Chilaquiles vs Migas are two popular Mexican dishes that are both easy to prepare yet have very different methods of preparation. Chilaquiles traditionally aren’t fried, and Migas are served with a fried tortilla. Here’s a breakdown of these two entrees from the Mexican perspective and how they’re similar and different from each other.
In Spanish, ‘chilaquiles’ means “uprooted ones,” which comes from their name for morning glory leaves, ‘chile quality.’ This dish is traditionally made with corn tortillas soaked in a sauce made with tomato-based red chilies before adding the scrambled egg.
Chilaquiles vs Migas have not too big a difference
Ingredients for Chilaquiles vs Migas
- 1-2 lbs of red chilies for each pound of corn tortillas.
- ground corn flour.
- 2 onions, finely sliced.
- Finely chop 1 clove of garlic.
- salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 tbsp of cooking oil.
- Chopped tomato of medium size.
- 2 cups of cooked brown rice or any other grain.
- Salad greens for garnish.
Chilaquiles are made using corn tortillas, eggs, tomatoes, salsa, and usually chicken. This dish originates in the state of Puebla and has a red chili sauce base with a combination of vegetables.
In contrast, Migas is traditionally served as an appetizer and is almost exclusively prepared using corn tortillas with no tomato bases and no eggs. Migas is generally prepared like an American-style omelet using corn tortilla chips instead of normal breadcrumbs. This dish is associated with the state of Hidalgo and its most famous city—Pachuca.
In “Migas”, the name is derived from the Spanish word, ‘Migas,’ which means ‘crumb.’ The texture of this dish is more crumbly than ‘chilaquiles.’ It’s traditional to use flour tortillas or corn tortillas that aren’t made into tacos. Instead, it’s fried before being put in a sauce with eggs and onions.
Ingredients for chilaquiles vs migas
Preparation method for chilaquiles vs migas
- In a food processor, mix chilies and salt into cornflour to create a fine cornflour paste. Spread this paste on an oven tray and toast in a 200 ° C oven for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. It’s important that you heat the oven while the chilies are toasting or else they will burn. Remove from oven and let cool before using in the recipe.
- A skillet should be heated over medium heat with oil. Add sliced onions and garlic, and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes until the tomato starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Set aside sauce by skimming off excess oil before adding to the recipe.
- Peel an egg and break it into small pieces with a fork or chop them with a knife. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add cooked rice or other grain of your choice along with chilies, salsa, eggs, and onions from the previous step. Adding salt and pepper to taste is a good idea. Mix well until ingredients are evenly distributed across the surface of your mixture.
- A skillet should be heated over medium heat. When oil is hot enough, add mixture and flatten using a spatula into a rectangular shape. Fry for about 4-5 minutes until the bottom of the mixture is browned.
- Invert onto a plate and serve with salad greens as garnish.
Garnish chilaquiles vs migas with Salad
Cooking notes for chilaquiles vs migas
- Traditional Chilaquiles are made in a sauce with tomatoes, vegetables, and chicken. Migas has no tomato base and is just served as an appetizer
- Chilaquiles generally don’t use any egg as the mixture is already cooked in the sauce while Migas has eggs prepared before going into the frying pan.
- Traditional Chilaquiles use fried corn tortillas with no tomato base while Migas is served with chopped eggs and onions inside a fried tortilla.
- Traditionally, chilaquiles are not deep-fried before being added to the sauce but instead are only cooked on the sides over medium heat for about 4 minutes until browned.
Some questions about chilaquiles vs migas
1. Which one is easier to prepare?
Chilaquiles vs Migas are easy to prepare. The most difficult thing about cooking these dishes is the preparation of the corn tortillas and chopping of chilies before being added into the sauce. If you’re using store-bought tortilla chips, then it’s even less work!
2. Which one has better taste?
They each have their own unique tastes that may take some getting used to if you’re an inexperienced Mexican food lover.
3. Where does the term ‘chilaquiles’ come from?
It is said that since the tortilla chips are added to your dish at the end, you get chilaquiles. Chilaquiles literally means “uprooted ones.” The Mexican’s took this name from ‘chile quality,’ which is a specific type of yellow morning glory leaf.
4. Which one is more popular?
Both dishes are very popular in Mexico and can be found in restaurants, markets, festivals, and even on street corners! It’s very easy to find them in any Mexican town. Probably because of its vibrant colors or appearance, rumors vs Migas has become much more popular than chilaquiles.
Migas are more common than chilaquiles
Chilaquiles vs Migas is hard to find a dish that can satisfy both Mexican and American tastes. Take time to do some research and learn more about these dishes before making your next trip to Mexico. If you try the dishes, let me know in the comments!
Moo Lisa is the founder and editor of Food 4 Kitchen. She graduated in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She started learning about food and kitchen utensils in high school and still pursues it to this day.