Machaca means ‘mashed’ and these flavour-packed burritos are filled with prawns, tomato and potato filling.






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These burritos de machaca de camarón con papa were inspired by my visit to the idyllic Mexican fishing village of Altata, where the locals showed me how to make shrimp (prawn) machaca.


  • 2 dried morita or chipotle chillies
  • 450 g (1 lb) medium-sized prawns (shrimp), shelled and rinsed
  • 340 g (¾ lb) red potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 2½ tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 serrano chilli, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 680 g (1½ lb) ripe Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • Serrano salsa cruda, to serve (get Pati's recipe here

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: 10 minutes

1. Place the morita or chipotle chiles in a bowl, cover with hot water and let soak for 10 minutes. Remove from the water, stem, seed and finely chop.

2. In a medium pot, bring heavily salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the prawns and cook for 1 minute, just until cooked through. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon, set aside. When the prawns have cooled down, working in batches, place in a plastic bag and mash with a meat pounder or a heavy flat-bottomed utensil (such as a small skillet or pan), until broken apart and mashed.

3. Add the potatoes to the same simmering water and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until soft and cooked through. Drain and set aside.

4. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add the serrano and morita or chipotle chiles, stir and cook for a minute. Add the garlic and sesame seeds, stir, and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant and the sesame seeds have toasted and browned. Add the tomatoes and salt and cook until the tomatoes become super soft and pasty, about 5 minutes.

5. Incorporate the mashed prawn and cooked potatoes, stir well, and mash as it all comes together for another minute. Taste for salt.

6. Heat the tortillas on a preheated comal or skillet. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the prawn machaca and potato filling to each tortilla and roll into burritos. Once assembled, you can heat them on the comal or skillet for another minute if you want them a bit toasted or eat them soft just as they are assembled. Serve with Serrano Salsa Cruda.