Pupusa Recipe

Pupusa Recipe foreasy-to-make El Salvadorian tortillas, filled with beans and/or small pieces of meat. Usually enjoyed with a heaping mountain of curtido--a coleslaw that actually tastes good-- and flowing rivers of mild hotsause. Bring Napkins.Makes about 4-5 pupusas


Masa harina--Powdery corn meal, found at most Mexican groceries. 2 cups
Water--In sharp decline--be sure to stock up for Y2K+7 1 cup (Warm)
Filling (see variations below) 1 cup


Basic Steps: Mix → Knead → Rest → Portion → Roll → Pan-bake In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina and water and knead well.

Knead in more water, one tablespoonful at a time, to make a moist, but fairly firm dough. (It shouldn't crack at the edges when you press down on it.)

Cover and set aside to rest 5-10 minutes. (Unionized Labor)

Roll dough into a cylinder then cut into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.

Press a hole in each ball with your thumb. Put about 1 tablespoon of desired filling into each ball and fold the dough over to completely enclose it. Press the ball out with your palms to form a disc. Be sure the filling doesn't spill out.

Place the dough between plastic wrap and roll it out with a rolling pin.

Heat an ungreased skillet over high heat. Cook each pupusa for about 1-2 minutes on each side till lightly browned and blistered. Remove to a plate and cover till all pupusas are done. Serve with curtido. (See recipe below)


Pupusas can be made plain or filled with any number of ingredients. Cheese, chicharrones (fried pork rinds) or refried beans are the most common fillings. For a cheese filling, use grated farmer's cheese, mozzarella, queso fresco or Swiss.

If you can't find chicharrones, grind 1 cup of cooked bacon with a little bit of tomato sauce in a food processor. Cooked potatoes or finely minced, sautéed jalapeño peppers are also tasty fillings. Try a mixture of different fillings.

The above 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 8-10 pupusas.


Pupusas are a particularly Salvadoran food. Salvadoran restaurants that serve them are called pupuserías.

Curtido, a type of coleslaw, is typically served with pupusas.

Pupusas are traditionally made by slapping the dough from palm to palm to flatten it out. A Tortilla press might be quicker and easier for beginners. Just line the tortilla press with plastic and press out each ball to about 5-6" wide and about 1/4" thick.


El Salvadoran cabbage salad

Makes about 4-6 servings


Cabbage shredded 1/2 head

Carrot peeled, grated 1 each

Water boiling 4 cups Scallions minced 3 each

Vinegar, white 1/2 cup

Water 1/2 cup

Oregano, fresh or dried minced or crumbled 2 T or 2 t

Crushed red pepper flakes 1 t


Basic Steps: Blanch → Mix → Chill

Place cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. cover with boiling water and let set for 5 minutes. Drain well.

Mix with the rest of the ingredients and chill.


A pinch of sugar and a little oil can be added to the salad if you like.

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