How to Make Pupusas
Pupusas are a Salvadoran stuffed masa flatbread that are similar to corn tortillas, only thicker and stuffed with cheese, beans or meat. They originated in El Salvador, and are also popular in neighboring Honduras.
Celebrate tonight: In fact, the Pupusa is so fundamental to the cuisine of El Salvador that the country hasdeclared November 13 as “National Pupusa Day. But don’t wait until then. Try them at home tonight!
Avenida Pupusas (Makes 4 large or 5 medium-sized)
What you’ll need:
2 cups masa harina
1 cup warm water
1 cup filling (see variations below)
1. In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina and water and knead well. Knead in more water, one tablespoonful at a time if needed, to make a moist, yet firm dough. (It should not crack at the edges when you press down on it.) Cover and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
3. Press an indentation in each ball with your thumb. Put about 1 tablespoon of desired filling into each indentation and fold the dough over to completely enclose it. Press the ball out with your palms to form a disc, taking care that that the filling doesn’t spill out.
4. Line a tortilla press with plastic and press out each ball to about 5 or 6 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. If you don’t have a tortilla press, place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin.
Heat a greased skillet over medium-high flame.
5. Cook each pupusa for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and blistered. Remove to a plate and hold warm until all pupusas are done. Serve with curtido and salsa roja.
Choose Your Favorite Filling:
Pupusas de Queso: With a cheese filling. Use grated quesillo, queso fresco, farmer’s cheese, mozzarella, Swiss cheese or a combination. Add some minced green chile if you like.
Pupusas de Chicharrones: With a filling of fried chopped pork and a little tomato sauce. A reasonable facsimile can be made by pulsing 1 cup of cooked bacon with a little bit of tomato sauce in a food processor.
Pupusas de Frijoles Refritos: With a refried bean filling.
Pupusas Revueltas: Use a mixture of chicharrones, cheese and refried beans.
Pupusas de Queso y Loroco: With a cheese and tropical vine flower filling. Loroco can be found in jars at many Latin markets.
Pupusas de Arroz: A variety of pupusa that uses rice flour instead of corn masa.
Other Fillings: Cooked potatoes or finely minced, sautéed jalapeño peppers are also tasty fillings. Try a mixture of different fillings.