Patatas Bravas

In Spain, there is the one dish that gets ordered nearly every time it is on the menu and that is Patatas Bravas. I don’t know if that stands true for everyone in the whole country, but almost every time we’re out with anyone, some version of the fried potato and spicy-sauced deliciousness finds its way to our table.

Patatas Bravas translates to “Brave Potatoes” which doesn’t really mean a whole lot in the literal sense of the phrase. However, any potato that gets dipped in hot oil and spicy pimentón sauce is pretty brave by my standard.

It seems like every coffee shop, restaurant, and cervecería has their own take on bravas sauce. Some serve it with just a spicy oil sauce, while others create a creamy mixed sauce with the addition of mayonnaise. We decided to make these bravas with a bit more kick with the addition of cayenne pepper, but the cayenne is not in the traditional recipe and you can do without it. We also skipped pouring the mayo over the dish and kept the mayo on the side as a dip. I guess the point is: this dish is flexible. Here is how we did it.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup olive oil for frying, and 2 tbsp separate for the sauce
  • 1 small Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • ½ tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, taste
  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (3/4 to 1 inch)
  • ½ cup mayo, optional


  1. Add 2 tbsp. oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add onion, tomato, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic to oil and cook until tomato is well broken down. About 12 minutes.
  2. Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Heat ½ cup oil in a frying pan on medium-high until oil is hot. Add potatoes and fry until potatoes are cooked all the way through.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to take the potatoes from the oil. Place on a plate and allow to cool completely.
  5. Pour sauce over the potatoes, and serve with mayonnaise on the side

I usually prefer potatoes to be baked rather than fried: 40-50 minutes at 375 will do. As I may have mentioned before, we have no AC, and that amount of time with the oven on would amount to a form of torture this time of year!

2 thoughts on “Patatas Bravas

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