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with Red Sauce

Chef Lou Rice, Springfield Division

A traditional Salvadorian dish found in a growing number of Mexican restaurants. Always served with a simple pickled slaw and basic tomato sauce. Salsa Roja is always served with traditional pupusas.


  • 4 cups masa harina
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 1 ½ cups grated Mexican melting cheese
  • Oil (for oiling hands and skillet)

Red Sauce

  • 2 cups canned whole peeled tomato (with juice)
  • ½ cup onion, small diced
  • ½ cup poblano chili, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In large bowl, mix masa harina with water and salt, stirring well. Add more water, if necessary, to obtain a soft dough that does not crack around the edges when flattened. Let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap, for about 15 minutes. Blend beans and cheese in blender until smooth. Divide dough into about 8 pieces (oil your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them). Form each piece of dough into a ball, then make an indentation in the ball. Place cheese, beans, pork or a combination of fillings in indentation, and carefully wrap dough around the filling to seal. Flatten ball into a disk, about ¼-inch thick. On an oiled flat-top griddle or heavy pan, cook pupusa until the bottom is well browned, then flip over and cook other side. Serve hot with slaw and tomato sauce.

Red Sauce

  1. Purée tomatoes, onion, poblano, garlic, lime juice, cumin and chicken stock in a blender until smooth. Pour sauce into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened.

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