BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Salvadoran Pupusas with Cheese

I have loved Salvadoran pupusas (stuffed corn tortillas) for a long time, and yet had yet to make them until recently. Upon tasting my first batch (and, um, there have been 3 since yesterday afternoon…) I couldn’t get over how scrumptious they were, especially considering how easy they were to make. The tortilla-forming takes a bit of practice, but have faith—you’ll get it quickly.

The first time I made them, I stuck with simple, classic cheese filling as shown here. The second and third time, however, I got more creative, filling them once with black beans and cheese and again with roasted vegetables. Feel free to experiment.

Note: to make the classic cabbage slaw shown here that pupusas are often served with, simply toss together 1/2 cabbage, sliced thinly, juice of 1 lime, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped, salt and pepper to taste.

  • Ingredients
  • 4 cups masa harina $2 for 1 lb
  • pinch of salt Pantry
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack or queso blanco $3.50 for 8 oz
Total cost of Ingredients $5.50


Mix masa harina, salt and water together in a bowl to make a sticky dough (add a touch more water if it’s too crumbly after stirring well). Divide the dough into 8 balls.

Place a ball between two pieces of wax paper and roll out, using hands or a rolling pin, into a 6” circle. Set on a plate coated lightly with masa harina. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

To assemble a pupusa, place 1/4 cup shredded cheese on top of one dough round. Spread out evenly. Top with a second dough round and pinch edges gently to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and cheese.

To cook, heat an ungreased griddle or pan (preferably cast iron) over high heat. Cook the pupusas for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred in places.

Serve hot, with cabbage slaw and salsa if desired.

Makes 4 pupusas.

Category: Meals

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Lisa, on Aug 23, 02:35 PM, wrote:

The technique I learned in El Salvador is a little different. You pat out one fairly thick tortilla between your hands (doesn’t matter if it’s perfectly round). You can even just press the dough out. Helps if you dampen your hands with water or, if you like, some oil (prevents sticking). Place the tortilla in your non-dominant hand and cup your hand so that the tortilla forms a cup. Grab a handful of cheese in the other hand and stuff it into the cup (by practice you will figure out how much cheese to use). Then enfold the cheese with the dough — that is, you gather up the edges of the tortilla and pinch them together in a little knot on top of the cheese. Then pat the tortilla out again carefully with the cheese inside. Doesn’t matter if they are a little thick or irregular. When you place the pupusa on the griddle, use your hand to flatten it out and make the shape more regular, right on the griddle. Again, moistening your hands with water or greasing them with a little oil helps.

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