I remember the first time that I ate pupusas from El Salvador. my older sister brought it from her work. Since she works as a pre-k teacher, on Thanksgiving they throw a party and ask their students parents to bring a dish from their country. So, of course someone brought pupusas and since there was left overs, my sister brought some for us to eat. I fell inlove, it was so good!
Cheesy and fulfilling, I knew that I had to learn how to make it. I honestly thought it was a bit difficult to make, don’t ask me why I thought that, but I did. So I never really put effort into researching about the recipe, until yesterday! Well I made these pupusas yesterday but I have been reading a few blogs and looking at a few YouTube videos on “how to make pupusas” and since the explanation and instructions were straight forward, I gave it a shot.
You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make Salvadorian pupusas and how delicious these are to eat. I decided to make the more popular pupusas, which are stuffed with refried beans and cheese. I used mozzarella cheese but you can definitely use, queso fresco, oaxaca cheese or Salvadorian cheese. You can also stuff your pupusas dough with chicharones (pork cracklings), cheese, chicken and whatever else you think you might like. I go with the traditional and simple option.
The pupusas are eaten with a traditional Cole slaw cabbage salad named “curtido”, I made my Cole slaw salad pretty simple, just adding white vinegar, salt and ground pepper to it. Easy peasy for me and it taste good too. I love eating food from different countries because it gives me a sense of their culture and I am no picky eater, so I will try anything once. I wish my kids were like me, but a mother can only wish and pray.
The masa that you are going to need to make the pupusas is corn flour. I used the brand “Maseca” which is the more popular one to use but you can buy any other brand, just make sure it states in the bag that it’s for making tortillas, pupusas, tamales and so on.
Now let’s get started with this delicious Salvadorian pupusas recipe so you can make it and enjoy, just like I did.
3 cups of corn flour “masa harina”(depends on how much you are making, this made about 7 pupusas for me)
2 to 3 cups of warm water with salt (this will depend on how much water you will need to get the right consistency)
refried beans ( I bought a regular can but only used about 1 cup)
Shredded cheese ( to your liking) mozarella or queso fresco.
Cole slaw ( I bought a pre-made package at the super market)
red or white onion ( to your liking)
salt, pepper and white vinegar ( for the Cole slaw salad, again to your liking)
Making the masa for the pupusas :
This one is fairly straight forward. All you have to do is add the corn flour in a large bowl, and add the salted water little by little in the corn flour. Mix and knit the masa well, and constantly adding water as needed, until dough forms. You want like a playdoh consistency, soft but firm, you know? Once you have reached the right consistency, set the masa aside.
The “curtido” salad (really a Cole slaw salad):
In a bowl or plate, add the store bought Cole slaw mixture with shredded carrots, white vinegar, salt and pepper and mix very well. Set aside.
For the pupusas:
1.Now, all you have to do is grab a small amount of the masa and make a ball using the palms of your hands.
2.You can add a little bit of oil to it, so the masa doesn’t stick to your hands. Once you have formed a ball with the masa, now you want to pat it down forming a 2-inch tortilla disc shaped masa.
3.With your fingers make an indentation in the middle of it and that’s where you are going to fill it one spoonful of beans (refried) and small handful of cheese at the center of each pupusa.
4.Once you are done filling in your masa, carefully form it back into a ball, seal the masa together and pat it down back and forth like if you are forming a tortilla. The pupusas looks like a tortilla but they are filled with yummy goodness.
In a griddle or skillet add about 1/2 tablespoon of oil and place the pupusas and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes at medium heat. Until the masa is golden brown. Cook on both sides of course! Do not worry if it starts breaking a little bit, it will still taste delicious!
Now all you have to do is enjoy these delicious, simple and fulfilling authentic Salvadorian pupusas.