Taco shells needs to be firm and sturdy, and forming the classic folded shape goes a long way towards improving the aesthetic and reducing the sloppiness of your tacos.
Since we have limited space, we want to use tortillas that lie flat and can be reused for tacos, wraps, burritos, etc for our other meals, so preformed shells aren’t an option. For fish tacos we prefer corn tortillas, which adds a bit of flavor and sweetness missing in flour tortillas. Small tortillas are easier to deal with.
Start by heating a pan or skillet over medium heat. Then add as many tortillas as will comfortably fit, so they can all lie flat without overlapping. Use your spatula to ensure even cooking – constantly flatten air bubbles that flair up. You want to cook each side so that they are a little firm, not burnt, and the whole tortilla shrinks a bit – about a minute depending on the heat. Below is what they should look like after the first side (now on top) is done. Any longer than this and they will be too rigid to form, and will crack instead.
When both sides are ready, spatula all three onto a plate. Forming them into the shell shape must be done right away, while they are hot! Use your hands and the spatula to gently fold each tortilla down the middle. They will need to be coaxed a bit at a time – too fast or too sharp of an angle will crack them. You may have to then hold the fold in place for a several seconds.
If all goes well, the shells will cool and solidify into the semi-folded shape you gave them, making them as pretty as the picture at the top!
Tomorrow we’ll put everything together to make fish tacos!