Saturday, September 12, 2009

Perfect Pupusas

I'm always on the lookout for great recipes that are quick, fast, and simple. I also like to find recipes for foods that Talan can also enjoy as opposed to me having to make him something separate. I found a recipe for Pupusas a few days ago and had to give them a try.

Pupusas originated in El Salvador and are basically the Salvadorian version of a quesadilla. Apparently, if you were to travel there, you will see vendors all along the streets who sell this street food. They look almost like a piece of thick, round corn bread at first glance, but once you cut or bite into them, they have a delicious filling that is usually made up of cheese, chicken, beans, shrimp, pork, chilies, or any combination of those foods. In El Salvador they are served with curtido (a vinegary, spicy coleslaw), guacamole and/or crema (similar to sour cream).

Today, I decided to give the pupusa recipe a try today for a quick lunch. Here's what you need:

2 Cups Maseca (or any type of masa harina flour)
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Cheese, shredded (I used a Mexican blend of cheeses)
Olive or Vegetable Oil

Let me take a moment to say that upon finding this recipe, it strictly stated to use masa or masa harina ... basic corn meal will NOT work. Masa is fresh corn dough, whereas masa harina is a dough flour, or a substitute for fresh masa. You can't really find fresh masa here in the US, but masa harina can be found almost everywhere. I used Maseca brand, and Quaker Oats has it's own masa harina as well.

1. Combine the masa, water and salt in a bowl and stir to combine into a dough.
2. Divide the mixture into 6 balls and flatten each one into a 3 inch disk.
3. Place 1 tbsp of shredded cheese in the center of the disk and carefully fold in the edges to enclose the cheese.
4. Flatten the disk, covering the cheese and form into 1/4 disks (about 5-6 inches across).
5. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saute pan. Add pupusas and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side for a total of 8-10 minutes.
6. Serve and enjoy!

These are really good served with salsa and/or sour cream. I made them today and served them with homemade salsa, and I made my sweet and spicy coleslaw for Ted and I. I made my own salsa for these as I believe that even mild store bought salsa would have been too spicy for Talan, plus it's really simple to make. I made Talan a side of carrots to go along with his. Ted really enjoyed them and told me that they're something he would like to have again. I can't really speak for Talan, but he ate one whole one and half of another one, so I'm guessing that means they were good to him too!

As I always say with any recipe, remember to make these to your liking. I did some especially for me with a little extra cheese because I'm a cheese-a-holic.

The next time I make these I think I will throw in some chicken, and I may add a little spice in a few for Ted and I.


  1. This sounds really good! I'm always looking for something different to try. You have such a cute blog and I can't wait to read more!

  2. I can't believe that I've come across a recipe for pupusas. My MIL is from Guatemala and she lives in an area where she can buy these. When she visits, she'll bring some for us. We eat them with the curtido coleslaw). They are simply delicious. I never thought of actually looking for a recipe. Thanks!!!

  3. That looks good, very yummy. I've never had those before.