Pupusas are a Salvadoran dish consisting of a corn tortilla made with cornmeal or rice flour and filled with a wide range of ingredients, including pork, shrimp, fish, pumpkin, squash, beans and spinach. They are widely consumed in Central America, especially in Honduras and El Salvador.
In our favorite Pupusa recipe, we will teach you how to prepare the traditional pupusa made with loroco, an edible flower widely used in cooking that is famous for its wonderful aroma and subtle flavor. For the dough, we are going with cornmeal flour, but you can also try it with rice flour.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The name ‘Pupusa’ comes from the Nahuatl word ‘pupushawa’, which roughly translates ‘swollen’. The dish is believed to have originated in the Mesoamerican region, which ranges from southern Mexico all the way to the southern tip of North America in Costa Rica, and is a by-product of the ‘corn culture’ in the area.
While it’s difficult to determine the exact place where the pupusa originated, it is in El Salvador where it was adopted as a national dish and is now consumed widely across the country. As a matter of fact, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador has decreed that every second Sunday in November be celebrated as National Pupusa Day!
In Central America, the pupusa is a dish for the rich and the poor alike. It is served with tanning, which is a finely chopped cabbage and carrot, mixed with vinegar, onion and salt. In some places, a delicious sauce is also added, which is a blended combination of red tomato, onion, paprika, oregano, seasoning, chicken broth, water and salt.
- Masa Harina (Cornmeal Flour)- 1lbs
- Loroco (medium chopped) - ½lbs
- Layered or String Cheese (cut into chunks or strips) - ½lbs
- Olive Oil
- In a suitable container, prepare the dough, add a little water to soften (approximately 1/2 cup) and mix until you get a uniform paste, somewhat sticky, but with consistency.
- Take a small ball of dough, make a medium-thick tortilla of the size you want, add the loroco and chopped cheese, spreading evenly on the tortilla.
- With the filling in the tortilla, close it and make a ball, then pat until you get a tortilla again. Avoid excess filling because it will burn if it is exposed.
- Place it preferably on a hot clay comal, or in a greased Teflon pan. Alternatively, moisten with olive oil.
- Let each side of the tortilla cook, preventing it from burning and sticking, with the help of a spatula to turn it over or peel it off. It is normal for the cheese to come out of the sides (just like a hot pizza)
- After cooking, serve hot and accompany with a thick tomato sauce, well-seasoned guacamole and a tanning of finely chopped cabbage and carrot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 440mgCarbohydrates: 15g