Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family

Papusas con Curtido (with pickled cabbage slaw)

When I lived in Washington DC, my favorite neighborhood greasy spoon was a take out Salvadoran restaurant where I developed a healthy addiction to papusas. Papusas are yummy cheese stuffed tortillas served with a pickled cabbage slaw and the combination of the warm melty cheese and crisp cabbage are what makes them so good. Sadly in Salem, there are no papusas to be had so I've been working on perfecting my papusa making skills. I was really excited to recently find this curtido recipe because I could never replicate it and this recipe is spot on!
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 cup grated cheese: quesillo, queso fresco, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella
  • vegetable oil



  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)

Combine masa harina, salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Knead to form a smooth, moist dough with a playdough-like consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. If the mixture is too sticky, add more masa harina, one teaspoon at a time. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let stand for 10 minutes.

With lightly oiled hands, form the dough into 8 balls about 2 inches in diameter. Using your thumb, make an indentation into one of the balls, forming a small cup. Fill the cup with 1 tablespoon of cheese and wrap the dough around the filling to seal it. Making sure that the filling does not leak, pat the dough back and forth between your hands to form a round disk about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining balls.

Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high. Cook the pupusas for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.


Combine the Curtido ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably at least a day before serving.

Serve warm with curtido on the side.