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Black Bean Pupusas with Lime Curtido + A Giveaway

March 21, 2016
How to make vegan black bean pupusas right in your own kitchen with step-by-step instructions on fermenting your own lime curtido to serve with them!

We have a WINNER! Congratulations Kyla, hope you enjoy Beyond Canning as much as I do! Thank you to all of you who participated in the giveaway!

Are you a canner? A fermenter? Is the word crock in your vocabulary?

Black Bean Papusas with Lime Curtido Recipe

On a scale of freezer jam to large-batch kimchee production I’m a once-a-year-pickler-canner and very occasional jam-maker. I’ve always been a little intimidated by fermentation mainly because most recipes call for twenty pounds of cabbage and like, two years of your life to finish a project. But I’m proud to say with the help of my friend Autumn and her new book Beyond Canning I can now call myself a fermenter and I can’t wait to do it again!

Black Bean Papusas with Lime Curtido Recipe

The fermenting recipes in Autumn’s book focus on small-batch fermentation using 1 quart jar and a super-cool tool called an air-lock system that fits right over the top. Fermenting such small amounts takes no time at all and is super easy to essentially chop up some ingredients, toss with salt, and let the air lock do it’s magic!

Black Bean Papusas with Lime Curtido Recipe

I chose to try the Lime Curtido recipe. I’ve always loved that crunchy, slightly sour slaw that comes with pupusas but I’d never tried to make it myself. Truth be told, I didn’t even realize it was basically like an El Salvadorian version of sauerkraut.

Black Bean Papusas with Lime Curtido Recipe

The curtido takes about two weeks to ferment and I would take a taste here and there to see how it was progressing. It started off sharp, spicy, and salty with all the flavors poking out like spikes on a cactus paddle. By the end of the two weeks however, everything had mellowed and melded the cabbage and carrots getting sweeter and the jalapeños not so spicy, making a delicious accompaniment to tacos, burgers, and of course, pupusas.

Black Bean Papusas with Lime Curtido Recipe

The pupusas are filled with black beans and are an excellent contrast to this slightly spicy, sour curtido.

Black Bean Papusas with Lime Curtido Recipe

Beyond Canning is so much more than fermenting. There are sweet preserves, interesting pickles and even a recipe for a Buckwheat-Oat Jam Crumb Bar that I’m dying to try. Autumn’s steady, down-to-earth voice shines through making seemingly complicated recipes crystal clear and totally doable. I’m so excited about this book that I want you to have a copy too and guess what? Autumn has been kind enough to give one luck winner a copy! Simply leave me a comment below telling me your canning adventures and a winner will randomly be chosen on March 29.

If you’d like to see some other Beyond Canning recipes like Pink House Kraut (made with red cabbage, beets, and ginger) or Bloody Mary Pickled Eggs check out these other sites that are part of the Beyond Canning Book Tour!

3/7: Food in Jars
3/8: Punk Domestics
3/9: CakeWalk
3/10: Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking
3/11: Snowflake Kitchen
3/14: Good. Food. Stories.
3/15: Heartbeet Kitchen
3/16: Brooklyn Supper
3/17: The Briny
3/18: The Preserved Life
3/21: Hitchhiking to Heaven
3/22: Hola Jalapeno
3/23: Cook Like a Champion
3/24:  Local Kitchen
3/25: Dolly & Oatmeal


Black Bean Pupusas with Lime Curtido Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lime Curtido recipe taken with permission from Beyond Canning by Autumn Giles. For step-by-step instructions with photos on how to make the pupusas check out this post from NoshOn.It A Note from Autumn: The vast majority of curtido recipes online ignore this slaw’s history as a fermented food and market it as a strictly vinegar-based pickle. Although I love a good pickle as much as the next girl, the misclassification completely ignores this traditional Salvadorian contribution to the kraut canon. Curtido is commonly served alongside pupusas, thick tortillas stuffed with cheese, meat, or beans. Although this ferment starts with green cabbage, carrots have an equally starring role. The carrots’ sweetness is the perfect foil for the spicy jalapeños. Plain old white onions, which don’t often show up in ferments, are a surprise standout here. Their flavor mellows as they ferment, almost like it would in a sauté, while maintaining a crisp, raw texture. I will almost always pass on raw onions, but these are something else entirely, and I find myself craving their flavor often. I’ve read of some curtido recipes that include lime juice, but this one includes the zest because I love the bright, concentrated citrus flavor that zest brings to fermented foods.
Serves: 1 quart curtido + 8 papusas
For the Lime Curtido:
  • 510 grams green cabbage, shredded
  • 115 grams carrots, thinly sliced
  • 85 grams white onion, thinly sliced
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 12 grams salt
  • 30 grams jalapeño, thinly sliced
For the Pupusas:
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 recipe Simple Black Beans, mashed
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
For the Lime Curtido:
  1. In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onion, lime zest, and salt. Reserve the jalapeños for now.
  2. Work the salt into the vegetables using your hands for about 2 minutes. If you’ve ever massaged kale for a salad, that’s the motion you want to employ here. In slightly less technical terms, it’s basically smooshing. The vegetables should begin releasing their liquid.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to stir the jalapeños into the shredded vegetable mixture.
  4. Use your hands to pack the curtido tightly into a quart mason jar, a handful at a time.
  5. Once all the curtido is packed into the jar, push it down with your fist, the back of a wooden spoon, or both, a few times. Now the curtido should be just covered with its own brine.
  6. Now, wash your hands! You don’t want jalapeño hands.
  7. Secure the jar with an airlock and allow to ferment for up to 2 weeks. Begin tasting for doneness after 3 days.
  8. Cover, label, and refrigerate for long-term storage
For the Pupusas:
  1. Combine masa harina and salt in a medium bowl. Add water and mix until combined, let sit covered for 5 minutes.
  2. Squeeze some dough in your palm, dough should feel like soft play-doh, not too dry that it cracks when you squeeze it but not too wet that it squishes through your fingers and sticks to the side of the bowl. If it is too dry add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is the right consistency. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10-15 minutes.
  3. Take about ⅓ cup of dough and use your palms to flatten into a ½-inch thick circle. Place a tablespoon or so of the black beans in the middle. Fold dough up over beans and pinch together to make a ball.
  4. Gently flatten the ball back into a ½ inch patty, being careful not to rip open the dough. You can take a piece of dough from the outside of the pupusa and cover any rips or tears. Form into a circle and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent from drying out. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet or comal over medium heat for 5 minutes. Grease the pan with a teaspoon of oil, using a paper towel to coat it all over.
  6. Rub a little oil all over the outside of a pupusa and place on the hot pan. Cook for 5 minutes on one side or until toasted and a little charred in a few places. Flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with remaining pupusas.
  7. Serve hot with the Lime Curtido and sour cream if desired.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

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  • Elizabeth March 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I got into canning a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. I love it! I love making things and knowing what’s in it or experimenting with new things and flavors Ive never tried before. Though I’m still a little skittish of trying to ferment something, this recipe looks great!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 23, 2016 at 11:13 am

      I felt the same way Elizabeth but Autumn’s method is so simple and it’s so easy to ferment in small batches. Even if it doesn’t work out, you are just throwing away a quart of something and not a gallon! Start over and try again. Although, I’ve had nothing but success using her recipes!

  • Claudia March 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I believe they are called “pupusas” not papusas. I am Mexican so it’s not first hand knowledge, but I live in Los Angeles which has quite a large population of Salvadorans.

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Oops! Thanks Claudia for catching that, I appreciate you looking out for me. 🙂

      • Claudia March 23, 2016 at 9:23 pm

        No problem. I love your site!

  • Monika March 22, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    I would really like to get better at canning. Fermenting is definitely something I grew up with, homemade saurkraut and pickles in brine. This looks like a doable system to get into. Btw, I’m really enjoying your snapchat posts. The ones when you were making lime curtado peaked my interest!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Thank you Monika! I’m a little bit addicted to Snapchat. LOL!

  • Kyla Gatlin March 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve been cannin for about 6 or 7 years and get more adventurous each season. I could can before I really even figured out how to cook! This year we started pickling again, and I’d like to try fermentation too. It looks delicious!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 23, 2016 at 11:11 am

      I hear you Kyla! The way Autumn approaches fermenting in this book is so simple and straightforward—a great place to start!

  • Crystal March 22, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve dabbled in fermenting, vinegar pickles, and sweet jams. This year I’m hoping to focus on preserving items I often buy at the store, like tomato sauce and salsa. I’d also like to do more fermenting, like this curtido.

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

      You will love this book Crystal. Fermenting in small batches is so easy and you can try so many different recipes without dedicating a ton of time or ingredients.

  • Brie March 23, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve always wanted to get into canning especially jams and sauerkraut but have been super intimidated by the steps and time involved. I’m also completely terrified of doing it wrong and accidentally food poisoning my family! I love that all of the book’s recipes are small batch, do you know if it includes a vegetarian Kimchi recipe or maybe one I could alter to be vegetarian? Oh and I’m pinning this recipe right now because I need need need those pupusas in my life 🙂

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 28, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Hi Brie! I’m pretty sure all the recipes in the book are vegetarian. You should really check it out, I think you will find Autumn’s method really simple and totally doable!

  • Joy March 24, 2016 at 3:31 am

    No canning adventures yet, but I’d sure like to start!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 27, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Yay Joy!!! I love starting new cooking adventures!

  • nicole March 24, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    i am going to get marty on this! we dabs in kimchi and kraut and chowchow and last year i did watermelon rinds which was weirdly good. i am not only interested in this book but also this recipe for pupusas. there is an el salvadoran stand at the farmers market here in capitol city that sells pupusas and i’m guessing curtido- it is my favorite stand and the line is always a half block long. thanks for the post!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 27, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Nice! Give the recipes a try and tell me how it turns out! xoxoxo

  • Chrissy March 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Have been confidently canning for a few years now. Next on the list is fermenting – both of food and alcoholic beverages!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Wow, nice Chrissy! You have to let me know how the beverages turn out!

  • Inger @ Art of Natural Living March 25, 2016 at 1:30 am

    I started canning a number of years ago with your basic tomatoes and a green tomato chutney recipe that probably doesn’t meet today’s standards but is still the best chutney I’ve ever eaten. My sauerkraut failed :(, though I do vinegar & water/milk kefirs successfully. As I try to eat more and more local, canning becomes more important to me. I think this book would be a lot of fun to try!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos March 27, 2016 at 11:59 am

      That’s awesome Inger!! I’d say your quite the pro if you are making kefirs. I think you’ll find Autumn’s kraut recipes to be successful. Her method is basically foolproof!