A sope shell made with masa flour, filled with one of two healthy fillings, and topped with a simple mango salsa and avocado... Mexican Sopes 2 Ways is a perfect antojito (street food) for a party appetizer or a casual main dish!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, but the content and opinions are my own. I have enthusiastically used their products for years! 🙂
What is a sope? A sope (also known as picaditas in some regions) reminds me more of a tamale than a corn tortilla, though both are made with masa. Typically, masa dough is formed into balls, and pressed and pinched to form cups, though it is not uncommon to find other shapes.
My earliest recollection of sopes is as a child growing up in the San Gabriel Valley in southern California. My mom's "chile cheese cups" were a Sunday night favorite! She made the masa cups in muffin pans, and filled them with prepared (often homemade) chile and beans, topped them with sharp cheddar, and baked them. We loved them to the moon! When I told my sister Corinne that I was working on a recipe for masa cups, she and I had a "sister moment" discussing how we loved those chile cheese cups.
That memory is what prompted me to create a sopes recipe of my own. I've been working with Bob's Red Mill for a few months now, and I had a package of Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina speaking to me. 😉 Given my propensity to focus on healthy, local, fresh ingredients, and the fact that I live in the Rio Grande Valley within sight of Mexico, this task was difficult only in that I was limited to Mexican Sopes 2 Ways (not 5 or 6)! 😀
We entertain a lot, and I like to provide at least one vegetarian option. Additionally, we make an attempt at practicing #meatlessMonday. So a vegetarian black bean filling seemed to be a natural. My carnivore option had to be a zesty, tender Pressure Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork made in a large batch in the pressure cooker. Blogger's prerogative. 😯
To avoid cluttering up this post with too many individual recipes, I decided to bring you the Sopes and the Vegetarian Black Bean Filling, and follow up with the Pressure Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork, and then the Easy Mango Salsa. I'm hoping to have this all wrapped up and available to you in just a few days...
The masa dough makes about 18 cups. Given that I'm usually cooking for 2, I cooked 6 at a time, and wrapped the remaining dough in plastic wrap for another meal. Just remember to bring the dough to room temperature prior to working with it. Otherwise, it will be hard as a rock. Obviously if you're using the dough for a party appetizer, you'll make all 18 (or more).
Feel free to be creative with this recipe! Fill your sopes with pork and green chile, seasoned ground meat, etc. Top them with your favorite salsa. One of my favorite options is my Roasted Tomatillo and Hatch Green Chile Salsa (Salsa Verde).
My favorite toppings are avocado, crumbled cotija, and chopped cilantro, and they work well on both the Vegetarian Black Bean Filling and the Mexican Pulled Pork Filling. What fun fillings can you think up? I'd love to hear your ideas through my "comments" section at the bottom of the post!
Mexican Sopes Recipe
A basic sopes dough to create cups to fill as you please!
- 3 cups masa flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melt if necessary to liquefy)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1-2 cups warm water (as needed)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 convection).
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Add the coconut oil and beaten egg. Stir to combine. Mixture will be very dry and crumbly.
Begin to add water until you have a pliable ball of dough. It should not be crumbly, nor should it feel sticky.
The dough will make 18-24 cups depending on size. Divide dough into walnut or golf ball size pieces, and press and pinch them into the muffin tins. (Refer to photo in the post).
Bake 15 minutes (about 12 convection) until just beginning to brown. At this point you can spoon in hot fillings and garnish. You can add the fillings and pop them back in the oven for a maximum of 5 minutes to avoid drying them out. You don't want dry sopes!
You can keep any leftover cups for 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Reheat them in a 200 degree oven to soften, and then fill with desired fillings.
I have included the recipe for a Vegetarian Black Bean Filling that is delicious. As I mention in the post, I will link to a Mexican Pulled Pork also. Shredded chicken and seasoned ground meat would also be delicious!
Garnish with your choice of avocados, cotija, queso fresco, shredded cheddar, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, your favorite salsa. Here's a link to my Easy Mango Salsa pictured in my photos. Fabuloso!
Vegetarian Black Bean Filling
A healthy vegetarian filling with vibrant Mexican flavors - citrus, chipotles, cumin, garlic... Fill sopes or try it in a quesadilla or smeared on a tostada!
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp shallot or red onion (finely minced)
- 1 tsp garlic (finely minced)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups tender, cooked black beans (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 small orange or tangerine (zest and juice (see notes))
- 1 lime (zest and juice)
- 1 chipotle with its adobo (to taste (see notes))
- vegetable broth (as needed)
- sea salt/fresh ground pepper
Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
Add shallot or onion, and garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add cumin, and stir an additional minute.
Add the remaining ingredients except the vegetable broth. Using a potato masher, smash the beans as desired. I don't leave many whole beans.
Add vegetable broth to attain desired consistency, then season with salt and pepper.
You want a total of about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of citrus juice, with emphasis on the orange or tangerine.
Chipotle chiles are smoked jalapenos, and the canned ones are packed in adobo which is also hot. Proceed with caution. We like heat at Andersen casa, so I use 2 plus the adobo that clings to them. Most people will be happier with 1. Start small and add according to taste.
If you don't have chipotles, ground chipotle chile or ancho powder make a decent substitute. If you want the smokiness but no heat, try adding a teaspoon of smoked paprika.
Don't forget to season!