Archive for November, 2010

Kimchi Pupusas

November 14, 2010

김치 푸푸사, 철판에서 신선한.

So, I’m staring blankly into my refrigerator debating between scrambled eggs or the last cupcake, left over from a potluck the night before, and the fact that it’s past noon and I still haven’t eaten is beginning to weigh on me.

Then I see the bag of masa preparada – corn flour mixed with lard – and I begin thinking that scrambled eggs with fresh tortillas might be the way to go. The fact there’s an unopened package of queso fresco in the refrigerator, too, means that idea sounds better and better by the moment and then, just behind the carton of my housemate’s almond milk, I spy the huge jar of kimchi I made over a week ago and now has just become ready to eat.

Of course, I come to the logical conclusion: kimchi pupusas.

There are some obstacles to overcome: I still don’t have the skill for making tortillas correctly. My tortilla press, purchased on a trip to Mexico a few months ago, hasn’t exactly been conducive to making perfect tortillas – not yet, anyway – and I’ve never made pupusas. No matter.

I decide to go for the gusto and begin work. I chop up a chunk of the cheese into smaller pieces, and then place them, along with a forkful of kimchi, onto patted rounds of masa which I then cover with another round. I press them together, sealing the edges, and then begin frying them on a hot, greased skillet.

After just a few minutes cooked on either side, they turn out beautifully: golden and warm. When I bite into the first one, however, I’m underwhelmed.

They’re too thick, damn it, but I can taste the potential. The sharp, spicy bite of the kimchi – along with sweet heat from the ginger – are a lovely contrast with the crispy masa and the bland bites of queso fresco but I should have made them thinner than I did. The correct way would have been to tuck the ingredients into balls of masa in which I’ve formed a small depression, and then enclosed with the edges of the ball. Then I should have rolled them out so they were only about two thirds as thick as the ones I made.

I should have chopped up the kimchi more, beforehand, as well. There’s nothing quite like pulling an entire leaf of steaming hot, spicy cabbage with your teeth and having to catch it with your fingers before it lands in your lap.

And they were, at the very center, a little gummy.

No matter. Now that I believe I know what I did wrong, I’ll try it again later.