For the Dough
2 cups Instant Masa Harina (corn flour)
(I recommend the Maseca brand)
1 ¼ cups warm water
salt to taste
For the Filling
For Cheese Pupusas you will need 2 to 4 cups of finely shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (or quesillo, queso fresco, mozzarella).
For Bean and Cheese Pupusas you will also need re-fried black or red beans. You can use canned beans. I recommend the Ducal brand.
2 cups shredded green cabbage
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup thinly sliced onion
4 cups white or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns (optional)
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes or 1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Pupusas with Curtido
Pupusas are hand-made filled tortillas made using ‘masa de maíz’ (corn flour dough that is used in Latin American cuisine). They are filled with one or more of the following ingredients:
cheese (queso - usually a soft Salvadorian cheese called queso fresco), fried pork rind (chicharrón), chicken (pollo), re-fried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con Loroco (a small, green unopened flower bud from the Loroco vine found in Central America and used as a herb). Only a few Mexican stores carry Lorocco, but this ingredient is a must for some people.
Add all the curtido ingredients to a large bowl or glass jar with a lid. Stir to combine the ingredients. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or seal the jar with the lid.
Marinate the curtido for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight before using. The curtido will last up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Place the masa harina (corn flour) and salt to a large bowl. Add the water and knead by hand for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is formed but is still moist and slightly sticky. If needed add more water. The dough can be prepared the day before. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Tip: It helps to lightly oil or dampen your hands when working the dough
Divide the dough into small balls, about 2 inches in diameter.
Take a dough ball into the palm of your hand and gently press with your fingers or thumb to form a cup and make room for the filling. Add about a tablespoon of cheese (or cheese and bean) filling. Pull and fold the masa around the filling and press the edges together to seal well, making sure none of the filling leaks out.
Using your hands gently roll the filled masa into a ball and then press and flatten to form a disc of about 4 – 6 inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Be careful not to press too hard so that the filling is squeezed out. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just choose the method that works for you. If some filling comes out just reseal the edge and carry on.
Repeat with the remaining masa balls and filling.
Heat a large, nonstick heavy-based skillet over a medium to high heat.
Using lightly oiled or dampened hands carefully pick up a pupusa and place onto the pre-heated skillet. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes per side, or until lightly golden and puffed up. Turn occasionally to ensure they are nicely browned and cooked on both sides.
Repeat with remaining pupusas.
Now that the pupusas are all lightly golden and puffed up they ready to be served.
Serve the pupusas warm with marinated curtido and a tomato salsa of choice. Try making a Mexican restaurant-style red salsa that they serve with their chips.
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