Today we’re sharing our first Cooking Lesson: How to Make a Taco Shell Bowl! This lesson is the first in a series of occasional, instructional posts that will provide you with more details, as well as step-by-step photos for some of the cooking techniques we use in our recipes! We hope you find these Cooking Lessons to be informative – but most of all, our goal is to inspire you to go into the kitchen with the confidence to try some of these recipes and techniques yourself!
A few days ago, we shared a fantastic Taco Salad recipe, and it was pictured served in a fried taco shell bowl – just like you’d see at a restaurant! It’s actually quite easy to make a taco shell bowl yourself at home and here’s how you do it.
First of all – you want to prep your work surface. Near your stove, you should assemble:
- 12-inch flour tortillas (1 per salad)
- A small spider strainer
- Long-handled stainless steel tongs (do not use tongs with silicone tips)
- Paper towels (for draining the fried tortilla shell bowl)
- A wok (or other deep sided frying pan)
- A candy or deep-fry thermometer (for measuring the temperature of the oil)
- Vegetable or canola oil
You’ll really want to have all of these tools nearby before you start to fry the shells because the frying process happens very quickly!
Heat the oil in the wok to 350 degrees. Note: The oil needs to be deep enough to fry the large tortilla shell so that it’s completely submerged while cooking.
When the oil is up to temperature, press the tortilla down into oil with the spider strainer, and hold it in place while it cooks to a bowl shape. (You can use your tongs as well to push the tortilla up against the side of the wok to get the tortilla to form into a bowl shape as it fries.) Allow the hot oil to fill the bowl of the tortilla shell, so the inside cooks as well. If the rim of the tortilla bowl did not get browned, flip the bowl over in the oil and cook the rim for a few seconds until browned.
Very important: Using the tongs, make sure that you pour off all of the oil back into the wok – and then carefully take the tortilla shell bowl out of the oil and drain on paper towels until completely cool.
Repeat for remaining tortillas. Once cooled – assemble into a delicious Taco Salad!