History of and Recipe for a Favored Mexican Dish – Panuchos

Panuchos, pronounced pan-OO-choss, is a Yucatan dish served as an ‘Antojitos’ . Antojitos in Mexico are similar to Spanish tapas.

Panuchos are special to us and we love, love, love a good panucho. Some people like to put them in the same category as salbutes, and tostados, but we believe panuchos belong in a glass all on their own. What we love about them is the flexibility of ingredients. The base of a panucho is what defines it; a tortilla stuffed with refried black beans and slightly fried on a hot grilll. What you put on top of the panucho is up to the cook. It is a great way to get rid of leftovers. If you are a vegetarian, you too can enjoy this great Yucatecan snack. It is this diversity of flavors and culinary freedom that makes exploring panuchos throughout the Yucatan Peninsula an adventure.

Panucho Recipe Yucatecan Style

Ingredients

15 handmade corn tortillas
1 cup refried black beans
Vegetable oil
Chopped lettuce or cabbage, thinly sliced
Shredded turkey, fish, chicken, sautéed vegetables or cheese
Pickled Red Onion (get recipe here)
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Salsa of your choice (habanero, pico do gallo, serrano)

Process

  • Place the tortilla on a hot comal (grill or skillet). When the tortilla starts to puff up with air bubbles, flip to the other side. To ensure air pockets fill the entire tortilla, press around the edges of the tortilla with a clean, folded kitchen cloth. (This thin layer is called the pancita)
  • Remove the hot tortilla from the comal and carefully slit the top puffy layer of the tortilla open about 3 to 4 inches to create a pocket, similar to how you would open pita bread for a sandwich.
  • Smear a spoonful of refried black beans into the pocket of the tortilla. To reach all corners of the tortilla, use your fingers to spread refried beans throughout the tortilla.
  • Prepare your toppings, and then place the panucho (the now stuffed tortilla) on a hot, oiled comal (griddle or skillet) and toast until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the heated tortilla to paper towels. Repeat process for each panucho.
  • To assemble the panuchos: Top each panucho with sliced green leaf lettuce, shredded chicken, pickled onion salsa, a slice of tomato, and a slice of avocado. Serve with salsa on the side. If you are using different ingredients, place your ingredients on the warm panucho.

Serve immediately as Panuchos are best served hot!

Find more local recipes on our Local Scoop blog.

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