The TikTok Tortilla Hack the Internet Is Flipping Out About

Tortilla

The TikTok Tortilla Hack the Internet Is Flipping Out About

A hot new quesadilla technique has us folding over backwards for lunch.

January 14, 2021
Photo by Julia Gartland

Every once in a while, the wheel is reinvented. If we’re lucky, smart, or even particularly ingenious, we find new ways to do old things. These novel approaches can flip convention completely on its head, or ever so slightly tweak a well-known formula. The latter is precisely the case with a recent internet hack that’s been sweeping the internet.

It all started on TikTok (duh, where else?), when, on December 29th, user crystalscookingfun took a flour tortilla, cut a slit along its radius, placed a single ingredient into each of the circle's quadrants, folded accordingly, and griddled the whole affair to crisp perfection in a panini press. Her folded wrap included a sliced chicken cutlet, spring mix, tomatoes, and grated cheese. Here's the general formula:

It wasn’t until the next day, however, when TikToker ellcarter1 stuffed her spin on the original with breakfast foods (bacon, scrambled eggs and cheese) that the technique truly took off. Her video has since amassed more than 6 million views and spawned enough reproductions to populate a small country.

Plus, it solves a bevy of problems. It replaces the often tricky task of rolling a flour tortilla bulging with ingredients into a sad excuse for a burrito. It also allows you to have a bit of every ingredient in each bite, and that’s a cause I can get behind. Once you master the technique, the possibilities are, quite literally, endless. Since its debut online, the trick has appeared across all corners of the internet. Online, some are going the classic route, while others are giving it the dessert treatment and subbing a crepe for the tortilla.

I asked the brilliant editors at Food52 to submit their own four-ingredient fillings. Here are a few they came up with:

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Have you seen the riff on this technique that substitutes a single beaten egg for the flour tortilla? Use a small fry pan and just let the egg cook up and then do the same radial cut and fold process, layering in a variety of ingredients for yummy goodness. Brilliant for those avoiding carbs or gluten.”
— JW
Comment

Brinda Ayer, editorial lead: Soy-marinated baked tofu or eggs, sriracha mixed with cream cheese, kimchi or kraut, scallions

Arati Menon, senior editor: Grilled/roasted eggplant, kale slaw, lemon aioli, crumbly feta

Jess Kapadia, senior editor: Pulled chicken, smoked gouda, pickled red onions, BBQ sauce

Emma Laperruque, food editor: Fried egg, crispy Taylor ham, American cheese, hot sauced ketchup

Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor: Tuna, cheddar, caramelized onions, pickles

Caroline Mullen, assistant lifestyle editor: Chicken cutlet, cheddar, romaine, honey mustard, and mayonnaise

These are all fabulous suggestions. I might go the caprese route and fill one with pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, mortadella, a drizzle of olive oil. and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Or I might take a tip from Saltie’s famous Scuttlebutt sandwich and layer spiced aioli with pickled vegetables, a smattering of feta, sliced hard-boiled egg and some ham, for good measure. The wrap is your oyster!

Which 4-ingredient combo would you fill your wrap with? Drop your suggestions in the comments below.

grab a spatula & cook with us:

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.

36 Comments

John C. January 31, 2021
Great idea except she's eating it backwards. As she bites into it the ingredients will fall out the open side. I like the simplicity of the technique and especially like that it is sealed on two sides provided you start eating it on the open side.
 
teaafternoons January 30, 2021
We’ve been doing this....using the “1-egg-cooked-flat” tortilla sub....that way I can have a huge piece of baguette later with dinner, yay! For a light version, the egg sub works like magic.
 
Lily_H January 26, 2021
Oh my gosh, I saw one of these that was a charcuterie board inspiration... not sure I would try that!
https://braisedinthesouth.com/
 
Darlindarlene January 21, 2021
what about a good ole all American BLT!!!WITH mayo of course!
 
Hannah January 21, 2021
I’m surprised no one’s ever made a TikTok with French toast sandwiches before. It completely elevates a PB& J or grilled cheese sandie.
 
Marybennett January 25, 2021
Try whipped cream cheese icing make it just like a sandwich then dip it into French toast batter and cook the same.......outrageous!
 
Anne Y. January 21, 2021
Having trouble understanding how to split the tortilla horizontally. Seems it would be harder than pita, and I have trouble doing that in many cases.
 
elaine J. January 22, 2021
From the center of the tortilla, make one cut from center to edge, watch the video
 
Smaug January 27, 2021
It's not split, there's just a cut from the center to the edge. With practice you can split a tortilla- put it on a griddle or other hot surface and press down on as much of it as you can with the back of your spatula (tough guys use their fingers)- with luck it will puff up with a large air pocket in the center and can be easily split.
 
Adrienne B. January 21, 2021
Corn tortillas taste so much better than flour and they are also healthier than flour. We use the large corn tortillas and put the filling in while they are being heated on a cast iron griddle making folding much easier.
 
JW January 21, 2021
Have you seen the riff on this technique that substitutes a single beaten egg for the flour tortilla? Use a small fry pan and just let the egg cook up and then do the same radial cut and fold process, layering in a variety of ingredients for yummy goodness. Brilliant for those avoiding carbs or gluten.
 
annaclarice1 January 21, 2021
I used up leftover taco fixings last night; taco meat, refried beans, jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese. They were easier to eat than the tacos were! I did char the tortillas a little on my gas burners prior to making my wraps to get a little extra flavor inside (tip for those that don't like uncooked tortillas).
 
Kim S. January 17, 2021
Genius!
I can imagine doing the same with small corn tortillas to create savory appetizer bites.
 
Smaug January 18, 2021
You're probably going to have trouble folding a corn tortilla that way- no gluten makes them prone to cracking. Also difficult to make a corn tortilla as thin as a flour tortilla (same reason), which would leave you with a pretty tortilla-y foldup.
 
Carenscookin January 18, 2021
A pbs chef Pati of Pati's Table softens a corn tortilla in a sauce- maybe enchilada sauce. This might help your idea to dip one side and then fold... maybe
 
Smaug January 19, 2021
It's common practice to dip (corn) tortillas in sauce and then fry them briefly- this (the heat more than the sauce) heats them enough to roll up an enchilada without breaking, but heating (in my experience) won't allow for a sharp fold, they simply can't stretch that far.
 
Adrienne B. January 21, 2021
If you want to do small corn tortillas, you can heat them on the stovetop over an open flame for a few seconds to soften them. Use tongs to hold them, the old-fashioned kind is better because they don't tear as easily. The other open is to put them in a tortilla warmer in the microwave for about 30 seconds with a moist paper towel - do that if you need to do a few of them. If you have a cast-iron skillet or a cast iron griddle, you can use it like a comal and heat them on that. None of these methods use oil or sauce and all succeed.
 
Smaug January 22, 2021
Well, not ,much to lose by trying it, but I don't think a corn tortilla will ever take a sharp fold; also wonder why you would use a small tortilla- a quarter of a small (6" or less, I'd suppose) tortilla won't leave much room for fillings. Amen on the old style tongs (the kind with a D shaped end)- I always use them to fry tortillas for tacos; once they warm up they tear quite easily, and those modern dinosaur jaw tongs can be pretty vicious.
 
Kkg January 17, 2021
Scrambled eggs, salsa, cheese, avocado, and sliced tomatoes..
Basic and soooo good!!!!!!!
 
Alicia January 16, 2021
It's one of those.. "I'mboredandhungrywhatcanImakewithalltheseingredientsand flourtortillas?" Have beer with it too!
 
Carole K. January 21, 2021
Or two!
 
Crystal-Joy W. January 15, 2021
Hey cool that’s me crystalscookingfun
 
essell January 15, 2021
i am so sorry. but a raw tortilla, the layers inside, is just plain wrong. so many east coasters think a wrap with a raw tortilla is the bomb, but no thanks. give me a tortilla griddled griddled, comal’ed or toasted not raw!
 
Carole K. January 15, 2021
If you watch the video, it IS griddled.
 
Bryan L. January 15, 2021
The inside layers aren't. At best, they are just heated up. I'm not a fan of non-grilled/cooked flour tortilla's either. Well, any tortilla that isn't cooked, not just flour.
 
Marianne January 16, 2021
i AGREE, bRYAN. tHEY REQUIRE TO BE JUST SO.
 
FrugalCat January 16, 2021
Ok, I cut the tortilla, put it in the pan, toast it on one side for about 10-15 seconds, flip it, then fill it. Then I do the folding and toast some more. This way, the tortilla isn't really "raw".
 
Kkg January 17, 2021
Start with a cooked tortilla ..
 
Smaug January 18, 2021
Tortillas are cooked before they're used, otherwise you just have a hand full of dough. I do recook them when I use them; not really into soft tacos (which are greatly favored by taco stands- frying taco shells is a real bottleneck for a fast food business) and don't really like flour tortillas that haven't been fried, but they're not raw.
 
annaclarice1 January 21, 2021
It's a simple fix to lightly char the flour tortilla on a burner prior to making the wrap. Then you get the best of both worlds. Have some fun with it.
 
Cindy January 22, 2021
This also makes the flour tortilla soft and pliable, easier to fold
 
Phildup January 15, 2021
I saw this method in a tiktok from the UK or Australia as a way to make a "toastie", a quesadilla run through a toaster
 
Oldman437 January 15, 2021
Ingredients for my tiktoc hack was refried beans, hot sauce, shredded cheese, pulled BBQ pork (vinegar base). This was a nifty idea!
 
stkn6003 January 15, 2021
Ingredients for my tiktok hack would be scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, with cheese and salsa . . . I'm getting hungry!
 
HalfPint January 14, 2021
My suggestion: shredded roast chicken, sharp cheddar, sriracha mayo, thinly sliced apples
 
Kkg January 17, 2021
Ohhhh.....yum!