Looking for an authentic, traditional Mexican dish to serve on Cinco de Mayo? These Mexican Sopes would be perfect! As a bonus, they are gluten free and vegetarian!
Authentic Mexican Sopes
I’ve mentioned before that my cousin loves to cook traditional Mexican meals, and she’s quite good at it. In fact, my One Pan Mexican Chicken and Rice dish is based off of her recipe, and my super popular Authentic Mexican Rice and Slow Cooker Mexican Beans are hers as well. She lives in southern Arizona, about twenty minutes form the Mexico border, so you can get good Mexican food all over town. However, the very best dishes come straight from her kitchen!
The last time we visited, she made a meal that I hadn’t had before – Sopes. Sort of like a thick corn tortillas. Only way better.
Where did Sopes come from?
A sope is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the central and southern parts of Mexico. It is also known (but not as commonly) as picadita.
What are Sopes made of?
Traditionally they are made from masa harina and water. Masa harina is a corn flour that thickens when water is added. The dough is used to make tortillas, tostadas, tamales, pupusas and more.
Masa Harina can be found in the Hispanic section of your grocery store.
What is the difference between sopes and gorditas?
A sope is a thick disk of fried corn dough that’s shaped and topped like a pizza. Gorditas are made with the same thick dough but stuffed and folded like a taco.
How do you make Sopes from Scratch?
Don’t be intimidated by the process, it’s actually really easy to make them from scratch! I have made these little bites of heaven a few times now and it’s about as easy as it gets.
- Masa harina and water are mixed together to form the masa dough, then the dough is divided into golf ball sized portions and pressed into 1/4-1/2 thick inch discs with raised sides, like a shallow cup.
- The discs are then fried to perfection over medium-high heat and topped with refried beans, meat, lettuce, cheese, and/or salsas. Traditionally a creme is added as well.
How do you serve Sopes?
Sopes are similar to a tostada, served filled with meat and vegetables. I can totally eat these thick, crunchy bowls on their own, but here are some of our favorite toppings:
- Refried beans
- Shredded chicken
- Sour cream, homemade salsa and Guacamole.
- Cotija cheese, shredded cheddar or Queso fresco
Recipe Notes and Top Tips
- How long do they last in the refrigerator? Sopes will last about a week in the fridge if properly stored in an airtight container. You can freeze them for up to a month. To reheat, place the disks, thawed, in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp.
- Do Sopes have gluten? No! They are made from Masa, which is corn, and they are completely gluten free! Of course you’ll want to take caution with the oil you use for frying and the toppings you select.
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- 1 1/2 cup masa harina (corn flour)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 tsp salt optional
- Cooking Oil vegetable or canola oil
- Optional toppings: refried beans, shredded lettuce, cheese, salsa, etc.
- Stir the masa, salt and water together until a dough forms. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for a few minutes.
- Divide the dough into golf ball sized portions and roll unto a ball shape.
- Press each ball lightly between your hands and then use your fingers to flatten into a 3-inch disc. The dough should be between 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Pinch the edges all around the outer edge of the disc to create a raised edge. Keep extra dough in the bowl covered with a wet paper towel to keep the dough from drying out.
- Heat about 1/2 to an inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. (You will know it's ready when a drop of water sizzles in the pan).
- Place masa discs into the hot oil and cook until lightly browned, turning once. The edges should be nice and crispy and the center soft.
- Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Add toppings and serve immediately.