Pupusas are a fun, thick corn tortilla snack native to El Salvador and a few surrounding countries. The version below uses masa harina, a type of corn flour and refried beans. Other common fillings include chicken, chiccharones (pork) and even shrimp. The recipe is fairly easy. The tricky part is getting the right consistency and thickness of dough. We tried several recipes including make the dough into a ball; indenting; adding filling and then flattening – that proved too messy. After several experiments, creating top and bottom halves worked best for us.
Pupusas can be made vegan by skipping cheese and sour cream. Daiyya and Nutritional yeast are two great, dairy free topping options. Always to be eaten with this Salvadorean treat are a vinegar based coleslaw, called curtido.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 pupusas
1 cup masa harina
4/5 cup water
salt to taste
pepper to taste
queso fresco to taste
onions to taste
jalapenos to taste
In a bowl add in masa. Add any preferred seasoning including queso fresco if desired. Next add in water. Mix until dough is moist and all is absorbed. Divide the dough into 8 balls, about the size of an egg. Flatten each ball in the palm of your hand until they’re a little thicker than a pancake (roughly 3-4 inches in diameter). On four of the pieces, apply your beans (or preferred filling). Take the other pieces of dough and place on top of the just-filled pieces (like a sandwich) then pinch all around the circumference to seal in the goodness.
Heat a little oil in pan. If desired, add in chopped onions and jalapenos. Lay down pupusas. Allow about 4 minutes per side to cook. They’ll turn a light brown color. Serve with curtido, hot sauce and sour cream.
That is so awesome that you made pupusas! I love to eat them, guess I need to try making them. These look soooo good!
Thanks so much! It was exciting. You just have to know that it could get messy but it’s a fun food to throw together. Cheers. Hope things are good on the west coast.