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Tacos de Cuitlacoche Recipe

Tacos de Cuitlacoche bring to the forefront an ingredient that’s deeply rooted in the culinary heritage of Mexico: cuitlacoche, also known as huitlacoche or corn smut. This fungus, which grows on corn kernels, has a unique, earthy flavor, somewhat reminiscent of mushrooms, and is considered a delicacy in Mexican cuisine.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Those interested in ancient Mesoamerican foods, fans of unique and earthy flavors, and anyone eager to taste the depth of Mexican culinary traditions.
  • Estimated duration: 40 minutes.
  • Nutrition facts: Cuitlacoche is rich in amino acids, proteins, and micronutrients, making it a healthy addition to meals.

About this Recipe

While cuitlacoche might seem unusual to some, its history in Mexican cuisine spans thousands of years. Valued by the Aztecs, this fungus turns regular corn into a gourmet ingredient, adding depth and complexity to dishes like tacos.

Equipment Required

  • Skillet or frying pan.
  • Sharp knife and cutting board.
  • Tortilla warmer or cloth towel.


  • Cuitlacoche: 2 cups, cleaned and roughly chopped.
  • Corn tortillas: 8 pieces.
  • Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped.
  • Garlic cloves: 2, minced.
  • Epazote leaves: A handful (if available; this herb complements cuitlacoche perfectly).
  • Olive oil or butter: 2 tablespoons.
  • Salt: to taste.
  • Fresh cilantro: A handful, chopped.
  • Queso fresco (optional): Crumbled, for topping.


  1. In a skillet, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they are translucent.
  2. Incorporate the minced garlic, cooking briefly until aromatic.
  3. Add the chopped cuitlacoche to the skillet. If you have epazote, mix in the leaves at this stage. Sauté the mixture for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend and the cuitlacoche to cook thoroughly.
  4. Season the mixture with salt and remove it from the heat.
  5. Warm the corn tortillas until they become soft and pliable.
  6. Spoon the cuitlacoche mixture onto each tortilla, garnishing with fresh cilantro and crumbled queso fresco if desired.
  7. Serve immediately, reveling in the earthy, rich flavors.

Side Dishes

  • Tomatillo Salsa Verde: A zesty green salsa made from tomatillos, chilies, and cilantro.
  • Mexican Rice: Fluffy rice cooked with tomatoes, garlic, and peas.
  • Refried Beans: Creamy pinto beans mashed and seasoned to perfection.

Storage Options

If there are any leftovers, store the cuitlacoche filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Tortillas should be kept separately in a cool, dry place.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Cuitlacoche: If unavailable, mushrooms can serve as a texture substitute, though the flavor will be different.
  • Corn tortillas: Flour tortillas can be used as an alternative.

Alternatives to this Meal

  • Tacos de Champiñones: Featuring sautéed mushrooms with garlic and aromatic herbs.
  • Tacos de Rajas: Highlighting roasted poblano pepper strips in a creamy sauce.

A number of taco recipes can be found on this page.


Tacos de Cuitlacoche provide a beautiful expression of the versatility and richness of Mexican ingredients. This delicacy, with its deep, mushroom-like taste, bridges the past and present of Mexican culinary arts. Enjoying Tacos de Cuitlacoche provides a nutritious meal for vegans, and allows the partaking in a tradition that’s been cherished and passed down through generations. Open your palate to this unique experience, and immerse yourself in the flavors of Mexican heritage. ¡Disfrútalo!