This week we've talked about making tortillas (with or without a press). Another delicious use for masa harina, or instant corn flour, is sopes. Filled with beans, meat, or vegetables, these Mexican street snacks make fantastic appetizers, but we also like eating them for lunch or dinner. They're easy to make, and with the help of a friend or family member, the work goes very quickly.
What You Need
Oil for frying
Toppings (see Additional Notes)
Clean kitchen towel
The following instructions will make about 12 sopes.
1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup masa harina, a pinch of salt, and 2/3 cup warm water. Knead to form a smooth, moist dough. If the mixture is too dry, add more water, a teaspoon at a time.
2. Roll the dough into balls the size of a walnut, or about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
3. Flatten each ball into a round disk about 1/4 inch thick.
4. Place in an ungreased skillet over medium heat. Cook about 2 minutes on each side, until brown spots appear.
5. Remove from skillet and, while still warm, pinch up the edges.
6. Add 1/4 inch oil to the skillet and increase heat to high. Fry the sopes on both sides until golden.
7. Remove from skillet, fill with toppings, and serve immediately.
In Mexico, traditional toppings for sopes vary by region. Common toppings include beans, meat, salsa, cheese, and crema or sour cream. The recipe for our fresh vegetarian topping is below, and here are a few other ideas:
• Carnitas (The Kitchn)
• Chorizo and Potato (Food Network)
• Shredded Chicken (We Are Never Full)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow squash or zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 chile pequíns , smashed (or other dried or fresh chile if you prefer)
1 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained if using canned)
Salt and pepper
1 tomato, diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 avocado, diced and sprinkled with juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup queso fresco
Chimayó chile powder (or other chile powder)
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add squash, onion, garlic, and chile, and sauté until squash is just cooked. Add black beans and cook until heated through.
Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in tomatoes and cilantro.
Spoon the topping into the sopes. Top with avocado, queso fresco, and a dusting of chile powder.
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(Images: Emily Ho)