The Flaming Vegan

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Pupusas de Frijoles (Refried Bean-Stuffed Corn Tortillas)
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Pupusas de Frijoles (Refried Bean-Stuffed Corn Tortillas)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Tickets bought. We are going to Honduras at the end of the summer. Ever since I booked our flight through El Salvador, I’ve been day dreaming about “pupusas”.

Pupusas are the national dish of El Salvador; they are usually stuffed with cheese, beans and chicharron (pork) and served with curtido (a lightly fermented cabbage slaw).

In Honduras, were pupusas are also very popular- we add beets to our curtido while it’s fermenting- so our slaw comes out red, like beets.

We won’t have time to leave the terminal in San Salvador, but I’ve been there and they have bars,restaurants and shops.

I’m really looking forward to our two hour layover and having some authentic Salvadorean pupusas.

Meanwhile, here’s how I make them at home, in California.


  • 2 cups masa harina, commonly sold as the brand name “maseca”
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • Extra virgin Olive Oil for hands



1. Combine masa harina, salt, cumin and water in a mixing bowl until smooth; knead well.

2. Cover with a towel and let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Lightly oil your hands and form 4 balls with the dough.

4. Pat each ball with your hands and form 4 disks, then with your thumb, shape each one into cups.

5. Fill each cup with ¼ cup of refried beans and seal.

6. Flatten by patting each cup to form disks again, but now with filling inside.

7. Cook each pupusa over a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high, 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

8. Serve warm with curtido on the side.



  • 2 cups of shredded cabbage (you can use red cabbage)
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1 cup white vinegar or lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, cored, and thinly sliced *optional
  • 1 medium beet, cut in large chunks *optional- for coloring


1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Toss until all ingredients are well combined.

3. Transfer to a large glass jar and seal.

4. Chill and store for at least 3 days.

5. Discard beet chunks and serve at room temperature.

In Honduras, we serve this salad by itself, over plantains (my favorite) , fried fish, tacos, enchiladas, pupusas, yucca, etc.

Bean pupusas with curtido can be served for lunch or dinner.

I’m thinking I will also try stuffing them with garlic stir-fried tofu and green chiles or mashed potatoes next time. They can be stuffed with just about anything! Any ideas?


Tip: For convenience, you can buy prepackaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots); it’s a big time saver.

Healthy Snacks Delivered Monthly
  1. Sarah Johnston
    Sarah Johnston
    I hope you have a great time. Your recipe looks delicious and will try this one. Enjoy your vacations and especially your layover.
    1. Norma Plum
      Norma Plum
      Thank you Saran! I hope you enjoy them! !
  2. Carla Carcheri
    So simple and so amazing they look delicious
    1. Norma Plum
      Norma Plum
      Oh yeah! Like I always say simple is better!
  3. Norma Plum
    Norma Plum
    you can also serve them with chirmol,; which is a fresh, salty/ sour salad made with chopped tomato, onion, cilantro,lime juice, salt and pepper:
  4. Julie Davis
    Wow what great vacation plans you have and your recipe to go with it - voted
    1. Norma Plum
      Norma Plum
      Thanks Julie!
  5. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    This is so different.


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