Unsung Hero of Mexican Cuisine: Sopes

Have you ever had sopes? They’re not something that are in most Mexican restaurant, especially if those restaurants are catering to what Americans THINK Mexican food is. I, however, have had the pleasure of trying sopes in a wonderful restaurant here in town. I’ve known the owner since I was 4, and I can say for certain that this place is legit Mexican food.

I am so excited to have found this sopes recipe. One, the author is from Mexico so we know this will be real. Two, this is an rather unsung hero of Mexican food. Check out this recipe on the next page.

Sopes are a doughy little dish packed full of seasoned beans and meat. While the flavors are outstanding, what gets me is the texture. I am usually a flavor girl, and I let my likes and dislikes generally go by flavor. This dish for me is a texture craving. There is seriously nothing more satisfying some days than sopes.

Thanks to Mely at Mexico in My Kitchen for this recipe!

Ingredients for Sopes (Makes 10)

  • 1-1/2 cup of masa harina
  • 1-1/4 cup of warm water


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 2 cups lettuce, finely shredded
  • 1-1/2 cup cooked beef or chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cheese (queso fresco) crumbled
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cream
  • Spicy salsa of your choice


  • 1/3 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1/2 cup of tomato, diced or sliced
  • Pickled jalapeños and carrots.


  1. Mix Masa harina and warm water in a medium size bowl, knead the dough until you have a uniform texture. If the dough feels dry, add more water, little by little, spoon by spoon, until the dough is soft and manageable, like play dough. It doesn’t have to be sticky. Sometimes, if we live in a place with lots of humidity in the environment our dough won’t need to much water. But if that is not your case, make sure the dough has enough moisture to avoid any cracking on the sope surfaces. Now, cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel, this will help to keep the dough moist. Always keep a small bowl of water next to your working area to keep your hands and dough moisten.
  2. Divide the dough into 10 pieces of the same size, cover with the kitchen towel.
  3. Heat the griddle to medium high heat.
  4. To form the sopes, cut the plastic bag into 2 squares of about 6-IN each. Place one piece of plastic on the Tortilla press, then put down one of the small balls of dough and cover with the other piece of plastic, close the tortillera and press down gently with the tortilla press handle until you form a medium size thick tortilla. of about 4-1/2 inches.
  5. Lift the handle and remove the top plastic. Pick up the tortilla, holding with the plastic at the bottom, gently flip the tortilla to unto the palm of your hand. A large part of the tortilla will cover your hand.
  6. Place the tortilla on the already hot griddle-comal, this is a fast but gentle move. Turn the tortilla after a minute, don’t the it cook longer or the dough will dry and crack. Turn again after a minute, and the last cooking will take about 20-30 seconds. Remove from the griddle with the help of a spatula. Cover the tortillas with a dry kitchen towel and allow to cool for about 30-45 seconds, and start forming the border pinching the edges with your fingers. Now, the tortillas had become sopes, cover again with the kitchen towel and keep cooking the rest of the sopes.
  7. Heat the oil or lard in a skillet or griddle at medium heat. Place the sopes on the skillet and lightly fry them on both sides (about 30 seconds each side will be enough time to fry them and give them a little golden color). Remove from the heat and place on a plate that has already being covered with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.
  8. Now is time to spread the refried beans, top with shredded lettuce, beef, chicken, or any other topping of your choice. Serve with salsa.


Check out the original source for this recipe with step-by-step photographs and helpful tips as well as many other delicious recipes at: Mexico in my Kitchen.

Photo source


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