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Sunday Recipe Bonus: Pupusas
5 years ago

(Salvadoran stuffed masa flatbread)

Pupusas are similar to corn tortillas, only thicker and stuffed with cheese, beans or meat. The pupusa originated in El Salvador, but it is also popular in neighboring Honduras. Pupusas are traditionally made by slapping the dough back and forth between greased palms. A tortilla press is quicker and easier for beginners.

Makes 4 or 5 pupusas

  • Masa harina -- 2 cups
  • Warm water -- 1 cup
  • Filling (see variations) -- 1 cup
  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.
  5. Heat a greased skillet over medium-high flame. 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.
  • This recipe uses masa harina, a special dried cornmeal flour used in making tortillas, tamales, etc. If you are able to get fresh masa, definitely use it instead. The flavor will be much fresher. Just substitute the masa harina and water with fresh masa. One pound will make about 4 to 6 pupusas depending on size.
  • 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.
  • The pupusa is so fundamental to the cuisine of El Salvador that the country has even declared November 13th "National Pupusa Day."
These are delicious!
5 years ago

I recently had the pleasure of eating pupusas for the first time!   These are easy to make if you follow the directions.    You can change the fillings to your own liking.   These should be eaten hot!

5 years ago

Diane, I can't wait to try these.  Found the recipe for Salsa Rojo and Curdito and even the Pineapple Vinegar.  If anyone wants these I can post them.  Diane, did you have them with them?  I just can't wait to try them as they do look so good.

Carne Asada
5 years ago

(Grilled Steak that is popular in El Salvador, Mexico and all of Central America)


4 to 6 servings


2 - 3 pounds flank or skirt steak

1 - 2 thinly sliced onions

Juice from 3 oranges

Salt and Pepper to season

1/4 cup canola oil

  1. In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, mix the meat with the onions, orange juice, salt, pepper and oil. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour, or better yet overnight.
  2. Start a good fire in your grill, preferably with mesquite charcoal. Remove the meat from its marinade, pat dry and grill over hot flame until the first side is well browned, from 5-7 minutes.
  3. Turn the meat over and grill on the other side until cooked to desired doneness. Remove to a clean platter.
  4. Slice meat into thin strips across the grain and serve as a topping for tostadas or as a filling for tacos or burritos.
  • Add some lime juice along with the orange juice in the marinade. 
  • Other possible marinade additions include ground cumin, chili powder and chopped cilantro. Everyone has their own favorites.
Notes:  For a Mexican-style Fiesta: serve carne asada in tortillas with shredded cabbage, salsa mexicana, sliced red onions and guacamole. Side dishes could include frijoles de la olla, fresh radishes and grilled scallions, or cebollitas.
5 years ago

Linda, I had the salsa rojo.   I also had the chopped cabbage and carrots in the pineapple vinegar.    I was told that the "salad" (close to our cole slaw with a vinegar dressing) is eaten with the pupusas.   

Honestly, ladies and gents, this is a wonderful recipe.    You'll want to make more than 6 so double this recipe.     I posted the picture so that you can see the result you are seeking.   Fry them almost to the crispy stage and drain on paper towels.  


5 years ago

Dinner tomorrow and I am not going to be able to do the pineapple vinegar as the recipe for that says that it has to sit for 4-6 weeks to ferment properly.  But cider vinegar can be used.  It all sounds so good.  Which filling did you use, Diane or did you have?

5 years ago

The black bean, cheese and ground beef filling.   There's such a small amount added into the indentation and when you press it out the small amount of filling is spread out.   The entire pupusa has a bit of the filling in every nook and cranny.

The vinegar sauce on the cabbage can be anything you want it to be.    I'm glad you are going to try this.    I believe your grandchildren will love it.

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