Authentic Vegan Pupusas

Authentic Vegan Pupusas

This dish has a lot of moving parts (actually, four different elements), but all the parts are really simple.  Make the pickled vegetables and roast the chiles the night before, set up the rice, make the beans, and while the beans are cooking, prepare the masa tortillas.  Watch Nick demonstrating this recipe on our YouTube channel:  LINK)

  1. Pickled Vegetables (make in advance)

cider vinegar

rice vinegar


1 TBSP, Local Spicery Pickling Spice


Choose from the following, or use your own favorites:

red cabbage, finely sliced

green cabbage, finely sliced

carrots, cut to matchsticks

bell pepper, cut to matchsticks

jalapeno pepper, cut to matchsticks

red onion, thin sliced


Select the mason jar you intend to make the pickles in.  Fill it to about half full with cider vinegar, add water up to about ¾ inch below the top of the jar, then top off with rice vinegar.  Pour this mixture into a small saucepan with about 1 TBSP Pickling Spice, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Fill the jar with the vegetables you want to pickle.  If you want to be as traditional as possible for this recipe, it should be at least ½ cabbage.  Using a fine colander to filter out the pickling spices, fill the jar with the vinegar mixture.  Allow it to cool to room temperature, seal with a lid, and put in the refrigerator overnight.


  1. World’s Best Black Beans


One yellow onion, chopped

3-4 roasted green chiles (Anaheim, Pasilla, Hatch, etc.), roasted, skin removed, stem and seeds removed, and cut into ½” dices

6 ripe Tomatillos, cut into at least eight pieces

2 tsp Local Spicery Guajillo Chile Powder

½ fresh jalapeno Chile, destemmed and deseeded

2 tsp Local Spicery Nick’s Mex Mix

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp milled Cumin

1 TBSP Cascabel Chile, milled

1 pound, dry black beans

5 cups, veggie broth (5 cups hot water combined with 3-4 TBSP Local Spicery Bada Bing Bouillon)

2 Roma tomatoes, cut into at least 8 pieces

1 bunch, cilantro

1 bunch, scallions, ¼” slices


With your Instant Pot set to Sauté, sauté the onions until translucent.  Add the Guajillo Chili Powder, Nick’s Mex-Mix, Cumin, Cascabel Chile, and Garlic Powder, and continue to sauté until the onions are dry, and the spices are highly aromatic.  Add veggie broth, beans, green chiles, and four tomatillos.  Close the Instant Pot, and set to pressure cook high for 35 minutes.  Allow to naturally release.

While the beans are cooking, throw the tomatoes, remaining tomatillos, shallots, and stems plus ½ of the leaves of cilantro into a blender and liquefy.  After the beans have finished cooking, add the fresh mixture from the blender and set aside.


  1. Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup, long-grain white rice

2 cups, water

1-2 limes, zest and juice

Stems and ½ of the leaves from a bunch or cilantro


Place the cilantro Stems in a blender with about ½ cup of the water in a blender and liquefy.  Add this mixture, plus the remaining water, and rice to your rice maker.  Zest the lime(s) and squeeze the juice into the rice-maker and cook until done.


  1. Pupusas

1 cup, masa

¾ cup, water

¼ cup, cooked (or canned) corn kernels


Place the corn and about 1/4 cup of the water into a blender and liquefy.  Pour into a small mixing bowl, along with the masa and most of the remaining flour.  Blend well with your hands, adding remaining water by the tablespoonful until the dough no longer sticks to your hand, but is still resilient and not flaking.  Separate into eight balls of approximately equal size.  Press each ball between sheets of parchment paper to about 1/8” thick.  You can use a tortilla press, grilling press, or rolling pin.  This should yield tortillas approximately 5” in diameter.  Preheat a cast-iron skillet to medium hot (400 degrees).


Remove about 1 cup of the beans from the pot, and strain through a wire colander.  The liquid can be added back into the pot of beans.  Place one of the tortillas at a time on a dry, flat surface.  Place 1-2 TBSP of the strained beans in the middle of the tortilla, fold the tortilla over the beans, and seal the edge with a fork.  Cook both sides of the filled tortilla until dry, and just starting to show brown-to-black blisters.


Serve 2-3 Pupusas per person with a serving of rice and beans, and a generous helping of the pickled vegetables.  Serve with some chopped fresh cilantro on the top, and your favorite hot sauce on the side.


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