After bringing our son Larson home, we’ve become connected to new people all over the globe. Many are related to adoption from all sides: birth mamas, adopted children, adoptive families. Others have reached out knowing Larson has Mexican heritage. One of these generous souls was Alejandra of the vegan recipe blog Brown Sugar & Vanilla. She’s from Mexico, now living in Houston, and incredibly lovely and kind. We chatted about Spanish kids books and authentic Mexican recipes. One of the recipes she mentioned was sopes.
What are sopes? They’re a sort of thick tortilla with upturned edges, topped with meat, beans, and sauces. While Alex and I eat Mexican recipes often, neither of us had ever eaten a sope. Alejandra introduced us to sopes and created this special homemade sopes recipe in honor of Larson and his adoption story.
So we are thrilled today to be sharing Alejandra’s method for making authentic homemade Mexican sopes! Though they sound exotic, they’re actually quite simple to make at home. I expected them to be a little fussy, like making homemade tortillas. But unlike tortillas, which can be difficult to press thin enough, sopes are intentionally thicker and easier to press. They’re pretty simple to cook on a hot griddle; the only part that requires a bit of finesse is turning up the edges after cooking.
Here’s the basic concept: Mix together a simple dough made mostly of masa harina, then form it into little dough balls.
Using a pie plate, flatten each dough ball into a thin disk. No need for a tortilla press here!
Cook each disk on a very hot griddle for a few minutes until cooked through. While it’s still warm, crimp the edges.
And that’s it! Once the sopes are cooked, you can fill them with anything you might use for a taco. Here we’ve spread them with a thin layer of our supremely simple refried black beans, then sprinkled with bright pink pickled onions and a bit of crunchy romaine. For a special treat, added a dollop of this vegan chipotle cashew cream. If you think ahead and have some onhand in the refrigerator, it’s perfect for topping Mexican recipes of all kinds. Or, you can go all Jackson Pollock with sour cream and hot sauce.
These homemade sopes make for simple, healthy meals. We made ours as a weeknight dinner (I’ll admit, we can be fairly ambitious on weeknights), but a dinner of sopes would be fabulous for weekend guests. Serve them with a side salad and some chips and salsa fresca as a unique alternative to tacos. They’re a bit outside the norm, but we’re convinced sopes should be a thing. And Larson will grow up knowing—and loving—them!
A huge thank you to Alejandra of Brown Sugar and Vanilla for sharing this recipe with us in honor of Larson. Alejandra blogs at Brown Sugar and Vanilla and has a lovely feed on Instagram.
Looking for vegan recipes?
These sopes are vegan, which stands out from most of our Mexican recipes. Vegan recipes are becoming part of our everyday, though we typically eat vegetarian. Here are a few of our recent vegan recipes:
Looking for healthy meals?
Who isn’t looking for healthy meals, these days? A few of our top healthy meals:
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this homemade sopes with black beans recipe, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Homemade Sopes with Black Beans
- Mix the flour with the salt and gradually stir in the oil and nearly all of the water. Mix it together with your hands until a soft dough forms, with the consistency similar to playdough. Continue adding little bits of water until the correct consistency is achieved.
- Divide the dough into 10 pieces and roll them into balls, then cover them with a kitchen towel.
- Cut a gallon-sized plastic bag into 2 large squares. Get out a pie plate with a flat bottom or tortilla press.
- Heat a pan or skillet over high heat.
- While heating the skillet, place one of the dough balls between the two squares of plastic. Using a large pie plate with a flat bottom (or a tortilla press), apply pressure until you have a flat and even disk.
- Place the masa disk onto the griddle, and cook until it looks dry on the top, about 1 minute. Then flip it over and cook another 20 to 30 seconds until fully cooked. Place the cooked sope on a baking sheet and wait about 30 seconds until it has cooled, then pinch the edges up with your fingers to form the borders. Continue for all sopes. (This process works well with a helper!)
- To serve, spread with a thin layer of refried beans, then top with lettuce, pickled onions, hot sauce, and a dollop of cashew cream.