The first time I had a sope was at this little restaurant called Maize in Chicago. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it the first time I had one; it just looked like a fried tortilla shell, but the corn flavor was much more intense, and it didn't taste greasy at all. I've been smitten with them since, but I haven't been able to find them in Ohio, nor have I recreated them at home since I'm always a little leery about frying in the apartment. That is, until I ran across this website that walked through the process. I didn't use the exact same recipe that they did, but I did find their instructions wonderful.
Turns out sopes are pretty easy to recreate. I'm not sure if this is the most authentic version of them, but it is an incredibly tasty one. The only part that might scare off people is the moment the thermometer comes out to measure the hot fat. Instead of filling a large pot with gallons of oil and frying them all at once, I poured just a tiny amount into the smallest pot I could find and fried each sope individually. It took a little longer than I had originally planned, but it made for a cleaner process. As for the fillings, I just decided to use what I had on hand, which included a can of black beans, some leftover roast pork, salsa, and sour cream—whatever filling you decide is up to your own preference. These little guys make for a great alternative to tortillas.
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.
- 1 cups masa harina
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups water
- Black beans
- Roast pork
- Sour cream
- Canola oil
Mix together the masa, salt, and water with your hands until it forms a smooth ball. Add more water if it's too dry and not coming together. Divide into 8 balls.
Place a ball in between two 6 inch square pieces of plastic wrap. Flatten with a tortilla press or with a large pot, until about 1/4 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Fold up the sides to create a 1/2 inch or so edge all the way around. Repeat with the other balls.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. When it's hot, place one sope in the skillet at a time, flat side down, for about a minute until the bottom firms up. Repeat with the other balls.
Pour about 1/2 inch of the canola oil into a small pot. Heat to 350°F. Prick the inside of the sopes a few times with fork. When ready, place one sope in the pot and cook until it browns, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain upside down. Repeat with the other sopes.
Fill with your favorite taco accessories. I had some black beans, roast pork, salsa, and sour cream. Something as simple as guacamole would work wonderfully too.