While the pinched sides of the sope are its most distinctive characteristic, flat sopes are made to resemble a thick tortilla or a tostada. However, though both tostadas and sopes are fried, the tostada is thin and fried until it becomes crunchy and fragile, while the sope is much thicker and fried only until the exterior surface is cooked. The sope, therefore, has a soft, slightly pliable texture. The sope’s thickness is meant to support its toppings, and the frying of its exterior surface adds resistance to the moisture of the ingredients.
The most popular toppings are shredded beef, pork, or chicken. This includes the traditional smear of refried beans that’s usually spread on the sopes before putting the toppings on. After the beans and meat, the sopes are garnished with lettuce (or cabbage), tomato, crumbled cheese, and the salsa of your choice. Other additions include Mexican cream, pickled carrots, diced avocado, chopped onion, radish slices, and many other favorites that vary from town to town. Regardless of how many toppings you add, these sopes are delicious at every bite!
Sopes de Carnitas
- 1½ cups masa harina
- 1¼ cups warm water
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup refried beans
- 2 cups lettuce finely shredded
- 1½ cups cooked beef or chicken shredded
- ½ cup queso fresco crumbled
- ¼ cup white onion finely chopped
- ½ cup Mexican cream
- spicy salsa of you choice
- ⅓ cup radishes thinly sliced
- 1 avocado sliced or diced
- ½ cup tomato diced or sliced
- pickled jalapeños and carrots.
- Mix Masa harina and warm water in a medium-size bowl and knead until you have a uniform texture. If the dough feels dry, add more water, little by little, spoon by spoon, until the dough is soft and manageable, like play dough.
- Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel; this will help to keep the dough moist.
- Divide the dough into 10 pieces of the same size, cover with the kitchen towel.
- Heat the griddle to medium-high heat.
- To form the sopes, cut the plastic bag into 2 squares of about 6-IN each. Place one piece of plastic on the Tortilla press, then put down one of the small balls of dough and cover with the other piece of plastic, close the tortillera and press down gently with the tortilla press handle until you form a medium size thick tortilla. of about 4-½ inches.
- Lift the handle and remove the top plastic. Pick up the tortilla, holding with the plastic at the bottom, gently flip the tortilla to unto the palm of your hand. If you don’t have a Tortilla Press, use a glass pie dish to press down the dough
- Place the tortilla on the already hot griddle/comal, this is a fast but gentle move. Turn the tortilla after a minute, don’t let it cook longer or the dough will dry and crack. Turn again after a minute, and the last cooking will take about 20-30 seconds. Remove from the griddle with the help of a spatula.
- Cover the tortillas with a dry kitchen towel and allow to cool for about 30-45 seconds, and start forming the border pinching the edges with your fingers. Now, the tortillas had become sopes, cover again with the kitchen towel.
- Spread the refried beans, top with shredded lettuce, beef, chicken, or any other topping of your choice. Serve with salsa.
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