|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9g||11%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||19%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Originating in El Salvador, pupusas are a traditional dish made of corn tortillas that can be stuffed with a few different ingredients. Pupusas are a favorite dish in El Salvador, so much so, they have a day set aside to celebrate this much-beloved food; the second Sunday of November is National Day of Pupusas.
When they're filled with cheese, they are called pupusas de queso; they can also be filled with beans and/or Salvadoran-style chicharrón (shredded pork); a pupusa revuelta has all three fillings. Pupusas are usually eaten with your bare hands, but be careful, as the filling inside the corn tortillas is very hot when served immediately.
If you are having a hard time finding traditional quesillo cheese, a Salvadoran cheese, you can substitute with other types of cheeses, such as queso fresco, mozzarella, or farmer cheese, or even Monterey Jack.
3 cups masa harina (corn flour for making tortillas)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup refried beans, optional
1 cup chicharrón (pork rind), optional
Vegetable oil, for oiling hands and skillet
1 cup grated quesillo
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, mix the masa harina with the water and salt, stirring well. Add more water if necessary to obtain a soft dough that does not crack around the edges when flattened.
Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap, for about 15 minutes.
If using the refried beans and/or the chicharrón, place in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. The consistency should be like a paste.
Divide the dough into about 6 pieces.
Lightly oil your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them (just a small amount of vegetable oil will do). Form each piece of dough into a ball, then make an indentation in the ball.
Place the grated quesillo, beans, chicharrón, or a combination of fillings in the indentation, and carefully wrap dough around the filling to seal.
Flatten the ball into a disk, about 1/4 inch thick, being careful to keep the filling from leaking out of the edges. This can take a little practice.
Wipe a very small amount of oil onto the surface of a heavy skillet (cast iron works well). Heat the skillet over medium heat, and place the pupusas in the skillet.
Once the bottoms of the pupusas are browned, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and serve warm with a side of pickled cabbage slaw (curtido) and tomato sauce (salsa roja) if desired.
Pupusas vs. Arepas
Although pupusas resemble arepas, the two Latin American specialties are different from one another. Pupusas are from El Salvador, while arepas are a signature dish in Venezuela and Colombia. They are both griddle-cooked corn cakes, but the dough for pupusas is made with nixtamalized (alkaline-treated) corn, which gives them the same distinctive nutty corn flavor as tortillas and tamales. Arepas are made with masarepa, a special cornmeal, making this handheld treat creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside.