If there’s anything that comes close to a Mexican version of an open-faced sandwich, the tostada is it. Just when you thought nothing could get messier than taco night, along comes the tostada, which I dare you to eat daintily.


Crispy Tortillas: 

Vegetable oil for frying

6 white corn tortillas

Kosher salt for sprinkling


3 cups cooked shredded chicken

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)r

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Refried Beans, warm, recipe follows

3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded

1 Hass avocado, thinly sliced or Guacamole, recipe follows

2 cups Salsa Cruda, recipe follows

1/2 cup sour cream

1 scallion, thinly sliced

12 fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

Refried Beans:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cloves garlic, minced

One 15.5-ounce can pinto beans (with liquid), mashed

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Salsa Cruda:

2 ripe tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

1/4 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)

1/4 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the tortillas: Pour the oil for frying into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches. Place over medium heat and heat to 375 degrees F. Add the tortillas, one at a time, and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined pan and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
  2. To make the chicken: In a small bowl, mix together the chicken, lime juice, oil, coriander, and salt and season with pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  3. To assemble the tostadas: Preheat the broiler. Spread the beans evenly over one side of each tortilla and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and melted, about 30 seconds. Divide the tortillas among 6 plates.
  4. Evenly mound the chicken on each tortilla and top with the lettuce. Top each tostada with avocado, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with the scallion and garnish the tostada with the coriander leaves. Serve immediately.