Corn tortillas anyone?

The biggest challenge for our family and a few other’s while living in China has been the food. We’ve gone from asking how will we ever be able to do this, to how can I do this? At first, China and all that it entailed was overwhelming. Now, we’ve adjusted, made adjustments, we make do, or do without. It’s a mind set, it’s simple!

As a Hispanic family the challenges of China had a bit of a different spin to it. For example; corn tortillas, flour tortillas, chorizo, pinto beans, avocados, spices, and so forth, are not products that are easy to come by if at all. We were able to find flour tortillas; but, they were pretty rubbery. Good thing I make my own flour tortillas. Whew! To our amazement and delight, we found a few bags of pinto beans and Masa Harina at a City Shop in Shanghai. Avocados can be found from time to time in a couple of shops.

We’ve been craving enchiladas, tacos using corn tortillas, & taquitos (deep fried rollups with meat). The challenge with these foods is not making it but finding corn tortillas. So, my husband being the wonderful man that he is, got his wheel turning and had a prensa corn tortilla maker made for me. Amazing! The prensa is a bit rough looking but it works! Since the dough never touches (or shouldn’t) the prensa, it’s ok, we can use it and love it.

We experimented yesterday and had great success! The girls were eating the tortillas slathered in butter as they were done cooking. As you can imagine we didn’t have tortillas left over for enchiladas; but, we did have some very happy little girls! Our next challenge is the, “Chorizo”.

The prensa tortilla maker

2 cups masa harina, 1 1/2 cups hot water, & mix

Dough should look like this, add more water as needed.

Dough balls will be sticky to the touch, keep moist until it’s time to press them down.

Keep a wet towel over the dough balls to keep the moisture in.

Press dough balls between 2 pieces of wax or plastic.

Covered dough ball with the 2nd piece of was paper and ready to press.

Press down using a little pressure. The more pressure you apply the thinner the tortillas will be.

Remove the top wax paper, lift the tortilla on the 2nd piece of wax paper & peel the back piece off.

Cook on a hot griddle. Since we can’t find a griddle we’ve been using this fantastic pan from IKEA.

Ready to eat, where’s the butter?


11 thoughts on “Corn tortillas anyone?

  1. Maria, your blog is looking fantastic. This is totally Pioneer-Woman-worthy. I love it! You’ve inspired me to do some journaling/blogging 🙂

    • Not sure where my other comment went to…. Thanks for stopping by Whitney, glad you enjoyed the blog. I’m loving this blog concept and enjoy sharing the snap shots I take daily.

      I see…. Author: Whitney will it be Ricker or P…. 🙂

  2. Great thinking! Favorite homemade meals are important, especially when you’re far from home and in a foreign country. I’m so glad you all were able to use what you had and find a way to make it work! Good job! 🙂

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • Thank you! I said in my other reply that we are getting good with creativity. Speaking of making it work…. I couldn’t find a utensil holder for our cooking spoons, spatulas, etc., so we took an empty large metal can, cleaned it up, & presto we have a kitchen utensil bucket. Kind of fun and good lesson for the kids.


      • Definitely! Besides, making what you already have work for something else = a lot of free discussion pieces! I’m trying to adopt the idea of “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!” I hope to be tested on it shortly. 🙂

  3. Maria, because I live in Phoenix, AZ, I have grown to love GOOD Mexican food. I too, here in China, miss it & it will be one of the 1st meals I will have when I return to HOT Arizona.

    It’s interesting that the dough looks the same for all three: good ole Southern biscuits, your tortillas, and Chinese dumplings.


    • Hi Mona,
      Now that you mention it, the dough does look like biscuit dough. Ha! Life here in China has been interesting and full of wonderful surprises. We actually like it here. I do miss modern conveniences, such as my clothes dryer, hand mixer, & most of all my ice machine. ::sigh:: even in the winter we like ice in our drinks. Most of all we do miss our type of food…lol. What I wouldn’t do to find me a nice Mexican restaurant in town. Oh well, we make due and we have gotten used to creativity and thinking outside the box or bag.. ha ha


      • ICE! Yes …. When I get home I’m going to drink a dozen glasses of ice cold water! And doing without the clothes dryer would be difficult. Right now I am hand-washing my clothes in the hotel. Hanging them to dry reminds me of growing up in the 50s before electric dryers. How long will you live in China?

      • Oh, I am so thankful that I don’t have to hand wash cloths, oh dear that would be horrible. We do have a washer but no dryer. We currently hang up our clothes on hangers and let them dry. The fan directly in front of the clothes seems to help tremendously. I’m with you, when I get home we are going to have ice on everything…lol.

        At this time we don’t really have an end date. As soon as the project my husband is working on is completed we are Michigan bound. ha! We think it will be late Spring 2013 as with everything else we know that could be extended it a bit further.

        How long will you be in China?


  4. Mmmmm, looks good ! would love to have some of your homemade Mexican cuisine when you get home, hint, hint 🙂

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