I think one of the things Salvadorans are most prideful of are their famous pupusas. But what are pupusas, you may ask? Well they are stuffed corn tortillas with fillings such as chicharron (pork), queso (cheese), frijoles (beans) and queso con loroco (cheese with loroco). Pupusas are served with curtido, a mixture of cabbage, carrots, jalapenos and white vinegar mixed together and salsa roja.

 

The correct and only way to eat a pupusa is with your hands. When it comes to pupusas, we don’t know what forks or knives are. That’s just how it is. We didn’t  make the rule! But we can say that one bite of the cheesy traditional dish and you’ll understand why Leonardo DiCaprio once said, “I’m a pupusas man myself!”

 

 

Today we’ll be telling you how to make pupusas de loroco y queso (loroco plant and cheese) and pupusas de frijoles y queso (beans and cheese). Luckily, we had the help of our Salvadoran grandma, but don’t fret, we got you covered. 

Preparation for the masa (dough)

To make the masa or dough simply mix the dough (corn meal) with cold water. Grandma’s way of doing it is by eyeballing the amount of dough she mixes with the water. So if you want to do it like a Salvadoran, eyeball — we trust you! Slowly add the water and with your hands, constantly fold the water into the mixture until it becomes a clay-like consistency. 

Pupusas de loroco y queso (loroco plant and cheese)

Ingredients
  • Masa (corn meal dough) 
  • Loroco plant,1 packet. Loroco is a plant native to Central America and is mainly found in El Salvador. Hint: when picking the loroco make sure it’s dark green, the greener the better
  • Mozzarella cheese, 1packet

 

 

Preparation

  1. Shred the mozzarella cheese into a bowl.
  2. Rinse the loroco for a couple of seconds.
  3. In a food processor, mix half of the loroco and a little bit of cheese until chopped. Then mix the other half of loroco with cheese and place into a bowl. 
  4. Once you have all the loroco and cheese grated together, put them in a bowl and fold it all together with your hands.
  5. Have a bowl of oil set to the side.
  6. Take a golf size amount of masa (dough) and roll it into a ball. Pat some oil onto the dough and flatten it out with your hands, making sure it’s evenly round. 
  7. Grab some loroco and cheese mix and place it in the middle. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch any excess off. 
  8. Pat the dough between your hands with a gentle clapping motion. If the masa cracks, patch it up with oil. Try to flatten out in an even manner. Once you are done place it on a preheated griddle which should be lightly oiled. 
  9. Flip each pupusa until it’s a nice golden brown on both sides. If the filling comes out, gently push it back in with a spatula.

Pupusas de frijoles y queso (beans and cheese)

Ingredients
  • Masa (corn meal dough) 
  • Refried Frijoles (beans) — refried beans can be bought or cooked at home
  • Mozzarella cheese, 1packet

 

 

Preparation

  1. Shred the mozzarella cheese into a bowl.
  2. Combine the refried beans with the shredded cheese into a bowl and mix it together with your hands. 
  3. Have a bowl of oil set to the side 
  4. Take a golf size amount of masa (dough) and roll it into a ball. Pat some oil onto the dough and flatten it out with your hands, making sure it’s evenly round. 
  5. Grab some cheese and beans mix and place it in the middle. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch any excess off. 
  6. Pat the dough between yours hands with a back-and-forth motion like a gentle clapping motion. If the masa cracks, patch it up with oil. Try to flatten out in an even manner. Once you are done place it on a preheated griddle which should be lightly oiled. 
  7. Flip each pupusa until it’s a nice golden brown on both sides. If the filling comes out, gently push it back in with a spatula.

 

 

 

 

Editor Amanda Sanchez contributed to this article. 

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