A fried burrito is a crispy version of the traditional Mexican burrito, where various meat and vegetable ingredients are wrapped in a single soft tortilla or flat corn flour cake. As the burrito has become popular in many parts of the world as a cultural export of Latin American societies, the fried burrito is getting some attention as a way to enhance the appeal of this portable food. Fried burritos can be sold in restaurants or on the street, much like a sandwich.
Like other forms of burritos, the fried burrito often contains a meat element that provides protein for the dish. Common choices include chicken, beef, and pork. Some more exotic forms of this dish may include beef tongue, seafood, or other meats.
In addition to meat ingredients, fried burritos often feature an array of small-cut vegetables. These include lettuce, tomato and onion, as well as other vegetables like spinach or olives. Many of these foods are also partially based on the uses of specific kinds of hot chili peppers, such as the chipotle or jalapeno, which are becoming so popular in worldwide versions of the burrito.
The fried burrito will include these traditional ingredients of classic burritos. Other common ingredients include beans, either black or pinto beans, and rice, as well as crushed avocado or guacamole. The classic Latin American mix of crushed tomatoes, garlic, onion, and cilantro, which is called salsa, is often used.
Cooks who make the fried burrito will often point out that since the classic burrito is already wrapped in a single portable package, the process of deep frying is made much easier. Frying the burrito does not generally affect the internal ingredients apart from heating them up effectively, but it does create a crispy, crunchy exterior shell. Authorities on Latin American foods often mention the chimichanga, which is generally defined as a burrito that has been fried.
Part of the challenge of fried burritos and other burritos is to wrap the internal ingredients with the tortilla effectively. This is part of what cooks learn when they study Latin American foods, since other foods common to these cultures also require wrapping. Other wrapped foods include enchiladas as well as the thinner flautas. The word flauta in Spanish translates to “flute,” and the thin flauta typically rolls up many of the above ingredients in a long, thin stick shape. Flautas are also often fried for a crispy shell.