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August 3rd, 2008 · by Cyndi · 8 Comments

Pupusas are a lovely Salvadorian food with two thick tortillas, stuffed with goodies, crimped at the edges to hold it all in. You can put anything you want in there (beans and cheese being a common vegetarian choice) and you’ve got a meal, a snack, or traveling food.

Pupusa stuffed with leftover veggies and burger

Pupusa stuffed with leftover veggies and burger

I won’t purport to have an authentic version but, so far, I’m doing pretty decently with the tortillas and am still working on fabulous fillings (cheese is easy but not on my diet). Since I can’t have most breads either, these have been like a sandwich substitute for me. I have to go easy because of the carbs, but they make wonderful treats.

You can make pupusas out of any type of masa, even masa harina (flour). But they are truly wonderful with fresh, unpowdered, masa (ground corn soaked in lime–that’s calcium carbonate, not citrus). I’ve been using Primavera’s organic masa. Just don’t try to make pupusas from pre-cooked tortillas. It won’t work.

Start with your fillings. For this recipe, I finely chopped some onions and sauteed them to remove water and add some carmelization. Then I sauteed some mushrooms, added salt to pull out water, and cooked them down.

Cooked onions next to cooking mushrooms

Cooked onions next to cooking mushrooms

Next, I processed some leftover fresh tomato and basil leaves and added it to the mushrooms.  Then I mixed everything together in a large bowl.

Mushroom/onion filling for pupusas

Mushroom/onion filling for pupusas

I also sliced up some bell peppers and sauteed them in oil with some salt and a large amount of hot pepper flakes.

Spicy hot bell peppers

Spicy hot bell peppers

I rolled the masa into balls and pressed them one at a time in-between dinner plates that were inside gallon zipper bags (see my post about making tortillas for technique details).  The tortillas went down on a dry cast iron griddle in a single layer.  Then I put a spoonful of canned beans (not my first choice but no time to make anything else), some of the peppers, and a bit of the onion/mushroom mix.  Another tortilla went on top of each one, and I crimped the edges by hand, with a butter knife, or with a fork.

Cooking pupusas on a grill

Cooking pupusas on a grill

Wait until the pupusas have cooked enough to release easily, then flip them.  Press down to make sure the top touches the griddle as much as possible.  You won’t get it all but you do want to avoid raw spots.

Finished pupusas cooling

Finished pupusas cooling

After they cooled, I wrapped each one in foil and placed into a zipper bag then into the freezer.  I’ll let you all know how well they freeze and reheat.  So far I have heated a refrigerated foil-wrapped pupusa in the toaster oven and it came out great.

Some of my favorite fillings for quickie pupusas have been leftovers.  Use your imagination.

Pupusas stuffed with whole red beans, onions, and leftover tofu

Pupusas stuffed with whole red beans, onions, and leftover tofu


Categories: Food · Grains · Main Dishes · Recipes · Snacks
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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 tikva // Aug 4, 2008 at 6:42 am

    these look delicious! i’m glad i found your blog!

  • 2 Amaizing Masa, Primavera Style | Norwitz Notions // Aug 4, 2008 at 8:49 am

    […] Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner ← The Next Food Network Star: 7/22/08 Pupusas […]

  • 3 Champoeg State Park (Oregon) | Norwitz Notions // Sep 24, 2008 at 11:48 am

    […] food we cooked (in a cast iron pan) was pupusas that I’d made before our trip, and Amy’s gluten-free, vegan pizza. Both were frozen […]

  • 4 karla // Aug 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

    yo soy salvadoreña y eso no es una pupusa es una imitacion varata de una pupusa se ve horrible kieres ver pupusas ve a mi face book

  • 5 Cyndi // Aug 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm


    Pues claro que no son autenticas (la masa si es). Pero estan deliciosos y me encantan muchas. Todo el mundo que las tratado gustan tambien. No tengo la experiencia para hacer las como sus fotos pero serve bien.

  • 6 Masa from Scratch! | Norwitz Notions // Nov 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    […] a wonderful corn flavor, a great texture, and is making excellent tortillas (and soon to be making pupusas, challah, and other cool things).  It takes 2 minutes to set up at night, another few minutes to […]

  • 7 Dora // Feb 13, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Hi! I’m Salvadorean and I feel so happy to learn that you are making your own version of our national food! Pretty much the concept is the same, you are working the “masa” and being creative with the filling… It makes me feel so proud!

  • 8 Cyndi // Feb 13, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Why thank you! That is so sweet to hear.

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