Papusas with Spicy Slaw

  in Appetizers, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Papusas, or stuffed tortillas, are a popular dish in El Salvador and are traditionally served with curtido, a spicy slaw. Papusas are easy and fun to make and can be filled with meat, cheese, beans, or potatoes.

2 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup grated cheese: queso fresco, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella
Vegetable oil

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, peeled, grated
1/2 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dry oregano, Mexican if you have it
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • Make the curtido first: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let sit while you make the papusas. Curtido tastes better the longer it marinates. Try to make it a couple hours or even the day before you plan to serve it.
  • Combine the masa harina, salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Stir and knead to form a smooth, moist dough using a wooden spoon or your hands. It should have a play dough consistency. If it’s too dry, add a teaspoon of water to moisten. If it’s too wet, add a teaspoon of masa harina. Let dough sit for 15 minutes.
  • Form the dough into 8 equal sized balls. Dip your hands in a little oil to keep the dough from sticking. Using your thumb, form a little deep cup with one of the balls. Fill the cup with 1 tablespoon of cheese and gradually wrap the dough around the filling to seal it. Pat the dough down and back and forth between your hands to form a disk about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining balls.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and add a little oil. Fry the pupusas for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and blackened in a few spots. Serve warm with curtido and salsa.