Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Make Sopes Recipe / Cómo Hacer Sopes

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There is an endless list of dishes in Mexico made using corn dough. Their shapes and cooking methods are very diverse, and also the names given to them vary frequently in every region of the country. But Sopes are a popular and delicious street snack that you find almost everywhere in Mexico, and each cook has a favorite topping for them, although a little of bit refried beans is almost always spread first, then some shredded lettuce that will be crowned with some shredded beef, pork, chicken, or even ground beef. This type of meal is part of what we call antojitos (little cravings) that most of the time include corn dough or corn tortillas.
Sopes are a type of small tortillas, made a little bit thicker, with a border around the edges. This step is done right after cooking the sopes, when they are still soft and the texture allows to pinch them to form a border that serves as a barrier to contain all the toppings. In my hometown they are small, round shaped and thick, but there are other places where you will find them large and in a oval shape. Still the popular toppings: shredded beef, pork or chicken will include the traditional smear of fried beans, lettuce or cabbage, tomato, crumbled cheese and the salsa of your choice. Other additions are Mexican cream, pickled carrots, diced avocado, chopped onion, radishes slices, plus many others that change from town to town. But it doesn't matter how many toppings you add, they are delicious at every bite!
There are many dishes similar to sopes under the antojitos category like: pellizcadas, migadas, memelas, huaraches, chalupas and many other variations made using fresh corn dough. The sopes are so popular that you can even find them already made at supermarkets in Mexico, you only need to take them home and warm them up. So convenient right? The cooks have the option to warm them up in a comal, or slightly fry them in oil or lard. However, if you visit Mexico, almost every town you go, you can find small restaurants called cenadurias, fondas or antojerias that sell this scrumptious meal. They could be for breakfast, lunch or dinner... any time is a good time to enjoy some sopes!


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
  • 1 cup refried beans
  • 2 cups lettuce, finely shredded
  • 1-1/2 cup cooked beef or chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cheese (queso fresco) crumbled
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cream
  • Spicy salsa of you choice
  • 1/3 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1/2 cup of tomato, diced or sliced
  • Pickled jalapeños and carrots.
  • If you can’t find Mexican queso fresco or Mexican cream, you can do the following: Substitute the Mexican cheese with feta cheese and even parmesan cheese. For the cream, mix equal amounts of sour cream and heavy cream with a pinch of salt. (I know many people  living outside Mexico — like me — who struggle to find Mexican products).
  • Making Sopes require certain amount of time and preparation, that's why is better to make them when you have some leftovers in your fridge, like  refried beans and beef or chicken from a stew; that way you will have some of the ingredients ready.
  • You will need a plastic bag like the ones used to store food in the freezer (to form the sopes), a griddle-comal, a tortilla press or a glass pie dish in case you don’t have a tortilla press (please look picture below).
How to make sopes1
1. Mix Masa harina and warm water in a medium size bowl, knead the dough 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. It doesn't have to be sticky. Sometimes, if we live in a place with lots of humidity in the environment our dough won’t need to much water. But if that is not your case, make sure the dough has enough moisture to avoid any cracking on the sope surfaces. Now, cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel, this will help to keep the dough moist. Always keep a small bowl of water next to your working area to keep your hands and dough moisten.
How to make sopes2 
2. Divide the dough into 10 pieces of the same size, cover with the kitchen towel.
3. Heat the griddle to medium high heat.
4. 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 4-1/2 inches.
How to make sopes3 
5. 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. A large part of the tortilla will cover your hand.
If you don’t have a Tortilla Press, use a glass pie dish to press down the dough; I use it all the time and it works wonderfully.
How to make sopes4
6.  Place the tortilla on the already hot griddle-comal, this is a fast but gentle move. Turn the tortilla after a minute, don’t the 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 and keep cooking the rest of the sopes.
How to make sopes5
1. Heat the oil or lard in a skillet or griddle at medium heat. Place the sopes on the skillet and lightly fry them on both sides (about 30 seconds each side will be enough time to fry them and give them a little golden color). Remove from the heat and place on a plate that has already being covered with paper towels to absorb any excess fat.
2. Now is time to spread the refried beans, top with shredded lettuce, beef, chicken, or any other topping of your choice. Serve with salsa.

¡Buen provecho!



  1. I like mole'! I have been trying to make it on my own as I will not buy any store bought products. I like Mediterranean food a alot! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. My favorite Mexican dishes are: TACOS!!! Then 1.- mole de olla, 2.- Breaded Steak, 3.- Molcajete Mar y Tierra and 4.- chicken flautas!!! And yes, I cook them all !!! My favorite type of cusine is Mexican!!!

  3. Looks wonderful. This is something I would very much enjoy as well as the family. Catherine

  4. ¡Excelente post con su paso a paso! Así, quien no haga sopes es porque no quiere.

  5. I make my own refried beans from home-canned pinto beans, lard, salt, chili powder and cumin. We use it on homemade flour tortillas with a variety of toppings. We call it "Breidenbaugh Burritos" and I've been making them for many years. When we had lots of teenagers, I would use 10 cups of flour for the tortillas! My favorite "cuisine" is what I make at home. I make wonderful breads, for instance. Is there a "bread cuisine?" We almost never go to a restaurant. My very favorite food with a baked potato, with skin, mashed with salt and then plenty of real butter and some Daisy sour cream. What a nice giveaway! Thank you, Mely! If you announce the winner, I will be out of town then, so I hope if by any chance I won, that you would send me an email. I will definitely be trying this nice recipe. I have a hard time making my corn tortillas thin enough, so this will be a welcome change, and it looks so versatile. I can even think of dessert options with these! Yolanda

  6. My favorite dish would have to be Tinga. I make my own, and have really tried to perfect it! My Mother In Law really likes my Tinga, which makes me try even harder to make it delicious! My favorite cuisine would have to be Mexican. I love to see the look on my Mexican husband's face when he takes his first bite of this Georgia girl's Salsa, or Tinga, or Pan de Muerto.....Priceless!

  7. ok, my favorite food is Mexican, home made of course.
    One of my favorite mexican dishes are enchiladas de mole, my aunt in Mexico makes the mole from scratch and sends it to us, nothing compares to it.
    I love making mole enchiladas at home with shredded chicken inside and diced onion and queso fresco, with a dash of sour cream and shredded lettuce.

    looking at the sopes post, this is a family favorite, but we buy the mas from the molino. and we don't fry our sopes, we make them and eat them right off the comal, this is a weekend favorite, most of the time we just have vegetarian sopes, with beans, nopales, guacamole and home made salsa. all the young ones have come to love or mexican food weekends, nothing like home made.

    thanks for the giveaway, I do love their products, they are very tasty and a time saver for working moms.

  8. Cochinita Pibil - as there are no authentic Mexican restaurants around I have to make my own.

  9. I just wanted to share, I do use canned beans at home, however I first add some olive oil and a few slices of onion and a pepper (jalapeno or serrano) cut in half, saute these for a while until you see they get a little bit brown, then drain and rinse the beans, cover for a while and then smash in the pan. They will end up tasting as if you cooked your own beans, my family always thought I cooked my beans and then fried them, they were shocked when they found out I used canned beans, specially my mom who had never used canned beans before, now she knows she can used canned beans and make them taste home made.

  10. My favorite Mexican dish would have to tacos dorados or flautas. I love that they are so simple to make and very portable . I like to make them at home and then top them with salsa verde, avocados, cabbage/lettuce, and diced onions. I love to try all types if different cuisines, I try to expand my palate as well as my children's palate to be open to try new things.

  11. Hello Mely! I love Mexican food and my favorite meal has to be a homemade cheese enchilada. I like going out to eat once in awhile but homemade is the best. By the way thank you for sharing your sope recipe, trying sometime soon!
    Have a great week!


  12. Hello Mely. I love making pork carnitas! My dad can never get enough of them. Mexican food is my favorite cuisine, but i'll eat anything that tastes good! :) Thank you!

  13. Mole enchiladas are my favorite! I've made it once (mostly I wait for Mami to spoil me with some he he!) & there's one restaurant nearby that makes them almost as good as hers :)

  14. My favorite Mexican foods include Posole, Chile Verde and Pecan-Hibiscus Mole Sauce, all of which I make. My favorite cuisines include Mexican, Middle Eastern, Thai, Indian and Indonesian.

  15. Mely me encantó tu paso a paso! Y las fotos! Me gustan mucho los sopes de carne de res.

  16. I love asado but don't know how to make it, we go to a local restaurant to eat it. My favorite cuisines are Mexican, Chinese and Italian.

  17. I think green chile stew and pozole rojo are some of my favorites. We grew up in West Texas and Mexican food has always been a favorite for all of my family. We think chilies should be their own food group. We put them in everything. I would love to try these products. Thank you and have a blessed day.

  18. I love Pozole but haven't been able to make it very well myself, so I usually have to go to a restaurant to get it. I love Mexican food and Asian food.

  19. My favorite Mexican food is flautas. I grew up in Texas and had them all the time, but I never see them outside of Texas. Being from Texas my favorite type of food is a tie between Tex-Mex and barbecue.

  20. My favorite is my yummy shredded salsa chicken burritos. I make them myself - just last night actually. I love to mix it up with different fillings and toppings. My favorite cuisine is Mexican. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    fairyfractal at gmail dot com

  21. I love tamales and make my own using your recipe for the chicken w/green sauce and pre-made masa by El Milagro here in Atlanta, Georgia! My favorite cuisines are Mexican, Italian and Cajun/Creole!

  22. My favorite cuisine is Mexican of course. With such a variety of deliciousness, who doesn't love it? When I was growing up, we never bought frozen or microwaveable foods; we always ate home-made and were quite content. Pozole and pork tamales were special occasions along with mole and asado. Our daily meals were always served with fresh, hot tortillas de maiz and arroz y frijoles de la olla. ¡y nunca faltaba la salsa! I have re-created those memories for my 5 sons at our own dinner table and have passed on family recipes so that they can cook for their families as well (my oldest is 18 and youngest is 13, so we have a while before that happens (: *whew!). My favorite dish is something so simple that for some reason doesn't get the attention it deserves: sopa! When my sons were babies, sopa de fideo (or letras, estrellas, melon, etc) were the first foods I introduced to them. They were the first food that I taught them to make, too. Now, years later, anytime someone is feeling under the weather, los apapacho with a big bowl of sopita and some squirts of lime juice. When we are in a hurry and don't want to make a huge meal, sopa is always on the list. And when the nights are cool and crisp, there is nothing like a huge bowl of sopa, with aguacate, salsa verde, queso rallado, shredded chicken, and tortilla strips to make you feel warm and cozy. just says 'love'. :)

  23. Mexican and asian food my fav !!!! My favorite food is carnitas I go to a local taqueria called apapzingan mmm here in redwood city. Its my fav. Uour website is the best !#

  24. Love carnitas my favorite I buy made bc their the best from taqueria apatzingan in redwood city. Mm I Love cooking. I love mexican food even though im salvadorian . Love your website =)

  25. I would have to say that my favorite would be enchiladas . I usually pick up at a restaurant but make them myself as well. My other favorite cuisines are chinese. other contact info- shaunie =

  26. My favorite mexican food is taquitos. I buy them frozen and bake them. My favorite cuisines are mexican, italian, and chamorro.

  27. I love New Mexican food which is similar to Mexican food but not. I cook it myself as there are no true New Mexican restaurants here just Mexican and Tex-Mex. Last night I made beef tacos, calabacitas, fresh salsa, and pinto beans.

  28. My favorite has to be tamales. I like the red sauce and the wife likes the green sauce. Make a day of it when making tamales and usually cook over campfire. Always make enough to freeze. My other favorite is probably Chinese.

  29. My favorite mexican food is carnitas!. I make it my self but also enjoy going out to eat it. My favorite food is mexican. Yum tacos tortas tamales ect lol

  30. my favorite Mexican food are street tacos you can get with tortillas, carne asada, onion, cilantro and lime juice! Yes, we do make them here, but I will go to buy them as well from a local restaurant or when I visit RI I head to Don Nachos taco stand. We also love nachos, chicken flautas, arroz, flan, tres leches cake and lots of other things, and our favorite Cuisines are Mexican and Guatemalan.

  31. Tamales have to be my favorite. I like the red sauce and the wife likes the green sauce. Usually make a day of it when making and cook them over campfire. Always make enough to freeze. I guess Chinese would be my other favorite.

  32. My favorite cuisine is Mexican and Italian. Even though I am Scottish and English, I identify with these two cuisines most. I've been told I make some pretty good tamales. I love my homemade refried beans, salsa, enchiladas, and corn and flour tortillas. I would absolutely love to learn the art of sopas. That is something I seem to not be able to master yet. I love that I have found this blog. You have taught me so much.

  33. I love Quesadillas! I usually make them myself at home, but sometimes I like to eat at one of the local Mexican restaurants. They are so good!

  34. I made these about a month ago and were DELICIOUS!! By the way, I apologize for not leaving you a comment right away — with kids around is easy to forget. (I have just made the beef kebabs and left you a comment there.) Thank you VERY much for sharing your wonderful recipes.


    1. Thank you for your comment Xochitl! ;)

  35. So pleased to find your blog! Making Sopes for supper after watching a show featuring them on tv. But… something seemed wrong… flour in the dough and baking powder???? I make tortillas, but didn’t realize the dough would be the same… any way cruising around and here you are. Beautifully designed site... your ingredients for several recipes I am looking at are authentic… 40 years in the southwest and we ate Mexican out several times a week… after long work days and neighbor hood cafe’s reasonable with hungry kids. We felt it was the healthy choice. Now up in the northwest and need to cook at home…for taste and healthy ingredients. Looking forward to spending a lot of time here at your place. :o)

  36. Hopefully I can make it I've been craving to make sopes since forever

  37. My favorite foods are; Mexican, Italian, French, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Sri Lankan, Texas BBQ, Balinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Lao, Burmese and Greek Nagasaki -_-

  38. These look wonderful. Definitely a candidate for vegetarian night -- there are so many wonderful flavors there that no one would miss the meat!

    Tell me, are these something you pick up in your hands to eat, or are they knife-and-fork food? Thanks for the recipe and the clear instruction!

    1. Hello More Cowbell,

      They are usually eaten with your hands, but then there are those people that like to use fork and knife. ;)
      Happy cooking!


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