How to Fry Hard Shell Tacos With the Meat in Them

by Zora Hughes

Tacos take on a whole new texture and flavor when you fry them in hot oil, with the filling already inside. Also known as tacos dorados, fried tacos are corn or flour tortillas filled with any type of prepared meat filling, and then fried to a crispy golden brown. The filling itself also gets a little fried, as the tortillas are only partially closed when they're cooked in the oil. Once fried and drained, you can add your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheese, salsa and lettuce, just as you would with regular tacos.

Fill a deep skillet with 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil and bring it to a medium-high heat on the stove.

Hold a small tortilla in the palm of your hand and fill it with a spoonful of your cooked and prepared meat filling. You do not want to overstuff these tortillas or the meat will just come spilling out of it in the oil.

Fold the tortilla over and use tongs to place it folded into the hot oil . Use the tongs to keep the top half of the tortilla folded over until it starts to harden and stay in place on its own. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and filling.

Flip the tacos with the tongs once they are hardened and golden brown on one side. Remove from the oil when the other side is also golden brown.

Wrap each fried taco snugly in a several layers of paper towels to soak up excess oil, being careful not to break the shell. Unwrap and stuff the fried tacos with toppings as you see fit, such as cheese, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream to serve.

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Items you will need

  • Prepared taco meat, any kind
  • Corn or flour tortillas, small
  • Skillet
  • Vegetable oil
  • Metal tongs


  • Heating corn tortillas in the microwave between damp paper towels can make them more pliable for folding into tacos.
  • If you prefer, you can fry them up as flautas, or rolled and fried tacos. Lay the corn tortillas on plate, add the filling in a row down the center and roll the corn tortilla over the filling to form a narrow roll shape and deep-fry them until golden brown and crispy.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

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