Salvadorian or Salvadoran Pupusas (my food fail …)

Hiya guys!
Today I thought I’d share with you a food fail….
I really didn’t want to share this post because it didn’t come out how I wanted but the reality is all of us aren’t perfect, shit ain’t pretty, and sometimes (no matter how hard you try and want it) it doesn’t turn out how you want. Haha not Pinterest picture perfect.

Let me start by saying that I am not from El Salvador. And no, neither are my parents. Both my parents are Mexican šŸ˜€

Which means I don’t know how authentic this recipe I modified is supposed to be….

So…I love me some pupusas (Pa-Poo-Saws)! If you don’t know what a pupusa is let me explain, it’s this fried corn bready type flat dough disc with a filling of beans and cheese. There are also different fillings but I don’t know other traditional ones, other than the bean and cheese. They are delicious and are usually served with a tomato salsa sauce and a type of slaw/pickled cabbage called curtido (similar to kimchi). I thought the tomato salsa and the curtido would be too much to try andĀ make on the first try, so I decided to keep it simple and only make the papusas. How wrong I was. Almost every recipe I looked at for reference said how SIMPLE and EASY it was to make them, and rainbows and flowers and butterflies and all that.



2 cups Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix
1 and 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup refried beans (pinto or black)
-I like black beans better. Is this where I went wrong??-
1 cup shredded mozzarella
extra water and oil for your hands


So… may notice that the first ingredient isĀ Maseca Instant Corn Masa MixĀ and you may also notice that is not what’s in the picture. Instead I gotĀ Bob’s Red MillĀ Golden Corn FlourĀ Masa Harina. Maybe this is where I fucked up. But I could not findĀ Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix, ANYWHERE, even though it’s “easily” found at any grocery. AND the Whole Foods guy told me this would be the same thing!!!! I don’t know if this was the mistake or something else. I mean they tasted like papusas…sort of.

Supposed to get this (left), but got this one instead (right).

Mix Maseca, water, oil, and salt until combined and forms a dough. I mixed it with my hands. Kinda feels like play dough, not sticky, but doesn’t crack when ya pinch it either.If it’s too sticky add more Maseca, if it’s too dry add more water. Then you form 10 balls (of equal size) outta the dough and set aside.

Ā Nuke the refried bean in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then mix in the cheese.
*May not look appetizing.


Here comes the tricky part.
Wet hands with a bit of water and oil, so the dough doesn’t stick. Then take 1 ball at a time and press it into an even flat disc 1/2 inch thick. Then spoon in about 2 tablespoons of the bean and cheese mixture.

Ok, you see how my dough is all cracking and not nice and round and even?
I think I should haveĀ added more water. Maybe it was too dry? I’m not sure but I think this is where I may have fucked up….

So now you want to pinch the disc closed like a taco. Then fold corners up/in and pinch them.

Then magically roll up and flatten this taco thing into a disc again.


Yeah, I don’t know what happened here either but your filling is NOT supposed to seep through those dough cracks.
Those dough cracks aren’t even supposed to be there. It’s just supposed to stay all in and be a flat disc at the same time.



But……I cooked them up anyway, because what was I supposed to do? Separate the dough from the filling? Have you ever tried to separate 2 colors of playdough after mixing them together?
Yeah. Not gonna happen. Too late.


Lightly oil a skillet and cook over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Mine were falling apart…

I. did. not. cook. mine. enough.
They tasted a little like under cooked masa dough…..should have really waited until they were a bit more brown.

Served them up with some salsa verde I already had and ate them anyway.
Because it’s still food.


Sad weak picture….. šŸ˜„

So that was my food fail. Wasn’t too awful I guess. Not as bad as when I burned my arm and turned the kitchen orange making carrot soup from scratch…

The process is all a learning experience and maybe I won’t try to make pupusas anytime soon, but I will keep trying new things.

And I’ll keep sharing fails (hopefully not too many), because I’m human and I can laugh at myself.

Don’t judge.


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