Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pupusas, heard of them?

My mom is from El Salvador as most of you know. And in El Salvador the pupusa is what eggrolls are to China. Pupusas basically consist of a corn tortilla dough on the outside with beans, cheese and a pork mixture called chicharon stuffed inside. They are eaten with a pickled cabbage mixture called curtido. It is definitely one of my comfort foods. While I was in Las Vegas this past visit I learned more in the art of pupusa making. Since there is a filling on the inside it's tricky to get the inside to stay in. I took some pictures of my mama with her master skills and wanted to share.

Under careful supervision, I was able to make the curtido and it was amazing. I'm going to include the curtido recipe below. I'm not quite ready to have a step by step on how to make pupusas, but I will include it sometime in the future (when I don't end up with a cheesy mess of a pupusa). Even if you don't have a pupusa to eat this with, it's a great topping on tacos, enchiladas or an alternative to salsa. Enjoy!

Salvadoran Curtido, 30 minutes
(the beauty of this recipe is that there is no cooking/boiling, which is a lengthy process that a lot of people use)

1 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced and cut down into 1" in length
1 onion, thinly sliced from end to end
2 carrots, grated
1/2 chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno cut into thin rounds
3/8 cup of coarse salt
1 cup water
3 cups of apple cider vinegar

Add cabbage, onion, carrots and cilantro to a large bowl, mix. Add coarse salt to mixture. Using your hand, mix in the salt and squeeze cabbage. Continue to squeeze cabbage mixture and mix with hand. The point of this is to extract the water from the vegetables. You know you're done when there is about a fourth an inch of water at the bottom of the bowl.

Prepare a container with a lid, grab a handful of cabbage and squeeze out all the salt water, place it in your container. Do this until all your cabbage mixture is in your lidded container and only salt water is left in your first bowl. The purpose of this is to remove the salt from the cabbage mixture.

Add jalapenos (do not add before, as they may cause heat burn), water and vinegar. Seal with lid and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours before using. And done!

(Pupusa recipe soon to come!)


  1. Yeah the only way I know how to cook curtido is by boiling and cooking it. I finally had my mom show me the whole process. After all, she is the one who taught my grandma how to make them. haha. I bet you didn't know that one. ;)
    But yeah, it takes some work. I'm interested how to see if your recipe of pupusas is easier then the one I have. If so, I might just switch over. The beans alone take almost a whole day to cook but man do they turn out good!

  2. I just had these for the first time yesterday. On my weekend recipe list!



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