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Luis Vasques cooking pupusas
Luis Vasquez prepares pupusas.

Pupusas, or stuffed corn tortillas, are one of the foods Luis Vasquez misses the most from his home in Sabana Grande, Honduras. “In Honduras, everywhere you go, you see pupusas,” he said. “I love pupusas—they have everything I need in a meal, and they fill you up. You can add literally anything you want in them.” Vasquez is the kitchen manager and Honduran cuisine specialist for Little Rock, Arkansas restaurant Dos Rocas, which specializes in Latin American street food. 

Vasquez made sure pupusas are on the menu at Dos Rocas, but if you’re not going to be in Little Rock any time soon, he shared a recipe you can try at home.

Pupusas 

Ingredients
2 cups Maseca or other corn flour masa
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon cumin
1 pound Oaxacan cheese, salted mozzarella or Honduran quesillo, shredded 

Pupusas sizzle on the grill.
Pupusas sizzle on the grill.
  1. Mix dried ingredients (masa, salt, cumin). Add oil and water to the dried mixture and mix by hand. Add more water if necessary.
  2. Divide mixture into eight balls.
  3. Grab a ball with your hands and make a hole in it, add cheese, then close the hole. By hand, flatten the ball into a tortilla.
  4. Grill for three minutes on each side.

Refried beans

(You can add refried beans to the pupusa filling, or you can serve them as a side.)

Ingredients
16 oz or two cups of cooked red beans
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ sweet onion 

  1. In a cast iron skillet, warm oil.
  2. Add onions and cook until soft.
  3. Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Put beans into a food processor and pulse until smooth. (Alternatively, you can smash the beans with a potato smasher or by hand).
  5. Put beans back in the skillet and cook for a few more minutes. 

Vasquez stirs the encurtido.
Encurtido is a refreshing topping to perfectly complement your pupusas.

Encurtido

(Topping for the pupusas)

Ingredients
½ medium cabbage
1 carrot
cilantro
salt and lime juice to taste 

  1. Grate the cabbage and carrot, chop the cilantro.
  2. Mix together.
  3. Add salt and lime juice.

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