Melissa’s Menu: Sopes

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Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the central and southern regions of Mexico. They consist of a rounded base of fried corn cake topped with refried beans, cheese, meat and veggies. The base is similar to a corn tortilla, but is thicker and has pinched sides to hold the toppings. Different regions of Mexico have different variations of ingredients and names for the dish, but this week’s Melissa’s Menu focuses on sopes that are fried and topped with refried beans, lettuce, queso fresco, mexican crema, a tomato/chile sauce and delicious, tender carne asada. If you’re looking for an authentic dish that is easy to make but packed with delicious flavors, these sopes are perfect for you! 


Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish that is similar to tortillas topped with beans, cheese, meat and veggies. This Mexican dish is easy to make and packed with flavors.  Image courtesy of    aspicyperspective.com

Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish that is similar to tortillas topped with beans, cheese, meat and veggies. This Mexican dish is easy to make and packed with flavors. Image courtesy of aspicyperspective.com

Ingredients  

1 cup of instant corn masa flour 

1 cup of water 

4 dried California chiles, dried 

2 ½ teaspoons of salt, divided 

1 clove of garlic 

4 medium tomatoes 

½ teaspoon of dried oregano 

½ pound of skirt steak, carne asada 

½ teaspoon of all-purpose meat seasoning 

2 cups of corn oil 

Toppings: 

Refried beans 

Iceberg lettuce, shredded 

Mexican crema 

Queso fresco 

Directions  

In a medium bowl, mix the masa flour and half a cup (4 oz.) of water together with your hands. Once combined, add the rest of the water and knead until the dough forms a smooth ball. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Pat the dough out into six flat circles. Fry the dough, turning frequently until just lightly brown, which should take about five minutes. Once the dough is cooked, shape the sopes by pinching the sides up to form a wall around the edge. Set aside to cool.  

Rip the stems off the dried chiles and discard seeds. Rinse the chiles if necessary. Add the chiles to a small pot of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the chiles and the liquid they cooked in to a blender and add one teaspoon of salt and garlic. Blend until smooth and set aside.   

Add the tomatoes to a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until the tomato skins split, then remove from the heat and drain, reserving half a cup (4 oz.) of the tomato water. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender with the reserved cooking liquid, oregano and half a teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth and set aside.  

Heat a large pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the skirt steak and season with the meat seasoning and remaining teaspoon of salt. Cook the meat, flipping frequently until seared and cooked through, for about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cut into small pieces. Set aside. Heat the corn oil in a deep, large pan over high heat.  

Dip the sopes in the chile sauce, turning to coat completely (you may also just drizzle the sauce over the sopes after they are cooked if preferred). Once the oil is hot, fry the sopes, flipping frequently until golden brown for about five minutes. Drain the sopes on paper towels or a wire rack. To serve, fill the sopes with refried beans, carne asada, shredded lettuce, tomato sauce, Mexican crema and queso fresco. Enjoy! 


Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.

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