I was first introduced to sopes nearly eight years ago while working at Homeboyz Interactive. It was Ruth who stated her mother was bringing in a dish for lunch, and she was seriously excited about. Something Ruth truly loved, and you know when someone is that excited about something, it has got to be good. I was thinking that Ruth’s mom was bringing in a plate of food for her, however her mom brought in a pan of these sopes! These things were amazing. Deep fried masa cups filled with refried beans, shredded chicken, and cheese. Possibly other items. All I know is that I was inhaling them and loving each and every one.
Seeing that I have been using masa for some time now, making tortillas and puffy tacos, I decided to get into the sope. Making the dough for the sope is quite simple, however gets a bit complicated when you shape the dough into a cup-like shape before frying. Let’s get started, I know you are getting hungry.
- 2 cups masa
- 1 cup warm water
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- Cooking oil
- Black beans, regular or lightly mashed
- Meat (optional) of your choice, shredded
- Optional toppings (chopped tomato, guacamole, chopped onion, cilantro, etc)
Add the masa into a large bowl, and to that add the salt and garlic powder. Mix well. Slowly add in your water and begin working the masa into the water to make a dough. Add more water until the you begin to get a firm, somewhat moist dough. Cover with a moist towel until you get your oil heated.
In a medium-sized pot, add your oil, I use canola. You will want to add enough to be able to drop in your cups of masa dough. As the oil is heating up, take about a golf ball to billiard sized ball of masa and flatten with a tortilla press, remembering to use saran wrap to prevent any sticking. You should find a cup (I used a small tea cup) that you can flip over and lay the dough onto to shape into a cup. Please note that you might want to use something like parchment paper on the cup to prevent the dough from sticking.
If your dough begins to break while forming your mold, don’t worry. Masa is pretty forgiving and you can gently smooth out the tear. Once you have your cup shaped, drop it into hot oil and cook until a light golden brown, roughly five minutes or so. Remove the cup with a slotted spoon. As the cup is cooking, repeat the process noted above to make more cups. I did one cup at a time.
Once you have your cups ready, fill with your favorite toppings, and serve. Trust me, these things are awesome!