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'Peneques' are a typical street food from Mexico City which is easy to make and that will impress many - especially the little ones in the family. This recipe is a mix between, quesadillas, enchiladas, and 'tacos de canasta' but that also tastes like a 'tlacoyo'.
Print Recipe
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time32 minutes
Servings12 peneques


For the Peneques

  • 12 nixtamal corn tortillas preferably La Tortilleria
  • 12 wooden toothpicks no plastic ones as they can't be fried
  • 250 gr mozzarella cheese sliced in 12 pieces, substitute with any melty cheese
  • 3 eggs separate the yolks and whites
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour set aside some extra for coating
  • 50 ml vegetable oil

For the Salsa

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/2 brown onion or any other onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 coriander springs finely chopped, leaves off for garnish
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt to taste

For the Garnish

  • 1/2 cup fresh cream replace with sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 150 gr fetta cheese replace with any white crumbly fresh cheese
  • coriander leaves remove from coriander bunch above


For the Salsa
  • On a saucepan, boil the tomatoes with half the onion, and garlic for 5 minutes.
  • Place the content in a blender and blend until you have a smooth and uniform consistency.
  • Place the content of the blender back in the saucepan, add the broth, coriander and salt. Bring to boil and then turn off the heat. Let it rest.
For the Peneques
  • Place the cheese on one side of the tortilla, fold the tortilla in half (like a quesadilla) and hold with a toothpick. Repeat for all 12 tortillas. These are called 'peneques'.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Integrate the yolks whilst continue beating, then add flour and stop beating once everything has integrated.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan at medium temperature and set up the mixing bowl next to the pan and also close to the extra flour. Also, put a couple of paper towels on top on a plate on the other side of the frying pan.
  • Coat the 'peneques' with a bit of flour and then dip in the mixing bowl. Immediately transfer to the hot oil and fry until crisp. Then place on top of paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  • Serve one or many 'peneques' on a plate and cover with salsa.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, cheese, and cream.


  • Other typical fillings include broad beans or refried beans.  I have also seen them with mashed plantains or potatoes. 
  • You can make this a vegan recipe by replacing the cheese and cream with vegan substitutes.