Yield: 4 servings

Lengua Tacos With Salsa Verde and Caramelized Onions

Lengua Tacos with Salsa Verde and Caramelized Onions Feature Image

Savory, crispy lengua (tongue) in a fresh corn tortilla topped with caramelized onions, vibrant salsa verde, crumbled cheese, cilantro, and radish. Hit one "out of the park" with this slightly non-standard but delicious taco!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Boil Lengua 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


Caramelized Onions

  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced thin
  • a sprinkle of sugar and sea salt


  • 3 cups boiled tongue, lengua, small dice (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt +/-
  • pepper


  • 1 dozen fresh corn tortillas, softened*
  • prepared diced lengua
  • prepared caramelized onions
  • salsa verde (see Tips or Notes)
  • crumbled cotija or queso fresco*
  • cilantro, stems removed
  • radishes, thinly sliced
  • lime wedges, optional


Caramelized Onions

  1. As soon as the salsa vegetables go in the oven, start the onions. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute until the onions begin to brown.
  2. Reduce heat to medium (if you're stirring occasionally). Stir with a wooden spoon occasionally. You want slow caramelization, not browning.
  3. When the roasting vegetables come out of the oven, the onions should be nicely caramelized. Add to a small oven proof prep bowl. Pop in the oven until ready to keep warm.


  1. Heat coconut oil on medium-high to high heat. You want some vigorous sizzling action. Add the diced tongue. Stir-fry until the edges begin to brown.
  2. Add the spices and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until much of the tongue has crispy edges. Remove from heat, and keep warm

The Tacos

  1. Soften/warm your tortillas by your preferred method. See notes.
  2. To each tortilla, add a spoonful of lengua, a bit of caramelized onion, salsa verde, crumbled cheese, cilantro, and sliced radish. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing if desired.
  3. Dig in!


Having spent 22 years in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Hatch chile is always my preference. However, you can substitute poblano, anaheim, serrano, jalapeno. You can also substitute frozen diced or whole roasted chile. Use about 1 cup, and add to the processor bowl with the tomatillos. Make sure they're roasted, seeded, and peeled first!

If you're not interested in making your salsa verde, choose a good quality commercially available one (recommended options in post).

I like small pieces in my tacos. I diced the lengua in 1/4" to 1/2" dice. It's easier to eat and to keep the tacos from falling apart in a fresh tortilla.

I like to heat tortillas on a hot skillet (comal). This can be tedious if you're cooking for more than 2 people. You can put them in the microwave in a tortilla warmer or wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven. For more on keeping tortillas warm see this link.

The leftover salsa verde will keep for several days in the refrigerator, but I'll bet it won't last that long! This recipe assumes you have already cooked tongue. For more on preparing tongue using a pressure-cooker (or other method), see Provencal Beef Tongue Sandwiches.

Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 520 calories; 24 g protein; 40 g carbohydrates; 30 g fat. I hesitated to even include as there are too many variables. I used 3 corn tortillas, 4 ounces of lengua, 1/4th of an avocado, 1/2 ounce cotija, 3 tablespoons salsa verde and caramelized onion. This at least gets you in the "ballpark," and Google wants the calories ;-)

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 520Total Fat: 30gCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 24g