Pupusas are stuffed round corn cakes, or patties, from El Salvador. They are made from masa harina dough, like corn tortillas, that is shaped into a disc and stuffed with a variety of ingredient.
By Nancy Lopez-McHugh
Pupusas can be stuffed with cheese, meat, beans or vegetables. If you’re familiar with Hispanic food think of Pupusas as a relative to Mexican gorditas or South American arepas. Additionally pupusas are served alongside a traditional fermented cabbage salad called curtido.
As you can see from the photos my pupusas aren’t quite authentic El Salvadoran pupusas. These are more of a gordita-pupusa Spicie Foodie fusion… Or something like that. For starters the dough I used was fine yellow corn flour not the white masa harina called for. (yellow corn flour makes a great substitute) The cheese, I’ve used Feta, my queso fresco substitute, instead of a melting white cheese. To give the pupusas my special touch I added red pepper flakes to the dough. Lastly instead of serving alongside curtido I choose refried beans and Mexican salsa. Regardless of authenticity these pupusas are also very good. In the past I’ve made my pupusas in the traditional way but every once in a while it’s good to change up recipes.
- 1½ cup corn flour + 1 cup white flour OR
- 2.5 cups
- Maseca Instant Corn Masa
- (masa harina)
- red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1.5 tsp)
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp sunflower or corn oil
- 1 cup or 250 ml lukewarm water
- 200 gm or 7 oz crumbled/grated feta or
- queso fresco
- or any melting white cheese
- comal or griddle
- Heat a comal or griddle. In a large bowl combine the flours or masa harina, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour oil and water. Stir until a wet dough is formed. The dough will not have elasticity like that of other breads.
- Divide the dough into even sizes.
- Make a flat disc between your palms.
- Place crumbled/grated cheese in center of disc.
- Gather all sides up to make a round pouch and form back into a ball.
- Once shaped into a ball flatten between your palms into a disc.
- Place the shaped pupusas onto the heated comal or griddle, and cook for about 4 minutes on each side.
- Beans, salsa, avocado or your favorite sides and toppings