This Mexican Sopes Recipe is made with carne asada, refried beans, maseca, avocado and cotija cheese and cooked to perfection.
This Mexican Sopes Recipe is very similar to gorditas – what makes them different is their shape. The shape in this dish has a pinched border and gorditas are cut in half and stuffed.One fun fact about sopes is that they come in different sizes and shapes depending on the region in Mexico where they are made.
In some areas, sopes are larger and thicker, while in others, they are smaller and thinner. Some regions also add different ingredients to the masa harina, such as herbs, spices, or even ground-up insects, giving the sopes a unique flavor and texture. Sopes are also a versatile dish, as they can be served as a snack, appetizer, or even as a main course. They are a popular dish during Mexican celebrations and festivals, and are often made in large quantities to be shared with family and friends.
- What are Mexican Sopes?
- Where are sopes from?
- What are sopes made of?
- Why are Mexican sopes so great?
- Mexican Sopes Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Mexican Sopes Recipe
- Can you bake sopes?
- What is the difference between sopes and gorditas?
- What to serve with Mexican Sopes
- Mexican Sopes Recipe Variations
- How to store Mexican Sopes
- Mexican Sopes Recipe Top tips
- Mexican Sopes Recipe
- Food safety
What are Mexican Sopes?
Mexican sopes are a traditional Mexican dish made of a thick corn tortilla that is shaped like a small bowl or tart. The word "sope" actually means "mass" or "dough" in Spanish, referring to the main ingredient used to make this dish. Sopes are typically made with masa harina (a type of corn flour) and can be filled with a variety of ingredients such as refried beans, shredded meats, vegetables, cheese, and salsa. They are often topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sour cream or Mexican crema. Sopes are a popular street food in Mexico and are also commonly made at home for casual meals and special occasions.
Where are sopes from?
Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish, and their exact origins are not clear. However, they are believed to have originated in central or southern Mexico, possibly in the states of Michoacán or Oaxaca. Sopes have been a part of Mexican cuisine for many generations and are popular throughout the country, as well as in Mexican communities around the world.
What are sopes made of?
Sopes are made with a base of masa harina (a special type of corn flour used to make tortillas and other Mexican dishes) that is mixed with water to form a dough. The dough is shaped into small rounds and then pressed down in the center to create a shallow well. The sopes are then cooked on a comal or griddle until lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
Once the sopes are cooked, they can be topped with a variety of ingredients such as refried beans, carne asada (grilled beef), chicken, pork, or chorizo, along with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, salsa, and avocado.
Why are Mexican sopes so great?
- Versatility: Sopes are a versatile dish that can be customized to suit different tastes and dietary needs. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients, making them a great option for vegetarians, meat lovers, and everyone in between.
- Flavorful: The masa harina used to make sopes has a naturally delicious flavor that is enhanced by the toppings and fillings. Whether you like them spicy or mild, sopes can be seasoned to suit your taste.
- Texture: Sopes have a unique texture that is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The toppings and fillings add a variety of textures, making each bite a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
- Easy to make: While making the masa harina from scratch may require some effort, the actual process of shaping and cooking the sopes is quite simple. They can be made in large batches and are perfect for feeding a crowd.
- Cultural significance: Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish that have been enjoyed for centuries. They are a part of Mexican culture and are often made for special occasions and celebrations. Eating sopes is a great way to experience a bit of Mexican culture and cuisine.
Mexican Sopes Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
See recipe card for Mexican Sopes Recipe quantities.
How to make Mexican Sopes Recipe
Form the sopes. In a medium bowl, mix the masa harina with 1 ½ cups of water together with your hands. If you feel it is too dry, add water. If it is too sticky, add more masa harina.
Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat and wait for it to heat up. Grab a piece of dough and form into a ball, the size of a ping pong ball (this is to know how much to use). Pat into a flat circle and add on the dry pan. Heat up for a total of 5 minutes, turning frequently.
Once the dough is done, shape the sopes by pinching the border to form a wall. They must still be hot in order to do this. Set aside to cool. Fry the sopes. On medium heat, add ½ inch oil in a large deep pan. Once the oil is hot, fry the sopes, flipping frequently until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside on a plate with paper towels on it. Let the sopes cool.
Assemble the sopes. Fill the sopes with the warm refried beans, carne asada, sliced avocado, Cotija cheese, onion, cilantro and salsa roja.
Hint: Make sure the sopes are still hot when you pinch the edges.
Can you bake sopes?
While sopes are traditionally cooked on a comal or griddle, you can also bake them in the oven if you don't have access to a comal or griddle. Here's how:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Roll out the sopes dough and shape them into small rounds, about 3-4 inches in diameter.
- Place the sopes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and cooked through.
- Remove the sopes from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.
- Add your desired toppings, such as refried beans, carne asada, chicken, shrimp, or veggies, along with salsa, guacamole, and cheese.
Note that baking sopes may result in a slightly different texture than cooking them on a comal or griddle. They may be a bit drier and less crispy, but they can still be delicious.
What is the difference between sopes and gorditas?
Gorditas and Sopes are both traditional Mexican dishes that are made from masa harina (a special type of corn flour used to make tortillas and other Mexican dishes), but there are some key differences between the two.
Sopes are small, round discs of masa that are thicker than tortillas and have a slight depression in the center, creating a kind of "bowl" shape. Sopes are typically cooked on a comal or griddle until they are lightly browned and crispy on the outside, and are then topped with various ingredients such as refried beans, meats, veggies, and salsas.
Gorditas, on the other hand, are similar to sopes in that they are also made from masa, but they are thicker and softer, and are often stuffed with various fillings such as meats, cheese, and beans. Gorditas are usually made by forming a small ball of masa and then flattening it out into a thick disk, which is then cooked on a griddle or comal until it is cooked through and lightly browned.
So, while both sopes and gorditas are made from masa and can be filled with various ingredients, the main difference between the two is in their shape and texture. Sopes are thinner and crispier, while gorditas are thicker and softer.
What to serve with Mexican Sopes
Mexican sopes are often served as a snack or appetizer, but they can also be a main course. They are usually topped with refried beans, meat, veggies, cheese, and salsa, and can be served with a variety of side dishes to make a complete meal.
- Guacamole: This classic Mexican dip is made from mashed avocados, lime juice, onions, and salt. It's a great accompaniment to sopes, as it adds a creamy texture and a burst of flavor.
- Rice and beans: This is a classic Mexican side dish that goes well with sopes. The beans can be refried or cooked whole, and the rice is usually seasoned with tomatoes, onions, and garlic.
- Mexican street corn: This popular street food is made from grilled corn that's coated in mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. It's a great side dish to add some sweetness and crunch to your sopes.
- Ceviche: This refreshing seafood dish is made from raw fish that's marinated in lime juice and seasoned with onions, cilantro, and chili peppers. It's a perfect pairing for sopes, as it adds some acidity and freshness to the meal.
- Mexican-style grilled vegetables: Grilled veggies such as zucchini, peppers, and onions are a great side dish to serve with sopes. They add some color and nutrition to the meal and can be seasoned with Mexican spices to complement the sopes' flavors.
- Cilantro: If you do not like the taste of cilantro or cannot find it, you can use parsley or fresh oregano instead. These herbs will still provide a fresh, herbaceous flavor to the sopes.
- Onion: If you are allergic to onion or do not like it, you can substitute it with shallots, scallions, or chives. These substitutes will provide a similar flavor and texture to the sopes.
- Masa harina: If you cannot find masa harina, you can use regular cornmeal, but keep in mind that the texture and flavor may be slightly different. Another option is to make your own masa harina by soaking dried corn kernels in lime water and then grinding them into a fine powder.
- Refried beans: If you do not have refried beans, you can use black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans instead. Mash them with a fork or blend them in a food processor until they are a smooth consistency. Add some spices like cumin and chili powder for extra flavor.
- Carne asada: If you do not eat meat or do not have any carne asada on hand, you can substitute it with grilled or roasted vegetables like portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini. You can also use tofu or seitan for a vegetarian option.
- Avocado: If you cannot find ripe avocados or are allergic to them, you can omit them or substitute them with guacamole or diced tomatoes. You can also use a dollop of sour cream or Mexican crema for some creaminess.
- Salsa roja: If you do not have salsa roja, you can use salsa verde or pico de gallo instead. You can also make your own salsa by blending together canned tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, garlic, onion, and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mexican Sopes Recipe Variations
- Chicken Tinga Sopes: Top sopes with shredded chicken that has been cooked with a smoky and spicy tomato sauce made with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, onions, and garlic.
- Seafood Sopes: Top sopes with sautéed shrimp or fish, avocado slices, and a creamy chipotle sauce made with sour cream, adobo sauce, and lime juice.
- Veggie Sopes: Fill sopes with refried beans and top with sautéed veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, and onions. Add a dollop of guacamole and some crumbled queso fresco.
- Carne Asada Sopes: Top sopes with sliced carne asada, diced onions, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with a side of salsa roja.
- Chorizo and Potato Sopes: Top sopes with crumbled chorizo and diced potatoes that have been cooked with onions and garlic. Add some shredded lettuce and a sprinkle of queso fresco.
- Mushroom Sopes: Sauté sliced mushrooms with garlic and onions, and use as a topping for the sopes along with refried beans, avocado slices, and a drizzle of salsa verde.
- Breakfast Sopes: Top sopes with scrambled eggs, crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with a side of hot sauce.
- Comal or Griddle: A comal is a flat, round griddle that is traditionally used in Mexican cooking to cook tortillas and sopes. If you don't have a comal, you can use a cast iron griddle or a non-stick skillet.
- Mixing Bowl: You will need a mixing bowl to mix the masa harina with water to make the dough for the sopes.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: You will need measuring cups and spoons to measure the ingredients for the sopes.
- Tortilla press: Using a tortilla press can help maintain a perfect shape for the sopes.
- Cutting Board: You will need a cutting board to cut the toppings for the sopes.
- Kitchen Knife: You will need a kitchen knife to chop the toppings for the sopes.
- Spoon: You will need a spoon to spread the refried beans or other fillings onto the sopes.
- Tongs: You will need tongs to flip the sopes over while they are cooking.
- Serving Platter: You will need a serving platter to place the finished sopes on and to serve them to your guests.
How to store Mexican Sopes
- Refrigerate: If you have leftover sopes, place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 3-4 days.
- Freeze: Sopes can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. To freeze, wrap the sopes individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Label the bag with the date and contents.
- Reheat: To reheat sopes, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the sopes from the fridge or freezer and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Toppings: If you have leftover toppings like salsa or guacamole, store them separately in airtight containers and refrigerate. They will keep for up to 3-4 days.
Keep in mind that the texture of the sopes may change slightly after refrigeration or freezing, but they will still be delicious. To maintain their crispy texture, it's best to reheat them in the oven rather than the microwave.
Mexican Sopes Recipe Top tips
- Use Masa Harina: Masa harina is a special type of corn flour that is used to make traditional Mexican dishes like tortillas, tamales, and sopes. It is important to use masa harina instead of regular cornmeal or all-purpose flour to ensure that the sopes have the right texture and flavor.
- Don't Overwork the Dough: When mixing the masa harina with water to make the dough, be careful not to overwork it. Overworking the dough can make the sopes tough and dry.
- Let the Dough Rest: After mixing the masa harina with water, let the dough rest for at least 10-15 minutes before shaping it into rounds. This allows the dough to absorb the water and become more pliable.
- Keep the Sopes Small: When shaping the dough into rounds, keep the sopes small (about 3-4 inches in diameter) to make them easier to handle and cook.
- Use a Comal or Griddle: To cook the sopes, use a comal or griddle that is heated to medium-high heat. If the heat is too low, the sopes will take longer to cook and may become tough. If the heat is too high, they may burn.
- Don't Overcrowd the Comal or Griddle: When cooking the sopes, be sure not to overcrowd the comal or griddle. This can cause the sopes to cook unevenly and may result in some of them burning.
- Cook Both Sides: Cook the sopes for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned and crispy.
- Top with Your Favorite Ingredients: Once the sopes are cooked, top them with your favorite ingredients like refried beans, carne asada, chicken, shrimp, or veggies, along with salsa, guacamole, and cheese.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove