Tacos are a delicious and popular food that many people love, and there are many different ways to prepare them. One aspect of taco preparation that can be tricky is getting the taco shells just right. If you’re a fan of crispy taco shells, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of your shells cracking or breaking apart when you try to fold them or fill them with your favorite ingredients. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to soften your crispy taco shells and make them more pliable.
Why Do Taco Shells Get Crispy?
Before we look at how to soften crispy taco shells, let’s first examine why they get crispy in the first place. Taco shells are typically made from either corn or flour tortillas, which are heated and crisped up to give them a crunchy texture. This is usually done to enhance the flavor and provide a pleasant textural contrast with the filling ingredients.
However, while crispy taco shells can be delicious, they can also be difficult to work with. The heat and dryness of the shells can cause them to crack or break apart when you try to fold or stuff them. This can make your tacos messy and difficult to eat, and can also detract from the overall flavor and texture of the dish.
How to Soften Crispy Taco Shells
If you’re dealing with crispy taco shells that are difficult to work with, there are a few different methods you can use to soften them up. Here are some of the most effective ways to make your taco shells more pliable:
1. Steam Them
One of the easiest and most effective ways to soften crispy taco shells is to steam them. This works particularly well if you’re using corn tortillas, which tend to be more brittle than flour tortillas. To steam your taco shells, follow these steps:
– Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
– Wrap your taco shells in a damp paper towel or kitchen towel.
– Place the wrapped taco shells on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are heated through. The steam from the damp towel will help soften the shells and make them more pliable.
2. Fry Them
Another way to soften crispy taco shells is to fry them in oil. This method is particularly effective for flour tortillas, which tend to be more resistant to steaming. To fry your taco shells, follow these steps:
– Heat about an inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
– When the oil is hot, carefully place a tortilla in the oil and fry for about 10 seconds on each side, or until lightly golden brown.
– Remove the tortilla from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
– Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
– Once all of the tortillas have been fried, place them in a covered dish or wrap them in foil to keep them warm and pliable.
3. Microwave Them
If you’re short on time or don’t want to use the oven or stove, you can also soften your taco shells in the microwave. This works particularly well if you’re only softening a few taco shells at a time. To microwave your taco shells, follow these steps:
– Stack the taco shells on a microwave-safe plate.
– Dampen a paper towel and place it on top of the shells.
– Microwave the shells for 30-60 seconds, or until they are heated through and softened.
Crispy taco shells can be a delicious addition to your favorite tacos, but they can also be difficult to work with if they’re too brittle. Fortunately, there are several different methods you can use to soften your taco shells and make them more pliable. Whether you choose to steam, fry, or microwave your taco shells, following these tips will help you create delicious and easy-to-eat tacos every time.