Mexican Style Eggs: A la Papi


Mexican Style Eggs: A la Papi

“All I want is a hamburger, a hot dog, a Pizza, a nice big steak, some Texas style bar-b-q and a big plate of pancakes… no tacos or anything Mexican ok?” My dad said, after devouring the welcoming meal I prepared for him, which happened to be Tacos de Guisado.

Guisados are Mexican style stews, which can be ladled into warm corn tortillas. There are plenty of Fondas or small restaurants that specialize in them throughout Mexico. Since my dad loves them, I received him with three of his favorites: Chicken Tinga heavy on the chipotle, beef cooked in a green salsa with cubed potatoes and nopalitos, cactus paddles, sauteed with onion, Guajillo Chilies and corn. There were also refried beans and white rice, as they are such friendly sides to tacos.

After he made it clear that he didn’t want anything Mexican for the next three days, making me laugh so hard along the way, we set off to satisfy his cravings.

The next morning we were at the pancake place in front of a double stack of buttermilk pancakes with butter, extra maple syrup and bacon. And some grits. It was hard to make him wait for lunch.  When he lost all patience he dragged me to the Pizza place and then had a Hot Fudge Sundae from across the street. Dinner came around soon enough along with steaks, baked potatoes and a Mexican Chayote salad I sneaked in there.

The next morning, after lox and bagels at home, we went for a late Texas style bar-b-q lunch. Dinner was a Reuben with lots of dill pickles and a potato salad. But the last morning he couldn’t help it.

mexican style eggs
Onion, Jalapeño chiles and tomatoes, getting ready to welcome some beaten eggs.

As he tied one of my aprons around his waist, he announced, I am making the best Huevos a la Mexicana that you have ever tried in your life. So we chopped just enough onion, less tomatoes than I would have wanted and a lot of Jalapeños. As he cooked, he used strange and probably non-existing terms to describe what made his eggs so tasty… See how I am un-rawing the onion and mushing the tomato?

There are countless egg dishes in Mexican cooking, one better than the other. But these are the ones I prepare the most at home. They are easy to make, super tasty and dress up a breakfast in a wink. What’s more, I always have oil, eggs, tomatoes, onion and either Jalapeño or Serrano chiles handy.

Although the ingredients are always the same, versions can vary. That is mostly because some people like my dad cook the tomatoes slightly, while others like me cook the tomatoes until they are pasty and smooshy looking (I see where I get my funny use of terms now). The ratio of ingredients also varies. I use more tomatoes than my dad, but we both like it spicy. Whereas I like to eat them with hot corn tortillas, my dad likes to eat them with toasted sandwich bread (some people love these eggs with a side of toast smothered in cream cheese and that is pretty tasty too…).

This just makes me think of how accommodating Mexican food is. You can learn a basic idea and how to make it, and then tweak it to your preference.

Though while we were making breakfast I was craving for more tomatoes in those eggs, and wishing we could cook them a bit more, I have to admit that his version that morning topped off any that I have tried. Maybe it was because of the way he explained why his version was the most incredible in the world, maybe it was because of how much he enjoyed eating them and scooping some into corn tortillas to make some tacos for me (he had said no more tacos but one can only go so many days without tacos, you know?), or maybe it was because I was sad to see him go.

We didn’t get to the hot dogs or the hamburgers. I had thought of the places to take him so he could eat them all, but we ran out of time. But as it’s been said, you have to leave something for the next time if you want that next time to happen. I have until then to recover from all that eating.

Meanwhile, I leave you with a recipe for Huevos a la Mexicana, my father’s style, with some notes on my variations. But you can come up with yours!

Pati's dad looking out the window
My dad looking out the window, almost time for the airport.

Eggs a la Mexicana

Huevos a la Mexicana
4 people
Pati Jinich
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: corn tortillas, Eggs, jalapeno, onion, pati's mexican table, serrano chiles, Tomatoes
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
There are countless egg dishes in Mexican cooking, one better than the other. But these are the ones I prepare the most at home. They are easy to make, super tasty and dress up a breakfast in a wink. What’s more, I always have oil, eggs, tomatoes, onion and either Jalapeño or Serrano chiles handy.


  • 4 tablespoons corn, safflower or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chile seeded, if less heat desired and finely chopped, or more to taste ( we went for 3)
  • 3/4 pound ripe tomatoes, about 2 cups chopped (I add an extra cup)
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, more or less to taste
  • Hot corn tortillas , or pieces of toast

To Prepare

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook stirring often for about 4 minutes, until they have softened but not browned. Stir in the chiles, cook for another minute. Incorporate the chopped tomatoes and let the mix cook and season, stirring often, for about 5 minutes (I let them cook about 4 to 5 minutes more until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked, mushy and their red color has deepened).
  • Meanwhile, crack the eggs in a bowl, add some salt, and beat them with a whisk or fork. Lower the heat to medium-low and pour eggs over the tomato mix. Stir as the eggs cook until desired donenness, but don't let them dry up. Serve with a side of refried beans, hot tortillas or a piece of toast.

36 comments on “Mexican Style Eggs: A la Papi

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  1. These eggs are delicious! We are them in a Torta with black beans like you did when you went to visit your dad in the show. Topped with queso fresco (yum!), this is now one of my favorite breakfast recipes and I love that I can eat it any time of day. Thanks Pati! You’re the best!

    1. Eggs are always a good idea, at least in my book Kristyn! And a Torta de Huevo is just beyond delicious any time, enjoy!

  2. Hola Pati! I had leftover refried beans and some tortillas left from last nights dinner, so I made this to go with it. It was the perfect brunch! Papi knows what is good.
    Michell from South Florida

  3. After looking into a few of the articles on your web page, I truly like
    your way of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check
    out my web site too and tell me how you feel.

    1. Hi Twila, of course you can go ahead and add some chorizo to this recipe, it will be fantastic. I didn’t do because I was following my Dad’s cravings 😀 😀 😀

  4. I have tried this recipe often after pulling it from one of your previous shows and it is very satisfying. I like you increase the heat by adding more peppers. Also I enjoy the fried egg sandwich that JU-JU likes so well.
    Please keep us supplied with the recipes that are a joy for us to cook and try out.

    1. Thank you so much Robert! Tons of recipes already here in the website and working on more to keep sharing with you guys 😉

  5. When I’m in a hurry I make a quick version using store bought pico de gallo, as it contains the tomato, chilies, and onion along with a little cilantro.

  6. Love this recipe bin makes a similar one for years ,,,but with eggs unavailable to me now gone do it with powdered eggs hope it works out ,,,,It willl I’m sure Thanks for the post Pati. As always Smile Joseph.

    1. I know Joseph, these are difficult times and we have to make do with what is available. I am sure powdered eggs will be fine for now. Stay strong 😉

  7. Hi Pati, I haven’t tried your Papi’s recipe yet, but I will soon. When I saved it to my favorites I had to include his picture , too. He’s a keeper!

  8. This recipe is very close to what I have been using and calling Mexican Eggs when anyone asked me what it is. I like how it works no matter what variation I use. Thank you for sharing yours, Pati!

  9. Hola Pati,

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your dad. What a blessing and a treat to have grown up in a family that loves good food and loves cooking. Wishing you many more special times with your dad. I’ll be making Mexican style eggs this morning.

  10. Can’t wait for the weekend, so I can fix this for my husband!
    I Love all your wonderful and delicious recipes! I know that I’m cooking true
    Mexican food. Thank You, Pati! God Bless You and Your Family!

  11. Your stories and recipes never fail to lift my heart. As I head back to Texas soon to care for my parents (my Dad is in hospice care but still has a healthy appetite!) I will take this recipe with me. I think it will make them smile as it has me. God Bless You Pati!

  12. Very similar to a breakfast at the Posada Sta. María en Oaxaca cooked by the inestimable Telma. Usually with corn tortillas y frijoles negro.
    I wish I could replicate her huevos en salsa which are an omelet like egg cooked and folded with just a hint of browning then kept warm in a salsa de tomato. I can taste them now!!! Only five more months until I can have them for breakfast!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you Pati for your wonderful representation of all that is wonderful about the country of my heart.

  13. Fantastic! Congratulations Pati, just a note about the name “a la mexicana” It is because of the colors of the mexican flag, green, white and red, chile, onions and tomato! By the way, I like them with flour tortillas, since I am from Monterrey! Un abrazo!

  14. Paty, Que gusto ver tu pagina y sobre todo tus comentarios personales y sensibles. Hasta el proximo. Tu papa salio estupendo en la foto, Me da emocion ver tus y las recetas tan conocidas y tantas veces creadas cocinandose al punto con la cantidad sufieciente para el buen sabor.
    Chao, Celia

  15. Bueno Querida Pati, when (if ever) get to visit you “All I will want is a hamburger, a hot dog, a Pizza, a nice big steak, some Texas style bar-b-q and a big plate of pancakes AND lots of tacos AND Mexican food ok?” 🙂
    Pero por ahora me conformare con estos huevitos a la Mexicana estilo tu Papa.
    ps. linda foto de tu Sr. Padre!

  16. Man!! those eggs look delicious!!! my dad likes eggs very much and i bet he would loove to try these!! I will print this recipe and maybe I’ll cook it for dad! Saludos a tu papi!!!
    -Diana 🙂