Make Perfect Pupusas With Karla Vasquez of SalviSoul

Plate of a pupusa with curtido

LA native Karla Tatiana Vasquez is the founder of SalviSoul. Her book, The SalviSoul Cookbook (on shelves now!), is the very first Salvadoran cookbook to be traditionally published in the US. Karla started SalviSoul in an effort to preserve her family's recipes, and since then it's expanded to focus on cultural memory and intergenerational healing for the Salvadoran diaspora. She's also an excellent teacher: in addition to sharing a series of delicious recipes with us, Karla took time out of her busy book launch schedule to record a pupusa-making class. If you've ever wanted to make pupusas (the national dish of El Salvador) at home, let Karla's adept hands to guide you.

The recipe for classic bean and cheese pupusas utilizes ingredients typically found in a Salvadoran market: frijoles rojos de seda and Salvadoran quesillo. If you don't live near a Salvi market, you can substitute black beans and shredded Monterrey Jack or mozzarella. Whatever you do, don't skip the curtido — and eat with your hands!

From The SalviSoul Cookbook:
A good pupusa is plump, with its filling extending all the way to the edges. Now, it's quite common to see queso quemadito, the sizzling cheese that oozes out and gets crispy, as a sign of good one. Perhaps the most controversial part about pupusas is how they are eaten. Most Salvadorans eat them with their hands, as this dish is intended for you to get all the way in, with sleeves rolled up and hair tucked behind the ears and tied at the nape of the neck. Many are offended by the sight of a fork anywhere near a pupusa.



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