Turn Your Steak Burrito Into A Crunchy Chimichanga With A Dip In The Deep Fryer

When you cook a Mexican-inspired dinner at home, your go-to dish might be burritos paired with chips, salsa, and guacamole. Burritos are easy to customize for family, friends, and other guests, but with a little extra effort, you can turn those plain burritos into crunchy chimichangas. You can still stuff the chimichangas with the ingredients your guests prefer to eat or have them build their dish themselves, then toss the filled tortillas in a deep fryer for just a couple of minutes. The extra step will make the dish more indulgent with a crunch at the top of every bite.

If you've never made chimichangas at home, check out our shaved steak chimichanga recipe from Tasting Table recipe developer Michelle McGlinn for inspiration. In the recipe, McGlinn fills the chimichangas with marinated steak, rice, shredded pepper jack cheese, and a cilantro-lime crema for zest and tang. It's all rolled into a large tortilla and then deep-fried in canola or vegetable oil for a few minutes to obtain a crunchy, golden-brown crust that will look just as delicious as it tastes.

Deep frying tips for crunchy chimichangas

The only difference between a burrito and a chimichanga is the deep frying, so it's essential to get it right. It would be quite a disaster if the burritos fell apart in the pot, turned soggy, or got burnt in the oil. To prevent any mishaps, start with large burrito-size tortillas rather than smaller ones used for tacos or enchiladas. Of course, you want chimichangas packed with flavorful ingredients but don't overfill them. After they're carefully filled and wrapped tightly, McGlinn says to secure both ends with two toothpicks to hold the tortillas together. Wooden skewers also work if you don't have toothpicks in the kitchen.

Use a candy thermometer to check the oil's temperature, which should be ready for frying once it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the chimichangas in batches, so they have sufficient room to crisp, until they're golden brown. Allow the fried chimichangas to drain for a few minutes, preferably on a wire rack or on paper towels.

After the chimichangas are ready, serve with diced white onion or sliced radishes as McGlinn suggests. You can also pair it with crave-worthy guacamole, fresh cilantro, salsa, and chips — or keep it simple with sliced avocado. And if you can't fathom a dish without other side dishes, make a light salad, refried beans, or more rice on the side. Happy frying!