Huevos Motuleños: A Classic Mexican Comfort Food Breakfast
When I think of Mexican comfort food the first desayuno dish that comes to mind is Huevos Motuleños or Eggs Motul named after a small town in the State of Yucatan located about 40 km. northeast of Merida, its capital. We have the Spanish to thank for part of the “cravability” of this breakfast classic, for having brought pork into Mexico. This dish also combines the special flavors of ancient Mayan cooking along with those of their Caribbean neighbors. It is an important dish that highlights Mexico’s rich culinary history.
While not considered a Lebanese dish Huevos Motuleños was the creation of a local restaurateur, Jorge Siqueff Febels, whose family were the proprietors of the region’s first Lebanese restaurant located in Motul called La Sin Rival. The restaurant was known to frequently serve “political power meals” to the governor of the Yucatan, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a native of Motul. He was reputed to be a gourmand with a taste for having his meals served with a large variety of accompaniments.
On one particular occasion Felipe brought so many people with him to enjoy desayuno at La Sin Rival that the restaurant was unable to provide the necessary tableware. Chef Febels served all of the individual accompaniments on top of the tortillas and eggs due to lack of proper bowls. His desayuno dish was an instant success and given the name Huevos Motulenos in honor of the town and citizens.
The restaurant, La Sin Rival, later moved to Merida and is still in operation. Although now called Restaurante Siqueff, Huevos Motuleños are still served in the early mornings. The city of Motul continues to be known as the birth place of this dish and Huevos Motuleños are sold in a number of small, family run Fondas near the town square, only for desayuno, never at lunch, unless you know the proprietor of the establishment very well.
Huevos Motuleños combines the earthy flavor of crisp corn tortillas with mashed or refried Mayan black beans, sunny side up Safest Choice eggs, salsa jitomate habanero (Yucatan tomato salsa), crisp diced ham, fresh green peas, queso fresco, minced cilantro and garnished with fried plantains slices, lime wedge and sometimes a fresh habanero chili for those that really love the burn of a truly hot pepper.
I have seen this dish made with tortillas para panuchos, puffy corn tortillas, stuffed with black bean paste but it is a difficult tortilla style for the typical kitchen to reproduce so I prefer the crispy fried tortillas with mashed black beans and topped with the traditional ingredients. In Mexico the peas are usually canned but the vibrant color of fresh peas lends more to the overall beauty of this craveable desayuno classic. Huevos Motuleños is classic comfort food with a historical beginning and makes a perfect entrée for brunch or a quick evening meal.
¡ Buen provecho!