Sopes: Possibly the Meaning of Life?

Jun 18, 2008

A couple weeks ago my cleaning lady came early and brought with her all the items she would need to show me how to make Sopes. Sopes are a traditional Mexican antojito (basically "snack" or "appetizer") constructed of a thick, homemade tortilla whose edges have been turned up to create a sort of boat for holding all the condiments. On top of the tortilla goes refried black beans, (in our case) shredded chicken, strings of Oaxaca cheese, tomatoes, that powdery, sprinkle-y cheese that they put on everything, Mexican-style sour cream (runnier than the sour cream in the states) and homemade tomato hot sauce. They can have anything you'd like on them, but that's what ours had.

I should have been taking pictures, but I was so amazed at the whole process that I failed to get the old camera a-clicking. Next time we do a cooking project, I'll be sure to get some photos, but for now, I just wanted to say:

Sopes, oh how I love you, let me count the ways...

1. Your yummy, warm and crunchy/chewy tortilla bottom is the perfect base for all things wonderful and diet-busting about Mexican food.

2. Refried beans so carefully placed seem to make the difference between just an ordinary sandwich and a delicious Mexican one. Sope, you would not be the same without your refried-beany goodness.

3. Oaxaca cheese is quite possibly the best, most meltable cheese that could adorn your luscious corn tortilla flavor. In fact, a handmade tortilla with Oaxaca cheese is a delicious snack just by itself, but don't worry Sope, I won't cheat on you.

4. Sprinkle cheese, I wish I knew your name, you add your cheesy flavor to this already awesome creation. You make Mexican food so, so good. Without you the Sopes would not be as pretty as can be.

5. Homemade tomato hot sauce, where have you been my whole life? Thirty one years is too long to live without knowledge of your existence. Now my life is complete.

6. Media Crema you are the proverbial cherry on top of this delicious concoction. You crown this small joy in life with extra fat and flavor, and you make me smile.

Now that I have participated in the making of the most-delicious (and, coincidentally, the only) Sopes that I have ever eaten, I can't get them off my mind! I will be trying restaurant-made Sopes soon to see if they're just as good. They take quite a time dedication to make, and while they're not exactly waste-band friendly, they are muy rico and satisfying in a way that only warm, homemade corn tortillas can be.

If you are in the States I recommend you find your way over to the nearest Mexican part of town and get yourself an order of Sopes. Order at least two, because one will leave you wanting another. If you live in a part of the country that suffers the misfortune of not having a Mexican part of town, you can make them by following a recipe like this one. You won't be disappointed, addicted maybe, but disappointed, no.


Mamacita Chilena said...

Nice!!! I REALLY like the new look. I'm about to just give you the password to my blogger and let you run wild in there :) I SUCK at all that HTML crap and I've tried to change mine and make it pretty but as of yet, no luck!

Ummm, and those pictures are literally making my mouth water. If you could see me right now there's drool running down the side of my face...

mexpat said...

Thanks! It's funny, I've thought and thought about changing it but never have. Then I finally just bit the bullet and changed it all over in a couple hours last night. Sorta like renewing your driver's license or something- you dread doing it but once you finally start it's not that bad!

Unfortunately, I can't take credit for the photo, but trust me, our Sopes were even better looking!

Luis Fernando said...

Yes, SOPES rules!!!!

I am a sopes addicted :D

My mother prepared them oftenly.

Everything you said is right, the incredible sensation in the mouth with all the ingredients. Grrrr

Yo quiero sopes!!!!

mexpat said...

Did your mom make them in the morning? My Spanish tutor says her mom made them in the morning for them and we ate ours at about 10:30 in the morning. Are they a breakfast thing or just an "any time you want one" thing?

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Luis Fernando said...


Well my mom used to make them for lunch and in a few occasions for dinner, mostly because of its long elaboration process. They can be eaten at any time, no rules for that.
Here in Yucatán is not a traditional meal, its more from central México.
Now that I am not living with my parents I have to go to a nearby chilango's fonda at night to enjoy them. :)
The sopes is my favorite antojito.

I hope you enjoy your staying in México.

Mariella said...

Just wanted to let you know that the powdery cheesy thing is called "Queso Cotija" you can find it, I assume, in any market, looks like a block of cheese which you shred yourself. Now here in SouthCali you can find it already shredded for you in a bag but imo, the fresh stuff is better.

P.S. If you want an extra kick, make a sauce traditionally used for "enchiladas" dip the tortilla in it and then lightly fry it before adding the beans, chicken and other stuff. My mom makes it not as an antojito but as a meal since it is a little time consuming.

Sauce Recipe: 4 Chiles "Guajillo", bring to boil then put contents in blender add a dash of white vinegar, a piece of garlic and salt, blend and start dipping!

mexpat said...


Thanks! Queso Cotija sounds familiar. I saw it all the time in the grocery store in NJ, but it was in a bag and already powdered. That explains why I haven't seen it here (or possibly that I didn't look for it since I don't use it much)!

That recipe for sauce sounds divine! We made the tortillas, then folded up the edges while they were hot and then fried them in a little but of olive oil. Dipping them in a yummy sauce sounds like it'd add an extra layer to the flavor that would be awesome! I'll have to try it! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

beachin77 said...

hey! you can find the cotija by the cheeses in the deli area. if they have it! you know how it goes here . . . seems every time i go shopping, i have to stop at another store to get something they didn't have at the first store!