- 2cups masa harina
- 1teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2cups water
- 1/3cup lard or vegetable shortening, meltedor 1/3 vegetable oil (Optional, may sub water. See notes)
- 2cups vegetable oil for frying
- 1cup refried beanswarmed
- 1 1/2cups shredded protein of choicesee post for tons of options
- 1 1/2cups finely shredded lettuce
- 1/4cup diced white onion
- 1 avocadochopped
- 1/2cup Homemade Salsamore or less to taste
- 1/2cup Mexican creammay sub sour cream
- 1/2cup crumbled queso fresco
Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the masa harina and salt together. Stir in the water and melted lard (cooled to lukewarm) or vegetable oil. Knead by hand for about 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable but not sticky. It should be the consistency of Play-Doh. After the dough is kneaded, form it into a ball and cover it with a damp dish towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
Troubleshoot the dough. If the dough feels dry and crumbly or there’s cracking on the surface after you form it into a rough ball, add more water, little by little, kneading after each addition. The amount of water can vary depending on humidity levels. If you live in humid area, you may want to reduce the water to begin with.
Separate the dough. After 5 minutes, transfer the dough to cutting board and flatten into an even disc. Using a knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (like cutting a pizza). Keep the dough covered with a damp dish towel at all times while not working with it.
Shape the dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a ball, and place it in between two sheets of plastic wrap. Press down with a clear dish (I use a glass pie plate) to create a 3 ½ inch wide disk. Transfer sope to the prepared baking sheet, and cover with damp dish towel. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, flatten sopes using a tortilla press.
Cook the sopes. Preheat a comal or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet to medium heat (350 degrees), about 2-3 minutes. If you don’t have a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, use a nonstick skillet. Once hot, carefully add 4 sopes in a single layer. Cook just until the bottoms feel dry and light golden spots appear, about 60 seconds. Flip and cook another 30 seconds. Don’t be tempted to cook any longer or the dough will be too tough to form the rimmed edges and will dry out and crack.
Pinch the sopes. Transfer the sopes to a clean, flat surface and let them cool 45 seconds then proceed to quickly pinch the dough around the edges to create a ½-inch rim. You may want to use a clean kitchen towel or gloves to protect your fingers from the heat. Repeat with remaining sopes.
Shallow-fry the sopes. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Carefully add 2 cups vegetable oil to the now empty cast iron skillet and heat to 350 degrees F. Add 4-6 sopes, and fry until golden, about 1-2 minutes per side, adjusting heat as need to maintain temperature. Transfer sopes to prepared baking sheet and dab off excess oil with paper towels. Repeat with remaining sopes.
Assemble the sopes. Spread a layer of refried beans on each sope. Top with meat, lettuce, onions, avocado, salsa, crema, cheese and any other desired toppings. Serve warm.