We grew up with a version of pupusas, but in Mexico they are called gorditas. Pupusas are one of the staple dishes from El Salvador. The difference being that pupusas are stuffed before being cooked and the gorditas are filled after being cooked. I remember enjoying the handmade Mexican gorditas from the food vendors at the Mercado Juarez in Monterrey, Mexico as a kid. The fillings were much more than just beans, cheese or potatoes too! When preparing the pupusas, you don’t want a filling that is too chunky or they will be hard to assemble. These are inexpensive to prepare and I often find myself preparing them for pot luck meals or dish to pass. I like introducing and sharing foods to my freinds that they may have not otherwise tried because of the limited Hispanic or Latin American restaurants in our area. Today I share with you two versions of pupusas the way I like them. One simply filled with cheese and the other with a combination of black beans and cheese. And you cannot have pupusas with out the tangy, tomato based salsa and pickled curtido(slaw). #foodieforlife #latinamericanfoods #pupusas
A corn dough patty, stuffed with cheese, beans or spicy potato filling. I like to add a few spices to my dough to add some more flavor.
Yields 6 Pupusas
1 1/2 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup shredded jack, Oaxaca or mozzerella cheese
oil for drizzling, I used grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
You can find various salsa recipes on site, including this Salsa Verde recipe. Just type “Salsa Verde” into the search bar.
1. In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients for the dough. Gradually add in the water until dough forms. If it’s too dry add a little more water. And if it’s too sticky, add a little more masa harina.
2. Preheat a large griddle pan or skillet to medium heat for 5 minutes. Make six equal dough balls.
3. Take one ball and using your hands form a patty about 3 inches wide. Place some cheese in the center(about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and form the dough around the cheese to seal back up. Form into a patty once again, but try not to squeeze to hard or cheese will come out. The patty should be about 4inches wide.
4. Preheat a large skillet at medium heat for 2-4 minutes. Place the stuffed pupusas in the preheated skillet. Cover with lid and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side or until you get some nice golden brown spots. Once you turn them, drizzle them with a little oil to get a crispy exterior. Remove form heat and let stand for a one minute before serving. Serve with your favorite salsa or with a pickled cabbage slaw, curtido.
Pupusas can be filled with meat as well, providing it is finely chopped or shredded.
Tips~When I prepare pupusas or gorditas for one! No deep frying required. But you certainly could cook them that way, if you like. I find that if I cook them with a lid, it creates some steam and it cooks the pupusas/gorditas all the way through.
I like to prepare the smaller ones for larger crowds. And the larger ones for a dinner portion.
Here is a larger size pupusa filled with black beans and cheese. The salsa is typically very mild and tomato based. The quick pickled curtido or cabbage slaw is served on top or on the side. You want to prepare the salsa and curtido first before the pupusas. This way theflavors have time to combine well.
Black Bean Pupusas with Curtido and Salsa
Yields 20 small or 10 large Pupusas
1 large can whole tomatoes
1 small sweet onion, sauteed
1 jalapeño, sauteed
2 cloves garlic, sauteed
4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
3 1/2 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons annatto powder, optional
almost 4 cups of hot water
You Will Also Need: 1 1/2 cups black beans or pinto(refried) mixed with 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack.
For The Salsa: Saute the onion, jalapeño and garlic in a little olive oil just until soft. Transfer to the blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the blender. Blend on high until smooth. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add salsa to hot oil and cook on low for 20 to 25 minutes.
For The Masa: Follow the directions as listed for Cheese Pupusas above. If preparing large pupusas, you will need 2 tablespoons of black beans that have been cooked until thick. Each large pupusa required 1/2 cup of masa, more or less. For small pupusas, you will need 1 tablespoon of black bean filling.
Curtido- Quick Pickled Cabbage Slaw
6 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup purple or sweet onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/3 to 1/2 cup apple cider
salt to taste
Cooking Method 1
Combine the shredded cabbage, carrots and onion in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, toss back in bowl. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients, taste for salt.
Cooking Method 2 (Because I enjoy the flavor of the sauteed vegetable)
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onion, crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Saute for a minute. Add the oregano, cabbage, carrots and vinegar. Stir well to combine. Season with salt, to taste. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.