Savory Sopitos



Savory sopitos served up on a plate.

Eimy Gonzalez, News Editor

¡Que ricos son los sopitos! I have always been fond of this dish. Making them makes me think back to all the years I have spent cooking with my grandmother, helping her prepare the masa, torteando, and placing the little thick tortillas on the comal. For me, it’s the ultimate form of comfort food. However, more than comfort, it is also a unique cultural experience.

There is no need to take a plane in order to travel if it can all be done in your own kitchen!

Before going ahead and tackling this recipe, I would like to emphasize that Mexican cuisine, without a doubt, has been created with great creativity. From the wide variety of “Antojitos Mexicanos,” all of these have in common a great number of similar ingredients: corn dough, salsas, and toppings.

In addition, any dish, depending on the region, can be widely different in looks, taste, and preparation. The following recipe is a guide to make one form of sopitos. It comes from my abuelita’s kitchen located in Jalisco and can correspond to one of the more common images of what this dish is usually portrayed as. However, keep in mind that not all sopitos are the same, not even in Jalisco.


1 cup of masa flour

1 cup of warm water

4 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard

1 cup refried beans

2 cups lettuce finely shredded

1 lbs. of ground beef

1 cup Mexican cheese queso fresco crumbled

1 cup white onion finely chopped

1 cup Mexican cream

5 tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

Salt to taste

4 bay leaves


Mix the masa flour and warm water in a medium-size bowl and knead until you have a uniform texture. If the dough feels dry, add more water until the dough is soft and manageable.
Divide the dough into 10 pieces of the same size while heating a griddle to medium-high heat.
Cut a plastic bag into two, preferably a bag used to store food. 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. Then, press down gently with the tortilla press handle until you form a medium size thick tortilla. In the case that you do not have a tortilla press, you can use any flat surface to press the dough.
Remove the plastic, pick up the tortilla gently onto your palm, and place it over the hot griddle. After a minute, turn the tortilla with a spatula and cook until firm. You will see when it’s ready; it will change colors.
After removing the tortilla from the griddle, let it cool a few minutes. Then, with a clean kitchen towel, cover the tortilla and start pinching the edges until the whole tortilla has a rim.

Roast the tomatoes and peel them.
In a blender, place the tomatoes, garlic, and salt to taste. Then, blend until smooth.
In medium-high heat, cook the salsa with the bay leaves. When the color changes to a dark red, place aside and let it cool.

The ground beef can be cooked to preference. You can add vegetables such as carrots or potatoes like a picadillo. Or, you can leave it by itself.

Serving the sopitos
Over medium heat, place the oil over a skillet to fry the sopitos. Make sure to fry both sides until it has a light, golden color. Then, place aside and pat with a towel the excess of oil.
Lightly coat the inside of the sopito with refried beans, then add the ground beef.
On top, decorate with lettuce, onion, cheese, Mexican cream, and a delicious tomato slice.
Pour the salsa over the sopitos to taste. In my opinion, the more the better.

You can also add some spicy salsa if you are brave, as well as radishes and/or avocado slices. Some of these ingredients, such as queso fresco or Mexican crema, can be difficult to obtain. As a substitute you can use whatever you may have available. Regular cream and a little grated cheese should do the trick.