Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa with Curtido Slaw and Salsa Roja

These Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusas can be served as an appetizer or main dish.  The vibrancy of the curtido slaw is the perfect balance to the heartiness of the pupusas and the salsa Roja spiciness brings it all together.
I have attempted to make these pupusas a few times but I felt that they were too dense for my liking.  Most pupusas are made with masa but some are made with rice flour.  I decided I would try combining both masa and rice flour.

3U9A7087 Have you ever tried pupusas before?  They are a well-known Salvadoran street food that is out of this world.

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Pupusas prior my moving back to Venice in 2007.  My friends Beto and Brian took me to Lidia’s Pupuseria on Westminster right off of the Venice boardwalk.  It was literally a hole in the wall on the side of a building.  I ordered the jalapeno with cheese and I was in heaven with my first bite.  It was a decent sized pupusa for only $2 served on a small paper plate with a curtido slaw and a small plastic bag of salsa Roja.  They had no tables so the three of us would stand while eating these gems.

Brian and Beto had a chocolate business that I was involved with at the time and at least three times a week we would jump on our bikes and ride to the boardwalk for Lydia’s pupusas.  After inhaling them, we would jump back on our bikes, cruise around the boardwalk, checking out the waves and the skate-park and then we would head back to make more chocolates.  It was always a fun time!  Unfortunately, Lydia’s has since closed down; I am sure it was due to all the crazy rent increases that have been taking place in the Venice Beach area.

3U9A7125 I love a sparkling wine like a Prosecco or a Cava.  They are also great with a Pinot Gris, white Rioja, Rueda or a Sauvignon Blanc.

3U9A7118 Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Recipe:

Makes 10 Pupusas

Curtido Style Slaw – best prepared at least 4 hours in advance or even better, the day ahead.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Green or Savoy Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Red Onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water – boiling
  • 1 Carrot (1/2 cup) – grated
  • 1/2 Cup Radish – thinly sliced – cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Salsa Roja – can be made the day ahead
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 White Onion – 1/2 cup – diced
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove – minced
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño Pepper – sliced – roughly chopped (leave seeds in for a hot salsa or remove for a mild salsa)
  • 2 Large (about 2 cups) Tomato – diced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Mexican Oregano (can sub regular)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Filtered Water – or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Large Onion – diced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1 Cup Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 2 Large Poblano – roasted – destemmed – deseeded – diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Masa Harina
  • 3/4 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1 1/2 Filtered Water
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Other options

  • Black Beans
  • Roasted Poblano
  • Avacado
Curtido Style Slaw
Place the cabbage, carrots, and onion into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover, then set aside for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as you can.  Add the cabbage and carrots back to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.  Let set at room temperature for a couple hours.  Then chill.  It’s even better the next day.
Add the oil into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes then add the garlic and jalapeño sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and garlic becomes golden.
Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Puree the salsa in a food processor or immersion blender until smooth then stir in the water.
Roast the poblano peppers on the stovetop on medium-high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half, remove the seeds and stems and dice.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet, on a medium-low heat.  Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and salt then saute until the garlic just starts to become golden.  Add the onions to a medium sized bowl and mix together with the poblano and salt then mix in the cheese.  Set aside.

Dough and Assemble
Combine the masa, rice flour, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl then mix in the water.  Knead the dough into a smooth, moist sticky dough.  If it is too dry you can add one teaspoon at a time of water.  Wet your hands to form 10 round balls about the size of a golf ball.  (I used a kitchen scale and each ball weight was 2 1/4 ounces) With your hands, press a ball into a flat disk by a bit bigger than your palm.  Add 2 tablespoons of filling in the center and form the dough around the filling.  Pinch the edges together, roll it into a ball and then flatten the ball to about 1/2 inch thick.  Try your best to repair any holes.
Place the pupusa on a large nonstick pan with some olive oil and cook on medium-high until each side is golden brown.  About 3 -5 minutes on each side.  Don’t worry if some cheese leaks out.
Here are two other recipes that include the curtido slaw that you might like.  One is my empanadas and the other is this appetizer.
3U9A7183  Health benefits:

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K and potassium.

Cabbage is really low in calories, fat and high in fiber. It’s high in vitamin K that helps with brain function.  Red cabbage is the highest in vitamin K than other cabbage.  It’s high in sulfur keeping your hair, skin and nails healthy.  If you have arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases or gout, cabbage can help with its high vitamin C and sulfur content.  Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges and is a natural antioxidant that helps with premature aging and also helps detoxify the blood and liver.  Cabbage helps protect bones from becoming brittle with its high potassium, magnesium, and calcium content. Potassium is also great for reducing high blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to open and the blood to flow freely. It is also high in beta-carotene needed for eye health.  The pigment in purple cabbage helps lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production.  It helps your body fight off cancer with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.  Cabbage is good for your heart, blood pressure, brain, nervous system, immune system, digestion, bowels, bones, eyes, skin, hair and nails.


Leave a Reply