After traveling through El Salvador for a few weeks during high school on a study abroad program, I became obsessed with the traditional and most widely eaten dish in the country: pupusas. It’s a delicious stuffed tortilla that can be filled with any combination of beans, cheese, carnitas and chicken. What’s not to like? My fondest memories of my time in El Salvador were roaming the streets of different towns and villages, hoping to find some women with a roadside pupusería stand making fresh, hot deliciousness for us to enjoy. So, years later, I decided it was time I tried my hand at one of my favorite Latin American dishes I’ve ever consumed. And boy let me tell you, it was quite the adventure.
I had a lovely helper trying out this recipe: Estela, who grew up making pupusas every day and to this day continues to make them for her family on a regular basis. And believe me, she knows what she is doing! Some of the measurements below are approximate, since Estela knows how to make these by heart.
It’s best to start with the cabbage so that it can begin to sit with the vinegar while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop a head of cabbage into thin pieces.
- add (about) 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar, does not need to be exact
- sprinkle oregano over the top
- sprinkle salt
- add ½ onion, chopped
- sprinkle oregano
- optional: use a peeler to shred 1 carrot
The longer you let this sit, the better. The cider vinegar will continue to ferment the cabbage, and according to Estela this mixture can sit up to a month in the fridge and not only still be okay to eat, but it just gets more and more delicious every day!
This article was originally written by Margo Brookfield and appeared on Medium on November 17, 2014. You can read the rest of the article on Medium.