Shrimp Pupusas by Michelin Starred Chef John Critchley
The Cinder Grill is the perfect kitchen tool for making this El Salvadorian street food. The Curtido, slightly pickled/fermented cabbage spiked with oregano, gives a vinegary punch to the masa crusted shrimp.
For the Curtido
- 1/2 each Napa Cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 &1/2 tsp Oregano, Dried
- 3/4 cup Vinegar, white distilled
- 1 each Carrot, small, shredded
- 6 cups water
- 3 tbsp Sea Salt
For the Pupusa dough
- 2 cups Maseca (instant corn masa flour)
- 1 &1/2 cups Water, warm
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp sea Salt
For the Filling
- 1/2 pound Shrimp, 21-25 size, peeled, deveined
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 each lime, juiced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 each shallot, minced
- Butter or lard for cooking (as needed)
- Prepare the curtido by placing the sliced cabbage in a large bowl.
- Bring to a simmer the water and sea salt and pour over the cabbage. Mix the cabbage and let the cabbage stand for 5 minutes.
- Drain the water leaving approximately 1 cup with the cabbage.
- Ad the vinegar, carrot and oregano and mix well (the mixture should be very wet and liquid should cover the ingredients when pressed down).
- Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for an hour or up to 2 weeks.
- Next prepare the shrimp filling using a small food processor ( or a sharp knife and a lot of patience).
- Pace shrimp, olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and shallots in the food processor and pulse until fully combined and shrimp are in very small pieces (it may feel a bit sticky which is perfect).
- For the pupusa dough use a mixing bowl and your hands.
- Place maseca flour in the bowl with sea salt and olive oil, gently mix with your hands while pouring the water in to form the dough.
- Let the mixture rest for up to an hour with plastic wrap covering to prevent dehydration.
- Portion the dough into golf ball size balls (12 each) onto parchment paper leaving 3 inches between them.
- Lay another sheet of parchment on top of the balls and gently flatten them with your hands until they are about 1/3 inch thick and resembling a tortilla in roundness (don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly round, you’ll shape them a little later).
- Spoon the shrimp mixture on top of 6 of the shapes and flatten the shrimp mixture to cover but leaving a 1/4 inch edge for the top dough to adhere to the bottom.
- Place one of the 6 dough rounds without the shrimp on top and gently press the edges together to make a seam. Shape the pupusas with your hands to gently flatten and round out the shape.
- Preheat your cinder grill to 350°F. When the grill is hot, brush both sides of the pupusa with melted butter or lard and place onto the grill, close the lid and let cook for 5 minutes.
- Repeat until all the pupusas are cooked and serve alongside fresh cilantro, limes, curtido and your favorite hot sauce or salsa (try our salsa roasted on the Cinder Grill as an accompaniment).