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20 Dollar Chef - Mexican American Crispy Tacos

Today on the 20 Dollar Chef, we are going with a nice twist on the hard shell taco. In true American fashion, these tacos are ground beef. I was inspired by season 2 of Taco Chronicles. The American taco episode really highlights a true Mexican American style, crispy taco. I’ll never hate on Ortega taco night, but there is a way to level up the flavor of the homemade crispy taco. 

I used to eat at, Linda’s Mexican Delights, in Long Beach, CA on a regular basis. A wonderful, homestyle Mexican restaurant. This is where I feel in love with this type of taco. A flakier, crispy, lighter on its feet, hard shell taco. 

First you cut up your potatoes, onions, jalapeño, garlic. Add some oil to your skillet and dump in said ingredients. Next grab your ground beef, season it, and toss it in once the potatoes are close to soft. Add a small can of tomato sauce, a whole poblano, mix all together, then cover and let simmer. 

While that simmers, prep your taco toppings. Cut your tomato, lettuce, jalapeno and cilantro. (I Like to mix the lettuce with the cilantro.)

Once your ground beef mixture is ready, scoop some into a ( 6” or so.) medium sized tortilla. With your tongs slowly add the taco to hot oil. You will probably need to hold the tortilla down for a few seconds as it begins to form around the meat and harden. Flip once you see a nicer brown color. max 2 mins. frying. When taking out of oil, drain off the excess oil. Set on a paper towel while you do a couple more. 

Now that your tacos are nice and crispy and have been removed from the oil for a few minutes gently open your shell and begin adding your toppings. Ending with the cheese! If you didn’t add jalapeño, go ahead and add your favorite hot sauce and go to work. 

Don’t forget the oil to fry these shits up in! I suggest you get a small funnel so you can add the oil back to the same container in came from once you’ve finished up cooking and the oil isn’t hot any longer. Makes disposal much easier.

Thanks for watching! 


  • 1 lb. 80/20 Ground beef
  • A couple potatoes
  • 1 Sweet onion and a shallot ( Cook with meat and potatoes.)
  • 1 Red onion ( Diced up as a topping.) 
  • 1 poblano. ( Add whole to meat and potatoes while it simmers.) 
  • 2 Jalapeño’s (1 to cook with and 1 diced up as a topping if desired.)
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • Shredded cheese
  • Pack of FLOUR tortillas
  • Chili powder
  • S&P
  • Garlic powder

Thanks for watching!