What Are Sopes?
Sopes are a type of antojito, or snack, from central and southern Mexico. Like tortillas, tamales, and gorditas, sopes are made from a dough of nixtamalized cornflour and water, called masa. To make sopes, the masa is pressed into an extra-thick tortilla. After briefly cooking, the sides of the sope are pinched to create a ridge. Next, the sopes are fried in hot oil to finish the cooking process. These corn-cake cups are then smeared with a layer of refried beans and topped shredded meat, lettuce, cheese, crema, salsa, cilantro, and avocado, or other toppings.
Authentic Mexican Sopes Recipe
Prep Time30 min
Total Time40 min
Cook Time10 min
The most difficult part of making sopes is getting the shape right. If you've made corn tortillas from scratch for other Mexican recipes, you'll be a little more familiar with the process.
- 1 cup masa harina
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Lard or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup refried black beans
- 1 cup cooked chorizo, shredded chicken, carnitas, or other meat
- ½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 avocado, diced (or guacamole)
- ½ cup salsa verde (or other salsa)
- ¼ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- Make the dough. In a large bowl, whisk masa harina with salt to combine. Have 1½ cups warm water nearby. Add ⅔ cup water and knead dough. If dough feels crumbly, add more water until the dough is smooth and pliable but not sticky. Roll into 12 walnut-size balls and set aside on a baking sheet. Cover balls with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
- Press the sopes. Using a tortilla press or a small baking dish, press the dough balls between two sheets of plastic (such as a freezer bag cut in half) to a ¼-inch thickness. Alternatively, gently flatten sopes using a rolling pin or your hands.
- Cook the sopes. Heat a comal, griddle, or large pan over medium heat. Once the comal is hot, add the sopes to the dry pan and toast each side until sopes feel dry and brown spots start to appear, about 30 seconds to 2 minutes per side.
- Pinch the sopes. Transfer the sopes to a baking sheet and, while still hot, pinch the sides of the sopes to form a rim. (Use a clean kitchen towel to protect your fingers.) Cover sopes with a clean kitchen towel while you work, to prevent drying out.
- Shallow-fry the sopes. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add about ¼ inch lard or vegetable oil. Fry sopes in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides, about 1–2 minutes per side. Transfer the sopes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- Assemble the sopes. Spread a layer of beans on each sope. Top with meat, cheese, avocado, salsa, and crema. Serve warm.
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