Olymel November Newsletter – Pupusa Recipe

We would like to start featuring recipes from Olymel members, like Emelyn Palattao, to recognize and celebrate the different cultures at the workplace. This month, our recipe comes from El Salvador. Pupusas is the national dish of El Salvador and is similar to flatbread or a pancake. It is made with corn flour (masa) and can be filled with a variety of different savory fillings, like cheese, beans, beef, pork or veggies. This recipe comes from our friend and sister Yesi Barrios.

Start with Masa Harina or Masa Harina Seca, which you can find at any grocery store.

Salt: I use Kosher salt, but you can use table salt.

Cheese: Use quesillo cheese if you can find it and it should be available at any local Mexican grocery store. If you cannot find quesillo cheese, you can substitute mozzarella,

Oil: The oil is meant to cook the pupusas. I use vegetable oil, but you can
use any oil with a low smoking point.

Step 1: Make the Dough
In a mixing bowl, mix together salt and masa harina. Then add the water in slow portions and knead the dough with your hands until it forms a Play-Doh-like consistency.

Step 2: Form the Pupusas
Form the dough into balls of about 2 inches in diameter. Use your fingers to form a pocket in the middle of the dough ball, leaving the edges thick.  Add about 2 tbsp of shredded cheese in the middle of the pupusa dough. Then use the edges of the dough to cover the cheese pocket, sealing off the pupusa.  Wet your hands lightly in water or oil, and use your hands to gently flatten the pupusa into a disk.

Step 3: Cook the Pupusas
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Add the pupusa into the pan, and cook for about 3-5 minutes on one side, until the outside is crispy and begins to turn brown. Flip the pupusa and grill again on the other side. Repeat this process, re-oiling the skillet between each batch.

Traditional Filling Options: Refried Beans; Cheese and Refried Beans; Chicharrón and Cheese; Just Chicharrón; or Cheese, Refried Beans, and Cheese. You can use beef, chicken, pork, chorizo, or your favorite taco meat.