If you think huevos rancheros is tasty, just wait until you get your tastebuds on Huevos Motulenos.
There’s no better cure for an A.M. Mexican food hankering than this hearty, Yucatecan breakfast dish. Crispy, flash-fried corn tortillas are topped off with a generous spread of refried black beans, a fried egg, salty bites of ham, and a drizzle of salsa.
It’s the perfect way to add a little zest to your weekend breakfast routine! It’s quick-cooking and quite literally packed with layer upon layer of flavor. Get ready to break some yolks and scoop up a forkful of pure breakfast bliss.
WHAT IS HUEVOS MOTULENOS?
Huevos Motulenos originated in the town of Motul on the Yucatan Peninsula. While Yucatecan food is very unique as far as Mexican cuisine goes, Huevos Motulenos offers many familiarities.
Similar to huevos rancheros, the dish features salsa roja (or ranchero sauce), corn tortillas, and an over-easy fried egg. However, it is souped up with the addition of refried black beans and ham. It is also commonly served with green peas scattered across the top and fried plantains on the side.
Before we get into how to make this hearty, stacked Mexican breakfast, let’s first break down the key components that make it up. We’ll work our way from the bottom to the top of the dish!
This is no time for flour tortillas, folks. Huevos Motulenos is made with corn tortillas that have been flash-fried…which technically makes it a tostada shell.
Note: Frying the corn tortillas adds a much-needed crunch to the dish and this step should not be skipped!
REFRIED BLACK BEANS
Next in the line up comes the black beans. The fried corn tortilla gets a generous and delicious schmear of refried black beans. You can use homemade or canned refried black beans for this. Either way, you’ll want the beans to be warm going down on the tortilla.
And, if you are using canned black beans, you may find that you need to mix in a tablespoon or two of water to the beans to thin them out for an easy-spread consistency.
It wouldn’t be Huevos Motulenos without the fried egg. In fact, that runny yolk spilling over the black beans just might be the best part.
Salsa brightens up the dish and adds a lovely burst of acidity to it. On a similar note, when has salsa and a fried egg ever proved to be a bad thing? Never. That’s when.
As far as the salsa goes, you have options. You can use either a traditional salsa roja or a ranchero sauce to top off Huevos Motulenos.
Ham isn’t always served with this famous Yucatecan breakfast dish, but it probably should be. It adds an extra layer of hearty to the breakfast, as well as a nice salt bite.
We used Smithfield’s ham, already cubed and ready for a little pan-searing. If you can’t find cubed ham, simply buy yourself a fully-cooked, boneless ham steak, chop it up, and throw it in the pan.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH HUEVOS MOTULENOS
This dish is extremely versatile and is certainly not limited to the ingredient list above. As mentioned earlier, green peas and fried plantains commonly make their way onto the plate. There are also tons of garnish options that would be absolutely delicious sprinkled on top. Here are a few extras you might like to try:
- Sliced Avocado
- Cotija or Monterey Jack cheese
- Chopped Cilantro
- Sliced jalapeños
HOW TO MAKE HUEVOS MOTULENOS
- Brown the Ham
- Fry the Tortillas
- Fry the Eggs
1. BROWN THE HAM
The ham is already cooked through, so really, we’re just trying to add a little extra color and bring out more of that salty, briny flavor with a good sear.
Add about two tablespoons of oil to a large frypan over medium heat and bring it to temperature. Add the cubed ham and stir occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Then, transfer the ham to a plate off to the side, remove the pan from the heat, and once it’s cool enough to handle, wipe it clean.
2. FRY THE TOSTADAS
Return the pan to the stovetop and add about 3/4 cup of canola oil. Turn the heat to the medium-high setting and allow the oil to come to temperature — between 350-375°F. Once the oil is ready, fry the corn tortillas (one at a time) for about 30 seconds on each side. Transfer the fried tortillas to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
3. FRY THE EGGS
In a clean (preferably nonstick pan), fry the eggs over-easy, or cook them to your liking.
To assemble Heuvos Motulenos, start by smearing about 3 tablespoons of warm refried black beans on top of the fried tortilla. Then, top the beans with a fried egg, add a generous spoonful of the cubed ham and drizzle with salsa.
Lastly, finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a fresh pinch of cilantro if desired!
5 MORE MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
A quick and easy recipe for Yucatan's famous Huevos Motulenos featuring crispy corn tortillas, refried black beans, fried egg, ham, and salsa.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound cubed ham, patted dry
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 6 corn tortillas
- 6 large eggs cooked over-easy
- 1 1/4 cup refried black beans, warmed (homemade or store-bought)
- 3/4 cup red salsa (homemade or store-bought)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the ham and stir to coat with oil. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon out the ham and transfer to a plate. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Once the pan is cool enough to handle, wipe clean and add 1 cup of canola oil. Place over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature.
Add the tortillas to the oil and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate until ready to use.
Gently spread about 3 tablespoons of refried black beans across the tostada. Top with a fried egg, cubed ham, and a generous spoonful of salsa. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a pinch of fresh cilantro (if desired).