Lakeside Guide to Lake Chapala, Ajijic, Mexico

Enchiladas

At a Glance

Rolled corn tortillas with a filling inside and some kind of salsa to provide flavor.

More Info

What are enchiladas?

Enchiladas are rolled corn tortillas with a filling inside, which is typically cheese, chicken or pork here at Lake Chapala, but the list of enchilada fillings used throughout Mexico is extensive.

Enchiladas with red sauce. The tortillas for these enchiladas are first briefly fried in the chile sauce before being filled with chicken or cheese. Found at Lonchería Mary.

Enchiladas with red sauce. The tortillas for these enchiladas are first briefly fried in the chile sauce before being filled with chicken or cheese. Found at Lonchería Mary.

Unlike north of the border, enchiladas aren’t baked in the oven in Mexico. Instead, the tortillas are often briefly fried in a chile sauce, which forces all the flavor inside of the tortilla. Then it’s removed from the oil, a filling goes on top, and it’s rolled into an enchilada.

The tortillas for the enchiladas start out by being briefly fried in oil and chile sauce.

Silvia at El Chile Verde briefly fries the tortillas for enchiladas in a chile sauce before they get stuffed and rolled.

Enchiladas with beans and rice.

Enchiladas with beans and rice. Served at El Chile Verde.

The chef usually doesn’t put another salsa on top of enchiladas which are made in this way, which lets that absorbed flavor come through. There are other types of enchiladas, though, which get their name from the type of salsa they come with, such as red or green chile, mole or mixed with cream.

LEARN MORE: About common types of Mexican food found at Lake Chapala by reading our food guide.

Enchiladas de fajitas, filled with the same ingredients you'd find in fajitas: beef, onions and bell peppers. Found at Hot Rod Burrito Grill.

Enchiladas de fajitas, filled with the same ingredients you’d find in fajitas: beef, onions and bell peppers. Found at Hot Rod Burrito Grill.

The word “enchilada” comes from enchilar, which means to season with chile. In Mexico, it can also mean to get mad (“Me enchilé” — I got mad) or you can use it to describe the heat of a chile: “¿Te enchilaste?” Literally, it might be understood as “Did you burn/spice yourself?” But it might be better translated into English simply as, “Was it spicy?”

Enchiladas suizas use a tart cream- and tomatillo-based salsa that makes them a bit tart. Found at David's Café.

Enchiladas suizas use a cream- and tomatillo-based salsa that makes them a bit tart. Found at David’s Café.

Enchiladas with pork. Found at Cenaduría Memo.

Enchiladas with pork. Found at Cenaduría Memo.

You’ll also find that real Mexican enchiladas aren’t encrusted with a thick layer of cheese, like those which are found in many restaurants in the United States. Mexican cooks will sometimes sprinkle a little crumbled queso de mesa on top, along with maybe some crema (similar to sour cream), tomato and lettuce or cabbage.

Enchiladas verdes: enchiladas with chicken and a green tomatillo salsa.

Enchiladas verdes: enchiladas with chicken and a green tomatillo salsa.

LEARN MORE: About common types of Mexican food found at Lake Chapala by reading our food guide.

Last updated September 21, 2019

Dane Strom

Dane Strom The Lakeside Guide

I moved to Ajijic in 2010 when I decided to quit my job of seven years as an editorial assistant at The Denver Post in Colorado. I'm the photographer, web designer, programmer, marketer, writer... the everything behind this website, The Lakeside Guide. All of the businesses on this website appear here for free at no cost to them. If you find this site useful, please consider giving a small donation to become a site patron. Learn more about The Lakeside Guide or check out my other website about photography of Mexico.

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Dance of the Little Old Men

Dance of the Little Old Men

A boy in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, performs La Danza de los Viejitos, the Dance of the Little Old Men, a traditional dance from Michoacan.

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