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Culture Kitchen: El Salvador

Hi friends! Thank you to everyone who attended our Culture Kitchen El Salvador event this past Saturday. It was a great experience learning how to make pupusas and connecting with others within the community! In case you were not able to attend or need a refresher on the recipe, the ingredients list and step by step instructions can be found below. Also, make sure to stay tuned for our next Culture Kitchen event, which will be featuring a guest chef from Greece!


  • ½ lb shredded mozzarella cheese

  • ½ lb string cheese

  • 1 bag of coleslaw

  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar

  • 2 cups of Maseca instant corn flour (sold at Fry’s)

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)

  • Oregano

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • ¼ white onion

  • ¼ green bell pepper

  • 1 cucumber (optional)

Kitchen Tools Needed

  • Griddle (preferred), skillet, or frying pan

  • Food processor or blender

  • Microwave


  1. Cut a peeled cucumber into slices if desired.

  2. Remove the wrappers from the string cheese.

  3. Add the string cheese and shredded mozzarella into a food processor or blender. Combine until the cheeses are integrated in smaller pieces.

  4. Add the cheese mixture to a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. This will make the cheese more sticky.

  5. To make the dough, add the maseca to a bowl with equal parts water. If your dough is too sticky, add more water. This may be necessary at higher elevations. Set aside when down.

  6. Take the bag of coleslaw mix and poke several holes in it. Microwave for 2 minutes until it becomes tender.

  7. Add ½ cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes if desired. If you are using cucumber, add the sliced cucumber to the mixture. Altogether, this is called curtido, or in English, lightly fermented cabbage relish (see below for image).

  8. For the salsa, combine garlic, one can of diced tomatoes, oregano, ½ a white onion, and if desired, ¼ green bell pepper into a blender. Blend until combined.

  9. Transfer the salsa to a saucepan and turn the heat on high. Remove the salsa once it begins to boil.

  10. Place a griddle (preferred) or saucepan on medium heat.

  11. To make the pupusas, grab a golf ball sized amount of dough and form into a bowl. Press the dough between your fingers, tossing back and forth until the dough resembles a flat circle. The dough should not be too thick. If your dough is cracking, add more water to it.

  12. Once your dough is shaped into a semi-thin circle, cup the dough in your palm and add approximately a tablespoon of cheese.

  13. Push the edges of the dough around the cheese in a rounded motion, enclosing the cheese within the dough.

  14. Flatten the pupusa with your hands, or with a plastic bag on a counter. You can also use a plate to push the dough down through the plastic bag, which we found to be the easiest method.

  15. Once flattened to approximately ¼ of an inch thick, place the pupusa on the griddle.

  16. Repeat steps 11-15 with the remaining dough.

  17. Allow the pupusas to cook for about 2-3 minutes depending on the heat and thickness. Flip the pupusa, and allow them to cook for another 2-3 minutes. The cheese should begin oozing out towards the pupusas being ready.

  18. As the pupusas finish cooking, remove them from the heat. Using one’s finger or a knife, cut the pupusas in half. Top with the curtido and salsa.

  19. Enjoy!

The curtido, or lightly fermented cabbage relish, is pictured to the left. Pupusas are traditionally served with curtido.

Final product with curtido and salsa= Delicious!

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