Patatas bravas

Patatas bravas

Laura Edwards

This dish is well known all over Catalonia, Spain and in tapas bars everywhere.

Whenever I go to a new bar, I always try the patatas bravas along with the tortilla, croquetas and jamón ibérico – they’re the measure of a good place.

You will find this dish presented and finished in many different ways, but the traditional way is my favourite. Fry the potatoes three times and add the sauce on top. Perfect!


Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for deep-frying
900g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
flaky sea salt

for the salsa brava

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, blackened with a blowtorch or under a very hot grill and chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon smoked pimentón
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
pinch sugar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the alioli

Quantity Ingredient
1 free-range egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
75ml vegetable oil
75ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
lemon juice, to taste


  1. First make the salsa brava. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for 15 minutes until really soft›. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more then add the chilli and tomatoes. Stir in the pimentón, vinegar and sugar, season well and simmer for 20– 30 minutes until you have a thick, chunky sauce. Set aside.
  2. To make the alioli, whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar and some seasoning. Gradually whisk in the vegetable then olive oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking all the time until you have a thick, glossy mayonnaise. Whisk in the garlic and lemon juice to taste. If too thick, whisk in 25–30 ml of water. Set aside.
  3. Heat a deep pan of olive oil to 100°C. Fry the potatoes for 10 minutes – they should not be coloured at all at this point. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Leave to cool completely.
  4. Heat the oil to 160°C. Fry the potatoes for 4–5 minutes until they are tender and just starting to turn golden. Drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool.
  5. When ready to serve, reheat the salsa brava. Heat the oil to 200°C and fry the potatoes for 2–3 minutes until really golden and very crispy. Drain and season with salt. Spoon over the salsa brava and serve with the alioli.
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