Pupusas are stuffed corn tortillas that are traditionally served with curtido. This delicious South American dish (popular in El Salvador and Honduras) is a simple to make meal that just might become a family favourite.
Curtido is a fermented sauerkraut-esque condiment from El Salvador. It is traditionally served with pupusas; however, I’ve also seen it served on tacos at trendy Mexican restaurants.
In addition to serving curtido with South American cuisine, I like fermented curtido on pretty much anything barbecued or in cheese sandwiches.
- A head of cabbage
- A medium onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 tbsp oregano (Mexican if you have it)
- A hot pepper or 1 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
- 1-2 tsp pickling salt (to taste).
- Grate or finely chop the vegetables.
- Toss them in a bowl with oregano, pepper and salt
- Pack the mixture into jars for fermentation leaving at least 2" of head room. Use a spoon to really press all the cabbage into the jars so that there are no air bubbles.
- Place the jar in a bowl or on a tray somewhere at room temperature and out of the sun.
- After 4 hours, press it down again. The cabbage should have released enough moisture to completely submerge the vegetables. If it hasn't top it off with a bit of purified water. Make sure the cabbage is kept away from air (see notes for fermentation container options).
- The curtido will bubble for the first three days. It is usually eaten fresh, so it will be ready after 5 days.
- Store in the refrigerator.
-To make sure that your fermenting vegetables aren’t exposed to air, use either fido jars or mason jar with an airlock or pickle-nipple lid. Alternatively a crock or a mason jar with a weight to keep the vegetables below the brine will work too.
-If this is your first time fermenting, I recommend reading about the basic rules for fermentation.
Pupusas are a fat corn tortilla that has been stuffed with refried beans, cheese, cooked vegetables or cooked ground pork. Though it is usually served with curtido, I also like eating pupusas with a variety of salsas and sauces.
- 3 cups masa flour
- 2⅔ cup water
- 2 tsp salt
- Mix masa flour with salt and water to form a stiff dough. If you like to pre-ferment your flour, replace ⅓ cup of water with a starter (see notes).
- Allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide dough into 12 balls. Fill the balls by turning them into a small bowl-like shape and putting in 1 tbsp of filling. Then seal the filling into the center of the ball and flatten into a disk.
- Fry on medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, until the masa is browning.
- Serve immediately with curtido.
-To pre-ferment your masa flour replace 1/3 cup of water with a starter: kombucha, milk kefir, sauerkruat juice, yogurt, etc.
-Fillings include: refried beans, white cheese, cilantro and/or fried ground pork.
-Don’t worry too much if the stuffing leaks out. The pupusa will probably fry up just fine. My 9-year old regularly makes pupusas on his own, and he definitely isn’t a perfectionist when it comes to filling them.