Tag: chilaquiles

Tortas de Chilaquiles – Mexican Sandwiches

I’m a simple woman. I see chilaquiles, I have chilaquiles.

The first time I had them was at Puerto Alegre in San Francisco roughly 10 years ago. I fell in love with the dish and red mole immediately. Both of these are hard to come by here in the Netherlands so I’ve had to make due with instant sauces and Thai-Mexican mashups of my own making.

The cookbook Comida Mexicana by Rosa Cienfuegos surrounded by a few empty tomatillo husks.

Comida Mexicana – Rosa Cienfuegos

Lucky for me, GoodCook (one of my favorite Dutch cookbook publishers) were kind enough to send me a copy of their newly released a translation of Comida Mexicana (UK only) by Rosa Cienfuegos. It’s a stellar read. With amazing photography by Alicia Taylor. As well as wonderful personal story of creating a home away from home.

There’s lots of stuff I want to cook from this book, but the tortas de chilaquiles (a chilaquiles sandwich) was my number one.

A closeup of salted black totopos (fresh fried nachos made from fresh tortillas).

Sourcing Mexican ingredients

As mentioned, it can be hard to find Mexican ingredients in the Netherlands. In the past 10 years the situation has improved greatly however. So I was able to order tomatillos and jalapenos to make fresh salsa verde, as well as fresh tortillas to fry my own totopos from Westland Pepers. The tortillas are made by Tortillería Taiyara, who supplies all the best eateries and tokos in the Netherlands. You can also order your totopos ready-made from her.

A scathering of empty green tomatillo husks.


I decided to make mine with tofu schnitzel because I am trying to cut back on meat. To make this I froze my tofu straight from the shop. Thawed it. Pressed it and then coated it in panko. You are of course free to use veal, which the original recipe calls for, or buy storebought schnitzel because why the fuck not.

A jar of salsa verde.

All this? For a sandwich?

This recipe may seem like a lot of work for a sandwich but it’s a DAMNED good sandwich and you can skip a bunch of steps by going with store-bought totopos, schnitzels and salsa verde (if you’re lucky enough to have any nearby).

A tortas de chilaquiles (chilaquiles bread roll) with chilaquiles made with black totopos, sour cream, tofu schnitzel and feta cheese.

Tortas de chilaquiles - Chilaquiles sandwiches

Dorothy Porker
A recipe for tortas de chilaquiles (Mexican chilaquiles sandwiches) from the cookbook Comida Mexicana by Rosa Cienfuegos, made vegetarian with tofu schnitzel.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Tofu freezing, thawing and pressing time 2 d 30 mins
Course Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 tortas


  • Freezer, if making your own tofu schnitzels
  • Heavy object, if making your own tofu schnitzels
  • Griddle pan, if making your own salsa
  • Blender or food processor, if making your own salsa
  • Deep fat fryer or frying pan, if making your own totopos
  • Deep plate x2, if making your own schnitzels
  • Large frying pan x2


For the salsa verde, you can also use store-bought

  • 21 oz - 600 g tomatillos fresh or canned
  • 20 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 white onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T - 15 g salt
  • 1 bunch coriander coarsely chopped

For the totopos, you can also use store-bought

  • neutral oil for deep fat frying
  • 12 fresh corn tortillas cut into 8 pieces each
  • salt to taste

For the tofu schnitzels, you can also use store-bought

  • 1 egg whisked
  • 2/3 c - 150 ml milk the heaviest milk you can get, nutmilk is fine
  • 1 T - 15 g salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pack firm or semi-firm tofu frozen in its liquid, thawed, then pressed for 30 minutes and cut into 1/2" - 1 cm slices
  • 1 c - 100 g bread crumbs I used panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) because I'm fancy, but use whatever
  • sunflower oil for shallow frying

For the tortas de chilaquiles

  • 4 c - 1 l salsa verde recipe to follow, or store-bought
  • 2 lbs - 1 kg totopos recipe to follow, or store-bought
  • 6 teleras (Mexican bread rolls) I used what the Dutch call 'an Italiaanse bol', look for something slightly firmer on the outside but soft on the inside
  • 2 T - 30 ml sour cream
  • 2 T - 30 g cojita cheese I used crumbled feta
  • 6 tofu schnitzels recipe to follow, or store-bought


First, make the salsa verde

  • If you were able to source fresh tomatillos, remove the husk and wash 21 oz - 600 g of tomatillos. If using tinned tomatillos drain and pat dry.
  • Griddle them on a very hot griddle with 20 jalapenos and coarsely chopped white onion until they turn black on the outside. You can also do this directly over a hot flame if you dare.
  • Move all of the blackened tomatillos, jalapenos and onion to a blender or food processor with 1 clove of garlic, 1 T - 15 g of salt and 1 bunch of coarsely chopped coriander and blend until fine. If the sauce is too coarse add water until you get your desired consistency.

Now, make the totopos

  • Heat oil in a deep pan or in a deep fat fryer to 180° C - 360° F.
  • Fry the tortillas cut into 8 pieces in batches until crisp and starting to brown. Usually once they start floating and stop bubbling they are done.
  • Drain on some kitchen towel and season with salt.

Next, make the tofu schnitzels

  • Mix the whisked egg with 2/3 c - 150 ml of milk, 1 T - 15 g of salt and freshly ground pepper in a deep plate. Place in the slices of tofu and leave to soak for 3 minutes.
  • Place 1 c of bread crumbs in another deep plate and heat a decent layer of sunflower oil in a large frying pan.
  • Coat the tofu slices in breadcrumbs and fry until golden and crisp. This should take 5 minutes per side or so.

Now, make the chilaquiles

  • Heat almost all of the 4 c - 1 l of salsa verde in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the totopos and a cup of water, stir and heat through for 5 minutes or so. If you like your chilaquiles a little crispier, I'd skip the water and the 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.

Tortas de chilaquiles, ASSEMBLE

  • Cut your teleras or whatever bread rolls you're using in half, top with a scoop of the cooked chilaquiles, the sour cream, cojita or feta, tofu (or other) schnitzel and a little bit of uncooked salsa verde and dig in.


  • Obviously these tortas do not keep and should be eaten straight away.
  • The salsa verde will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge and are great for dipping chips or having on any number of tacos.
  • Totopos will keep for about a week in a cookie tin.
Keyword chilaquiles, Mexican food, sandwiches, tortas

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor tortas de chilaquiles, Mexicaanse broodjes chilaquiles.

Gaeng Penang Tua Lima

Originally I was going to reshoot and post tofu scramble chilaquiles, but I always struggle with making proper mole here because tomatillos are so hard to come by. Also… while I love tofu, scrambled tofu just isn’t really it for me.

Rosa’s Thai Café – The Vegetarian Cookbook by Saiphin Moore

Then I was reading Rosa’s Thai Café – The Vegetarian Cookbook and spotted this recipe for vegan gaeng penang tua lima (lima or butter bean panang, I refuse to use the word ‘curry’ for all Asian stews) and I knew I had to have it. Because out of all the beans, the butter bean is my favorite.

Hot & Bothered serendipity

I was however (and will probably always be) still hung up on chilaquiles. Because nachos. Pondering these decisions during one of my morning walks, I started thinking of chilaquiles mash-ups: laksa chilaquiles,  mohinga chilaquiles and finally gaeng penang tua lima chilaquiles. But I let it go because it seemed like maybe this was too much of a stretch.

Later in the day my friend in Thailand contacted me. They’re working on a new project. Hot & Bothered Vegan Thai, a vegan newsletter on Thai food and (food) politics, in Thai and English. In it they plan to go over various regional foods while also sharing veganized recipes for classic Thai dishes. You should really sign up.

And as we were talking, we serendipitously shouted: “PANANG CHILAQUILES” at each other across the globe (no lie). And so I decided, this is okay. Though of course you can have this butter bean panang with rice as well. I don’t know why Asian and Latin American food fuse so well. From now classic Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei cuisine, to my beloved Mexican-Korean mash-up from LA, but it does. So here we are.

Ko Thai to the rescue

I was very happy to find an accidentally vegan panang-paste by Ko Thai at our biggest supermarket chain, if you choose to go with a ready-made paste, but be sure to check the contents extensively. As my friends of the Hot & Bothered newsletter started their project in the first place because vegan ready-made pastes can be very hard to find.

The Rosa’s Thai Café recipe below also includes instructions on how to make your own panang-paste. I made my panang with cashews, as you can see in the pictures, but the original recipe calls for peanuts and I suggest that unless you have an intense dislike for peanuts like I do, you follow Saiphin’s lead.

If you are in the UK you can order Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook here.

A teal cast iron pan filled with nachos and lima bean penang, covered with a sprinkling of cilantro, chilies and cashews sat on an orange backdrop. At the top of the image there is a hint of a plate with some food on it.

Gaeng Penang Tua Lima (Vegan Butter Bean Panang)

Dorothy Porker
This recipe for gaeng penang tua lima (vegan butter bean panang) from Rosa's Thai Café is quick, easy and incredibly moorish. Turn them into chilaquiles for an exciting nacho-twist or have it with rice like a normal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Soaking the chilies (when making panang-paste from scratch) 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Main course
Cuisine Mexican, Thai, Vegan
Servings 1 - 2 people


  • Small bowl (for soaking chilies, if making paste from scratch)
  • Pestle and mortar or small food processor (if making paste from scratch)
  • Wok or large frying pan (x2 if making chilaquiles)
  • Kitchen towel (if making chilaquiles)


To make the panang-paste (ready-made also works, but double-check to ensure it's vegan)

  • 6 dried chilies deseeded and soaked for 30 mins
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g salt
  • 4 stalks lemongrass white core thinly sliced
  • 1" - 2.5 cm galengal* finely grated
  • 1 makrut lime leaf finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch coriander root or stalks
  • 5 shallots sliced
  • 6 black peppercorns

To make panang chilaquiles (or have with white rice)

  • 4 T - 60 ml neutral oil I use sunflower
  • 3 corn tortillas** cut into nacho-shaped triangles
  • pinch salt

To make the gaeng penang tua lima

  • 2 T - 30 ml neutral oil I use sunflower
  • 1 T - 20 g panang-paste heaped, home-made or store-bought
  • 1 1/4 c - 300 ml coconut milk
  • 1 T - 15 g palm sugar I use gula jawa
  • 2 T - 30 ml soy sauce light is preferred if you have it
  • 2 T - 30 g peanuts roasted and crushed, or use cashews
  • 1" - 2.5 cm galengal* thinly sliced
  • 3 makrut lime leaves thinly sliced
  • 8 1/4 oz - 235 g butter beans this is roughly one can, drained and rinsed

To serve

  • 1 red chili thinly sliced
  • a few makrut lime or sweet basil leaves*** thinly sliced
  • 1 T - 15 g peanuts roasted and crushed, or use cashews


Make the panang-paste (or use store-bought)

  • Finely grind together 6 dried chilies that you've deseeded and soaked for 30 minutes and then drained with 1/2 t - 2.5 g of salt using a pestle and mortar or a small food processor.
  • Add the thinly sliced white core of 4 stalks of lemon grass, 1"- 2.5 cm of sliced galengal root, 1 finely sliced makrut leaf, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 small bunch of finely sliced coriander root or stalks, 5 sliced shallots and 6 black peppercorns and grind or blend to a fine paste.

If making chilaquiles

  • Heat 4 T - 60 ml of oil in a frying pan and fry 3 corn tortillas cut into triangles until golden and crisp. Drain on some kitchen towels and sprinkle enthusiastically with salt, before setting aside.

Make gaeng penang tua lima (butter bean panang)

  • Heat 2 T - 30 ml of oil in a wok or frying pan.
  • Once the oil is hot, add 1 heaped T of panang-paste and stir until fragrant. This should take 30 seconds or so.
  • Keep stirring while pouring in 1 1/4 c - 300 ml of coconut milk.
  • Once the coconut milk and paste have properly mixed, add in 2 T - 30 ml or g of soy sauce, palm sugar and roasted and crushed peanuts each with 1 T - 15 g of thinly sliced galengal. Keep stirring for 2 minutes or so, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in 3 finely sliced makrut lime leaves and finally add 8 1/4 oz - 235 g of drained and rinsed butterbeans.
  • Let everything bubble away gently for 5 minutes or so until the sauce has thickened and serve with white rice, thinly sliced chili and makrut or sweet basil leaves and 1 T - 15 g of roasted and crushed peanuts.

Make the chilaquiles

  • First off: make sure you are very ready to eat because you want to eat this while the nachos are crisp and only starting to soak up the liquids from the panang.
  • Quickly but gently scoop your nachos through the gaeng penang tua lima, so everything is evenly coated. Top with the thinly sliced chili and makrut or sweet basil leaves and 1 T - 15 g of roasted and crushed peanuts and serve immediately


Home-made panang-paste will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for roughly 2 weeks. 
As long as you have not made chilaquiles with them gaeng penang tua lima will keep and reheat well the next day. 
* Saiphin uses greater galengal in the panang-paste and lesser galangel in the gaeng penang tua lima, as far as I am aware they only sell one type of galengal here so that's what I used
** I find chilaquiles do not work with store-bought nachos, but this may be due to the quality of ready-made nachos we have available in the Netherlands (it's Doritos)
*** In the photo I've used coriander because both fresh makrut lime leaves and sweet basil are hard to come by here 
Keyword butter beans, lima beans, panang, rosa's thai, rosa's thai cafe, thai food, vegan thai

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor gaeng penang tua lima (vegan limabonen panang).