An Introduction to Huevos Rotos, Madrid’s Delicious Egg and Potato Dish

Huevos rotos and ham
Huevos rotos and ham | © Casa Del Abuelo
Lori Zaino

For such a simple and inexpensive food, Spain’s huevos rotos can be surprisingly versatile, with varying methods used to perfect the dish. Though its exact origins are uncertain, it’s a meal that has evolved throughout centuries to become a favorite on menus in restaurants across Madrid. Here’s Culture Trip’s guide to this delectable dish.

Huevos rotos – also known as huevos estrellados – is a popular dish in Madrid, literally translating to “broken eggs.” The dish consists of a few lightly fried eggs delicately placed over fried potatoes. The dish often comes accompanied with bits of chorizo, slices of Iberian ham, seafood, or other types of meat or fish. The plate is served hot, and those consuming it are tasked with cutting up the eggs so the soft yolk spills out over the potatoes, which soak up the yolk and make for a savory, salty meal.

Huevos rotos with bacon

The dish, while common in Madrid, may actually originate from the Canary Islands. Its origins aren’t entirely known, but huevos rotosdate back to at least the early 1800s, where it was noted by American writer Richard Ford after spending time in Spain that this particular dish was often eaten in low-income families. This is most likely due to the fact that potatoes were – and still are – an inexpensive but filling food to eat. The fact that the dish can be accompanied by virtually any meat or seafood also allows a family to dig through the pantry or refrigerator to use up whatever meat or fish they have to hand and add it to the eggs.

Huevos rotos and ham

Actually, fried eggs themselves date back much further, most likely to India or Egypt as long ago as 1000BC. Of course, the Spanish themselves take credit for serving eggs over fried potatoes, though if the dish did actually originate in the Canary Islands, it’s quite possible the plate could have Latin American or Caribbean roots too.

When cooking this dish, it’s important that the eggs are fried in olive oil and not butter. Lucio Blázquez, owner of Casa Lucio, famous for its huevos rotos – the restaurant has attracted people like Bill Clinton, Julio Iglesias and Jane Fonda – explained to Spanish newspaper El País that, while cooking this simple dish isn’t complicated, “only the best quality olive oil and potatoes should be used.”

Huevos rotos and ham

Although huevos rotos can be found at pretty much any Spanish restaurant in Madrid, Casa Lucio is known have some of the best in the city. So sample them there and everywhere if you can, and find your favorite style of this delectable Spanish dish.

Casa Lucio, Calle Cava Baja, 35, Madrid, Spain, +34 913 65 32 52

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

X
close-ad
Edit article