South Spain Recipes: Tortilla (Spanish Omlette)

Tortilla is Spain’s favorite snack. Seen and eaten in almost every tapas bar, the Spanish Omelette comes in many different guises but this is the most traditional recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 5-6 small waxy potatoes
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • salt (to taste)


1. Crack the eggs into a bowl. Whisk with a fork and add a pinch of salt.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan (not one with a heavy base as this will prove to be a hindrance when preparing to do the ‘flip’).

3. Add the potato and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and mash in with the potato.

4. When the mash starts to brown a little at the edges add the eggs. Make sure the mash mixture is fully submerged by the eggs. Poke it to allow some of the egg to seep in.

5. Fry gently over a low heat. While cooking shake the pan to loosen the tortilla from the base and tidy the edges up with a wooden spoon.

6.As the egg starts to set, place a plate over the pan. Holding it with both hands quickly ‘flip’ the tortilla over on to the plate and slide back into the pan to cook the other side.

7. Keep shaking the pan lightly so the tortilla does not stick to the bottom.

8. Once it feels firm on the edges and soft in the middle (after about 1 minute) then slide the tortilla back onto the plate. For the brave heart you can do the flip again if you wish. Do not over cook this. The middle is meant to remain runny and gooey.

9. Let the tortilla rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving. Then, cut into cake slices (starter) or cubes (tapas) and garnish with green olives.