Mexican tacos are a variety of traditional Mexican dishes consisting of corn or flour tortillas, folded or rolled, and filled with a wide range of ingredients.
Tacos are very versatile and can be prepared with different types of meat, seafood, vegetables and other accompaniments.
The base of a Mexican taco is the tortilla, which can be made of corn or wheat flour. Corn tortillas are the most common and authentic in Mexican cuisine.
Tacos are assembled by placing the filling in the centre of the tortilla and then condiments and sauces can be added to taste.
Traditional Mexican tacos are an integral part of Mexican cuisine and can be found in different regions of the country.
Here are some examples of the types of traditional Mexican tacos.
Taco al pastor is a typical Mexican dish consisting of marinated pork, marinated with a mixture of spices and seasonings, and then grilled in an upright spinning top.
The name ‘al pastor’ translates as ‘in the manner of the shepherd’ and refers to the influence of Middle Eastern kebabs or shawarmas on this ‘Mexican dish’.
The meat traditionally used to make tacos al pastor is pork loin, although pork leg may also be used.
The meat is marinated in a mixture of achiote, chillies, spices such as cumin and oregano, orange juice and other secret ingredients that vary according to the recipe and the cook.
Tacos al pastor are usually served with a variety of accompaniments, such as chopped onion, cilantro, pineapple, tomato sauce or hot sauce, depending on the diner’s preference. This taco recipe is very popular in Mexico and can be found in taquerias and street stalls almost everywhere.
The carnitas taco is another delicious dish of Mexican cuisine. These are tacos filled with shredded and browned pork, known as “carnitas”.
The word “carnitas” literally translates as “small meats” and refers to the way the meat is cooked.
Carnitas are prepared by cooking pieces of pork, such as loin, leg or bacon, in their own fat and sometimes lard is added.
The meat is simmered for several hours in a large casserole or special copper pot, allowing it to tenderise and become juicy on the inside, while browning and crisping on the outside.
The end result is tender and juicy meat, with a crispy texture in some pieces.
Once cooked, the meat is shredded into smaller pieces and served in warm corn tortillas. To accompany carnitas tacos, condiments and garnishes such as chopped onion, cilantro, salsa verde, lime and hot sauce are often added, depending on individual preference.
Barbacoa tacos are a typical Mexican dish consisting of tacos filled with beef or lamb slowly cooked over low heat, traditionally in an underground pit called a “barbacoa”.
This cooking method gives the meat a unique, juicy flavour.
The preparation of barbacoa tacos begins with the selection of cuts of beef or lamb, such as the head, belly, cheek or brisket.
The meat is seasoned with a mixture of spices and seasonings, which may vary according to region and family tradition. Some of the common ingredients in the marinade are chillies, garlic, onion, cumin, oregano and lime juice.
Barbacoa tacos are especially popular on weekends in Mexico, and can be found in markets, taquerias and specialised barbecue establishments.
It is a tasty dish, appreciated for its soft texture and intense flavour of slow-cooked meat.
The cochinita taco is a typical dish of Yucatecan cuisine in Mexico. It consists of tacos filled with marinated pork known as “cochinita pibil”.
Cochinita pibil is a traditional preparation in which the pork is marinated with achiote and spices, and then slow-cooked in an underground oven.
To make cochinita pibil, pork, usually from the shoulder or loin, is rubbed with a mixture of achiote (a red annatto seed paste), sour orange juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, pepper and salt.
The meat is left to marinate for several hours or even overnight so that the flavours permeate it.
Cochinita tacos are found in Yucatecan restaurants in Mexico and also in other parts of the country. It is a tasty and aromatic dish that represents the rich culinary tradition of the Yucatan region.
Tacos de asada are a very popular dish in Mexican cuisine, especially in the northern region of the country. They are tacos filled with grilled or broiled beef.
The word “asada” refers to the way the meat is cooked, which is grilled or barbecued. These tacos are very popular in taquerias and street stalls throughout Mexico and have also become popular in other countries.
Asada tacos are characterised by their juicy and well-seasoned meat, and are a delicious option for beef lovers.
If you want to try the most famous traditional Mexican tacos, remember!
At Taqueria de Birra we are experts in tacos and Mexican food since 1989, so if you want to taste tacos in the purest Mexican style, we invite you to order to take away or come and try them at C/ Don Pedro, 11 or at Plaza de las Comendadoras, 2.