Pupusas, arepas, y tortillas

For the first time in a while I made pupusas yesterday.  Pupusas are corn meal cakes that are often stuffed and topped from El Salvador.  This time I made it with encurdito to top it, a kind of crunchy cole slaw topping.  I also stuffed them with cheese.     


There are many corn fritter type snacks from Latin America.  Colombia and Venezuela are known for Arepas, often stuffed with cheese, meat, or other things.  Usually the corn arepas are made with is white.  Mexico has sopes, which have ridges perfect for putting your topping inside.  In Panama tortillas are crispy, fried corn cakes, made from a sweet yellow cornmeal.  I have not been able to find a comparable corn meal to that from Panama here in the United States.   I may be biased, but Panamanian tortillas are my favorite of these corn based creations, most likely because they are almost always fried and usually topped with cheese.


Anyhow, the cornmeal used to make pupusas is available in the United States to buy under several brand names.  I made these with Maseca.  So, here is the recipe:


Encurdito (coleslaw):

½ head of cabbage chopped

2 carrots shredded

½ red onion finely chopped

1 clove of garlic grated

1 cup of white vinegar

Salt and pepper


Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  



2 cups corn meal

2 cups warm water

1 cup of shredded cheese (I used colby jack, but any will do)

1 teaspoon of salt

Cheese slices to stuff with


Mix all ingredients together until integrated and let sit for 10 minutes.  Form balls of dough, the bigger the better for stuffing.  Make a hole with your thumb in the ball and insert cheese, flatten out into a disc shape.  Cook over med/low heat until brown and hard on both sides.  Serve hot with encurtido to top.  


They are really best eaten when still hot, and are not as delicious when re-heated.  How do I know they were really good?  The kids ate them, minus the encurtido of course.  Do you have any recipes for corn fritters, arepas, tortillas, or pupusas?  I’d love to hear about them.  Buen provecho!


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