Sopes

Sopes Recipe

 The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 12 sopes (4 servings)

Sopes are a Mexican dish made from masa and resemble a thick tortilla with pinched sides. They are gently pan fried and filled with with chicken, beans, vegetables, and crumbled cheese.

Ingredients

  • For the Sopes:
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • To serve:
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup salsa, divided
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or cojita cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  2. In a large bowl, combine masa harina and salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the warm water. Knead until mixture forms a smooth ball without lumps. If it feels a bit dry, add some more water to achieved the desired consistency.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  3. Divide the dough into 12 portions. Shape into 2-inch diameter balls and cover with plastic wrap or a wet kitchen towel to keep the dough moist and pliable. Keep a small bowl of water next to your working area. If the dough begins to stick to your hands as you are rolling and shaping the balls, occasionally dip your fingertips into the water to lightly moisten the dough. 

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  4. Working one at a time while keeping the other balls covered, place one of the balls of dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. 

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  5. If you have a tortilla press, gently press down to make a flat 1/4-inch thick disk, about the thickness of a pancake. It will be much thicker than a tortilla, so do not flatten all the way down. If you do not have a tortilla press, use a glass pie pan to evenly press down the dough into 3-or 4-inch circles. Repeat with all 12 balls of cough.

    Sopes Recipe
    Kristina Vanni 
  6. On an ungreased griddle or large sauté pan, cook dough the circles over medium-low heat for 2 minutes on each side until the dough is just set and can be turned without sticking. Work in batches of 3 or 4 circles at a time.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  7. Remove the circles from the heat and quickly pinch the edge of circles to form a 1/2-in. rim all the way around. Set aside until all the circles have been gently cooked and pinched. Be careful to protect your fingers as you are making a rim around each sope. If they are very warm, use a thin kitchen towel or paper towel as you form and shape the sopes.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  8. Add a small amount of oil to the pan and return the shaped sopes to the pan. Cook in batches until lightly browned and cooked through, about three minutes.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  9. Place the sopes on a paper towel lined plate as you finish the whole batch.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  10. In a small saucepan, combine the shredded cooked chicken breast and 1/2 cup of the salsa. Cook over medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  11. To assemble, layer each sope with some warmed refried beans, and the warmed chicken mixture. Sprinkle each sope with shredded lettuce and queso fresco. Top with remaining salsa.

    Sopes Recipe
     Kristina Vanni
  12. Serve immediately and enjoy! If eaten the same day, they may be kept wrapped in a clean kitchen towel. Cooked sopes can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and then reheated. Sopes can also be frozen and then thawed and reheated later.

Recipe Variation

  • Sopes can be filled with any of your favorite beans, proteins, or toppings. Try seasoned ground beef, shredded pork, or grilled vegetables. Finely chopped onion, Mexican crema, thinly sliced radishes, sliced avocado, diced tomato and pickled jalapenos are also great toppings for sopes.