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    Recipe of the Week | Pupusas y Curtido

    Pupusas y Curtido | Photo Credit Randolph Graham

    Want a fun, different, and fulfilling dish? Try pupusas. A pupusa is a stuffed tortilla usually served with a spicy coleslaw called curtido. This recipe makes both.

    Pupusas originated in El Salvador, but emigrants have taken the dish to South and North American. They are hand-made and thick. Like all corn tortillas, pupusas are made using masa and are generally stuffed with one or more of the following: cheese, refried beans, fried pork rinds and chicken. The curtido is slightly salty which perfectly complements the bland (but tasty!) pupusas.

    Robert recently made tortillas for us using masa harina. He then filled them with black beans and a mozzarella-like cheese, Oaxaca (wə-hah-kə). This gave me the inspiration for my Ojai version of Pupusas y Curtido.


    Curtido Ingredients:

    4 cups shredded cabbage

    1 medium carrot, coarsely grated

    ½ cup onion (thinly sliced)

    ½ jalapeño (seeded and finely diced)

    ½ cup white vinegar

    1 teaspoons salt

    2 teaspoons sugar

    1 teaspoon dried oregano


    Pupusas Ingredients:

    4 cups gluten-free masa harina

    2 teaspoons ground cumin

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    3 cups warm water

    ½ cup cooked black beans (rinsed & mashed)

    ½ cup Oaxaca cheese (chopped or shredded)

    Vegetable oil (for frying)


    Curtido Directions:

    Pour four cups boiling water over cabbage, carrot, onion, and jalapeño in bowl. Steep five minutes. Drain.

    Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and oregano to a boil in saucepan. Pour over cabbage mixture. Cover, and allow to cool.


    Pupusas Directions:

    Combine masa harina, cumin, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Stir in three cups warm water, adding more, if needed, to form soft dough. Cover, and let stand 30 minutes.

    Line baking sheet with wax paper. Roll dough into 16 balls. Make indentation in centers of each ball. Fill eight balls with one tablespoon beans. Fill remaining eight balls with one tablespoon cheese. Fold edges over filling of each ball and roll into balls once more. Press each ball into 4-inch disks. Place on wax paper.

    Heat three teaspoons oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add four Pupusas at a time to skillet. Cook three minutes on one side turn and cook another three minutes on the other. To serve, transfer hot pupusas to your plate and spoon the curtido on the side.

    Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Grill It Cookbook: vegetarian and vegan recipes and tips for successful grilling with color photoon Sale at AMAZON

    For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

    Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.

    Get Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

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