Chicharró Filling

  • 1 lb cured and braised pork bell, diced
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1/3 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup cheese curds, finely chopped

Pupusa Dough

  • 4 cups masa (corn flour)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups cold water


  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 3 dill pickles, thinly sliced rounds
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced rounds
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

El Salvadorian Salsa Roja (Tomato Sauce)

  • 1 (454 g) can of tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp vegetable or chicken base
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Curtido
In a bowl combine all the prepared ingredients toss well to combine. Chill for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator, or chill overnight for the best results.

Step 2: El Salvadorian Salsa Roja (Tomato Sauce)
In a food processor blend canned tomatoes until smooth with spices. Transfer into a pot and bring slowly bring to a boil stirring often, reduce heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and chill. Serve sauce cold.

Step 3: Chicharrón
Dice cured and braised pork belly (pork shoulder could also be used). In a skillet render the pork until crispy and brown, near the end of cooking add tomato, onion, peppers, garlic, spices, and vinegar. Drain any excess fat and transfer to a food processor, pulse until a thick paste forms. Set aside.

Step 4: Pupusa Dough
In a bowl combine masa and salt, add cold water. Use your hands to mix until the dough comes together with a clay-like texture.

Step 5: Forming Pupusa
Fill a small bowl with water and oil, set near workstation. Use this to wet your fingers prevent dough form sticking to your hands.

Take a golf ball-sized portion of dough and roll into a ball, flatten into an even round.

Fill the dough round with 1 tablespoon of chicharrón paste and 1 teaspoon of diced cheese curd. Fold the dough over the filling until it is completely sealed. Then, pat the ball between your hands until flat. If the pupusa cracks, patch it with a bit of dough and a little oil. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Step 6: Cooking
Heat a large pan or skillet to a medium heat. Spray with canola pan spray, place 3 pupusas on the pan and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side for 2-4 more minutes, until golden brown and warmed through. Repeat with the remaining pupusas.

Step 7: ENJOY
Serve the pupusas hot with the curtido and salsa roja.

Bon Appetit

Jennifer Sands, Executive Sous Chef