I can’t say that I hate making pupusas, but it’s not exactly at the top of my list of favorite dishes to make. They’re just so tedious, but the flavor is soooo rewarding. Everything goes together so well and btw, this is another one of those recipes that I’ve never tried outside of my own cooking. I kept hearing about pupusas and I had to try one. I looked through a few recipes online, but nothing had exact measurements. Oddly enough my Spanish grandmother’s recipes were the same. You use your senses. It should feel like this, it should look like that. Luckily, I have spent my life making tamales, so I know how the masa is supposed to feel and look. Unfortunately, not everyone has been so lucky and needs actual measurements. I measured it out for everyone. This recipe will give you 4 large pupusas. For more, double the recipe.
Makes 4 Pupusas
5 chili de arbol, seeds removed
⅔ of a 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 med sweet yellow onion, diced
4 c water
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp chicken bullion
2 chicken breast
4 hatch chilis, roasted seeded and minced
2 ¼ c masa
2 c water
⅔ tbs beef bullion
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
4 slices provolone (you can use any cheese you want)
2 c oil for frying
1 c Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
½ tsp epazoté
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tbs water
1 ½ tsp brown sugar
⅔ c cilantro, chopped
½ c yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 c tri colored slaw
Start by making your sauce.
Add the first 5 ingredients to a blender and puré until smooth. Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Once hot, CAREFULLY pour your sauce in. It will pop and simmer immediately. Bring to a boil and add the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 45 minutes until reduced by ½. Once done, reduce to low.
While the sauce is going. Add the chicken breast to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once the chicken is done boiling, transfer to a bowl and loosely cover with foil or plastic wrap while you get everything else done. The chicken needs to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes or it will dry out.
While the chicken is cooking, get the slaw going. In a deep bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Mix well until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Add the cilantro, onion and slaw mix. Toss well, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
It should be about time to make the pupusas, Finally! Add masa to a bowl and mix in the water, bullion, chili powder and paprika. You can use your hands for this. Make sure everything is mixed well. Dampen your hands before making these. Take ½ cup of masa. Make a partial ball with your hands and flatten it out to about ½” thick or so. Scoop
⅓ cup of mix and place it in the center of the masa. Top with 1 slice of provolone. Set on a ceramic or other smooth surface. Take another ⅓ c masa and make another masa disk. Center it over the pupusa and roll the edges over and press to seal. Repeat process with the remaining ingredients. Once the pupusas are done, add the 2 cups of oil to a nonstick pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Carefully add the pupusas. You will likely have to cook these in batches so, 1-2 pupusas at a time. Fry on one side for 7-10 minutes depending on your cooktop. Carefully flip over and cook an additional 7-10 minutes. You can preheat your oven to warm to keep these pupusas hot while finishing the remaining pupusas. Once everything is done, plate up by topping with the red sauce, shredded cheese, slaw and sour cream.