Read on for the eight fried Spanish delicacies you simply have to try!
Spain is a country full of unforgettable, amazing food. Whether it's vegetarian cuisine or my favorite meat-filled sandwich-- Spain offers visitors endless choices to try.
The following are fried Spanish foods that are well worth the extra calories. If you have a chance you must try them-- you won't regret it!
And, by the way, in Spain, we fry in olive oil -- one of the reasons that although we enjoy a lot of fried foods, we have a lower risk of heart disease!
1. Tortillita de Camarones (Fried Shrimp Fritters)
This appetizer is typical in Andalusia and can be found in most restaurants throughout Cadiz. A good tortillita de camarones is crispy and crunchy, and always served piping hot.
If you don’t look at it very hard you won’t even see the tiny whole shrimp contained in each fritter—shells, head, eyes, and all! But please don’t let this put you off, as these Spanish shrimp fritters are amazingly delicious and you’d be missing out not to sample at least a few while in Spain.
Make it yourself with this tortillita de camarones recipe.
2. Croquetas (Croquettes)
This fried tapa is one of the most well-known appetizers in Spain. The most traditional croquettes are made with Serrano Ham, but countless variations exist. Some of my favorite Spanish croquetas are made with wild mushrooms, pine nuts and spinach, goat cheese and walnuts, or salt cod.
Make Spanish ham croquettes at home with this easy recipe!
3. Puntillitas (Fried Small Squid)
I was once convinced that I hated squid and octopus. Since the first time I tried octopus many years ago in Sicily (an enormous tentacle covered in a bit of pesto sauce as I recall), I was sure that it was not for me.
As I matured, I fell in loved with the fried calamari served in restaurants throughout New England (US). But I still wouldn't touch octopus. Then I tried it in Spain. Pulpo a la Gallega is unbelievable when made well—but it isn’t a fried food so I’ll save it for another post.
Puntillitas, however, are just as delicious. They are tiny deep-fried squid simply sprinkled with sea salt. Squeeze a bit of lemon on top and you’ll understand why I live here.
4. Chocos Fritos (Fried Cuttlefish)
Chocos are similar to squid but have a flatter, thicker body. In English, we call them cuttlefish. In contrast with the popular calamari ring preparation for squid, chocos fritos are not normally cut into rings, but rather into long strips which are then breaded and fried, and served with lemon slices. They are so fresh and delicious that adding extra sauces or condiments is unnecessary.
5. Flaminquín Cordobés
Imagine a thin slice of delicious Iberian pork, stuffed and rolled with famed Iberian ham and some sharp Spanish cheese… and then deep-fried. To make it even more amazing serve it on top of a pool of salmorejo. It is heaven on a plate and a good reason in itself to visit Cordoba!
Get my flamenquin recipe here!
6. Berenjenas fritas con miel o salmorejo (Fried eggplant with honey or salmorejo)
Fried eggplant has always been one of my favorite foods, but I never realized the potential of the delicious Spanish preparations. Many restaurants in Spain serve their fried eggplant with either local molasses (called miel de caña), honey, or cold salmorejo. Both preparations are equally delicious—it depends on your mood!
Try my homemade fried eggplant here.
7. Ortiguillas de mar
Possibly the strangest of my recommendations, I remember the first time I tried these my friend told me that they were a type of fried seaweed. Being that it resembled an oyster, I didn’t quite believe him. Then, when it tasted like an oyster, I had to google it!
I surprised him by informing him that sea anemones only look like a type of seaweed—they are actually living creatures. These are a rare treat in Southern Andalusia, where people go crazy for them! To my inexperienced palate, they really taste like fried oysters and definitely taste of the sea. Try them for a unique experience! A recipe (in Spanish) here.
No trip to Spain could ever be complete without Spanish fried dough-- the most famous of which is churros. I prefer the very thin ones found in Cadiz, although the thicker porras are also delicious!
See my homemade churros recipe and wash them down with Spanish hot chocolate!
If you are living in Spain and haven’t tried these 8 fried foods yet, what are you waiting for? And if you don’t live here—buy a plane ticket already!
Did I miss any other must-try fried Spanish foods? Please, let me know, I’m eager to try them all.
Does anyone know what is in the 'Papito'? I bought it in Valencia, its a large(size of a hand) golden brown deep fried bread dough stuffed with cheese, tomato sauce and some type of meat. It's like a pizza pocket.
Mmm, that sounds delicious! I have never heard of it, was it from a regular restaurant or a food cart? I'll see if any Valencian friends can shed some light...
Very good all, all it´s typical o andalucian food`s.
I recomend you the sardins in the beach roast...
Oh yes - all but the churros for me. Churros is just that bit too greasy and certainly for breaking the fast!
Great selection. I had never heard of ortiguillas de mar. They look delicious. I had them in a soup in China but they were chewy and horrible!
I've only just begun experimenting with frying fritters at home, but this is inspiration if I ever saw it! I'm not sure I'd have the delicacy to fry tiny squid, but the Tortilla de Camarones and Flaminquín Cordobés are wonderful inspirations! I might not be in Europe now, but I can try to eat like I am!
Thanks Ella! Those are both delicious choices. Let me know how the experiments go!
Love Spanish food. Actually never expected them to taste that good the first time I've eaten them. My favourite from above is the croquetas and puntillitas. Great photos by the way!
Really a nice collection! I am a fan of the croquettas and churros, the best are from Spain. http://madrilicious.com
I didn't know there were those other versions of croquetas!! w/walnuts sounds divine. but all the ones you listed sound so yummy! thanks, you've given me more ideas for our next trip to Spain. 🙂
Mmmmmm. Spinach croquetas were the very first thing my mother-in-law taught me to make, mainly because I was so obsessed with this fried food!! 🙂 Oooooh, and berenjenas con miel are another favorite of mine - sooo delicious!!
Will - Gap Daemon
Some lovely suggestions there! Vegetarian croquetas are my tapas of choice here in Granada. Great round-up.
Do I ever wish I had this list the last time I was in Spain! I would have made sure that each suggestion was tasted. Oh, well. If and when I go back, I'll bring this list with me, to be sure.
No ifs! When you come back!
Lauren, I love that you make me aware of foods I'm not familiar with! I'd never heard of ortiguillas de mar, but I definitely want to try 'em out.
I have a recipe book on tapas which has a vegetarian version of flamenquines--they're made with carrots instead of jamon!!
I would also add emapanadillas de bonito to the list, yum!
Kaley [Y Mucho Más]
I think I only ever had churros. Oh yes, and croquetas, which are--obviously--delicious. Mario's aunt used to be a cook for a duchess/duke in Spain and hers are the best. (I'm not biased at all.)
I don't think I ate that much fried food in Spain. Don't they eat more in Andalucia?
i don;t think they have great food.
You're making me hungry! A few more things left for me to try, I think. Thanks for the suggestions!
Annette | Bucket List Journey
I'll take one of each...please! And a bottle of Tums 😉
Surprisingly it isn't too heavy for fried food! The EVOO maybe?
I do hope you were inspired by my last post: http://sunshinesandsiestas.com/2012/01/22/1881/
And, for the record, puntillitas are my favorite!
Mmm that place looks amazing! So jealous! I hadn't seen your post but I'll be linking to it when I get home as it perfectly complements mine! I need to get back down south...
Stoppp, this is torture! haha luckily here in PR I get my fill (almost too much!) of fried food... If there's such a thing!
Lol from what I know of PR cuisine, its not lacking fried options! But if you are missing these goodies you can always come visit...!
Puntillitas look the same as chopitos... and I love them! Can't wait to have some next weekend in Madrid!
I've never heard of chopitos! But if they're liks puntillitas I approve! Have a great time on your visit!