Tag Archives: pupusas

Black Bean Pupusas with Homemade Salsa & Guacamole

1 Aug

om nom nom nom.

Ever since I tried pupusas at the farmer’s market last weekend, I’ve been wanting to make them on my own! Not an easy task. The dough is a bit hard to work with (it’s just masa harina and water) and it kept cracking on me when I was forming the tasty little pupusas. Ack! So, mine aren’t the prettiest or most accurate looking, but it was a fun experience and I want to try again with different flavors!

For those of you who don’t know what a pupusa is (like me two weeks ago), it’s a “traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, hand-made corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of the following: cheese, cooked pork meat ground to a paste consistency, refried beans, or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America)”. As usual, Wikipedia has all the answers (just not for your college thesis).

This was basically the recipe I used, but the ratio of water to flour was way off. Followed exactly, my dough was overly dry and not pliable. I added at least another 1/2 cup-3/4 cup of water while working with it. The site was a good resource for the method of how exactly to form them, but I would make sure that your dough is wet enough before jumping in to rolling the pupusa (unlike me, who was impatient and ended up with the black bean filling oozing out through all the cracks). Mine were much MUCH thicker than an actual pupusa should be and you typically got a mouthful of the corn tortilla more than the black bean filling. Still, very good and filling! Especially with fresh, homemade salsa and guac on the side!

Black Bean Pupusas (Adapted from this recipe)

  • 2 cups masa harina (pretty easy to find–I got the Bob’s Red Mill kind!)
  • 1 cup warm water (I needed MUCH more than this)
  • 1 cup of whatever filling you like (in my case, black beans and green onions!)
In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina and water and knead well. Knead in more water, one tablespoonful at a time if needed, to make a moist, yet firm dough. (It should not crack at the edges when you press down on it.) This was a little tricky to do because it seemed like either the dough was too wet or too dry. Cover and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Press an indentation in each ball with your thumb. Put about 1 tablespoon of desired filling into each indentation and fold the dough over to completely enclose it. Press the ball out with your palms to form a disc, taking care that that the filling doesn’t spill out. In an ideal world, this would have happened. Mine just kept cracking, no matter what I did. Ugly food can be tasty food too!

Line a tortilla press with plastic and press out each ball to about 5 or 6 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. If you don’t have a tortilla press, place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin. Or just press them between your palms like me since you don’t have a tortilla press or wax paper!

Heat a greased skillet (or a griddle) over medium-high flame. Cook each pupusa for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and blistered. Remove to a plate and hold warm until all pupusas are done. EAT.

  • I definitely think this is a great, basic recipe. There’s so much you can do to create more variety and different flavors, even if it isn’t traditional! A cheesy spinach-artichoke mix or something sweet like a berry mash might be interesting to try!
  • I made all my pupusas first and then threw them all onto my griddle. Yes, the griddle you make pancakes on. Didn’t even need to use any oil, but I’m sure they would have tasted even better fried…
  • Guac and salsa made this dish. Dippable foods are just so much more fun.
  • Though I had some issues with the dough, I will definitely be trying this out again. So much potential!

bright and delicious!

I HAD to find an excuse to use some of my new/used pyrex…so we made some honey-sweetened lemonade! I think it’s a little absurd for lemonade to have 2 cups of refined sugar in it! Really not good for you. Honey, agave nectar, stevia or maple syrup are far superior sweeteners! Side note: need to buy a little citrus juicer. It was so tedious hand-squeezing 9 lemons (though my significant other did 7 of them) 🙂 I think I’ll have to make an “Arnold Palmer” tonight…