patatas is one of the most iconic dishes of Spanish cuisine. It’s a thick omelette made with fried potatoes and onions.

This recipe is for 2 servings — as I only live with my boyfriend, this is the proportion that works for me. You can easily double the number of ingredients and make it for 4 people.

My advice is to make two small tortillas instead of one big tortilla for 4 people. There is more room to fail in a bigger pan.

When you use a small pan (like the one I use in the pictures) you have more control. It’s lighter, making it more comfortable to handle. Also, you have less space to break the tortilla. With a  bigger pan, you will have weaker spots — like the center of the tortilla that is the most fragile spot—.

How to get the perfect Spanish tortilla de patatas?

This is a recipe that has simple ingredients but a lot of people — including me — may be intimidated because of the cooking technique.

Today —- after numerous failures in my kitchen —, I bring you the ultimate trick to flip a Spanish tortilla and not end up with scrambled eggs. Read carefully:

First, you need a 100% non-stick pan. This is non-negotiable. Even if you add a ridiculous amount of oil the eggs still can stick to the edge of the pan and make the process extremely difficult and you can even end up with a broken omelette. You can read my buyers guide for ceramic pans, egg pans, and stone pans. Personally, I have a stone pan that I only use for eggs and pancakes and it’s my holy grail.

Second, your potatoes must be cooked completely before adding the egg. It’s a common mistake to think that the potatoes will end up cooking while the eggs are cooking too. Potatoes take way more time than eggs to cook — even the slightest bit.

In this point, I also like to say that in my personal experience I add the onions when the potatoes are half way cooked. A lot of chefs add the onions first, but this gives it a lot of time for burning. Potatoes take about 20 minutes to cook over medium heat in the olive oil and onions are fragile and burn easily. Nothing ruins the flavor of a tortilla de patatas more than the bitterness of burned onions.

How to flip a Spanish Omelette

Finally, the step that everybody worries when it comes to Spanish tortilla: the flip.

Flipping a tortilla that is heavy, considering that is made of potatoes is challenging, especially for beginners. So, the trick that I learned from Spanish people is the following:

  1. In a nonstick pan add a bit of oil — you can use some oil used for cooking the potatoes. And then pour the egg and potatoes mix.
  2. Cook over medium heat and wait until the omelette is 70%-80% done.
  3. Using a flat plate flip the tortilla. You can see exactly how in the pictures below. Then slide the tortilla that is flipped in the plate back to the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes and it’s done. This is the easiest way to flip a Spanish omelette.
Spanish Omelette (Tortilla de Patatas)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
A Spanish omelette or tortilla de patatas is one of the most iconic dishes of Spanish cuisine. It’s a thick omelette made with fried potatoes and onions.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: spanish omelette, tortilla de patatas
Servings: 2 people
Ingredients
  • 2 medium potatoes (about 350 gr)
  • 4 large eggs ( or 5 medium)
  • ½ onion (or 1 small)
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes (see the picture for reference)
  2. In a small nonstick pan add enough olive oil to cover the potatoes. Cook the potatoes over medium heat for 10 minutes. Watch the potatoes to make sure that they are cooking evenly.
  3. Add the onions sliced and cook for another 10 minutes. Move it every couple minutes to avoid burned parts.
  4. Remove the potatoes and the onions from the oil. Discard the oil (I save about 1 tbsp for cooking the omelette, I just let a bit on the pan).

  5. In a bowl beat the egg slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fried potatoes and onions.
  6. In the same nonstick pan add the egg and potatoes mix (i let a bit of oil). Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the omelette is 70%-80% done.

  7. Flip the omelette over a flat plate. Then slide the tortilla that is flipped in the plate back to the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes and it’s done.

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