This picaditas recipe takes four simple ingredients and turns them into the ultimate Mexican street food. Not only are these sopes super flavorful, but they come together in minutes and are endlessly customizable!
Picaditas, also known as sopes, are fried masa corn cakes topped with an assortment of savory toppings. They’re the ultimate Mexican street food that’s perfectly crunchy on the outside while still being soft and chewy on the inside.
For being an authentic Mexican street food staple, you would never believe how easy it is to make them at home!
Table of Contents
- Cheap and simple ingredients. Like pupusas, only a few super simple and cheap ingredients are needed to make this tasty snack.
- No fancy equipment is needed. Tortilla presses and deep fryers are not required to make these fluffy sopes. All you need is a skillet and a ziplock bag!
- Endlessly customizable. What really makes these sopes so good is that you can top them with whatever you want or let guests customize their own.
- Great appetizer, snack, or side dish. Just like zucchini fritters, they’re quick to make, store well in the fridge and freezer, and they’re easy to reheat, making them the ultimate addition to any course.
These sopes have a very short ingredient list since it’s really the toppings that steal the show. Here’s exactly what you’ll need:
- Masa harina. Known as dried corn dough, this is a classic Mexican ingredient that’s needed to make authentic sopes. Be sure to look for corn flour labeled as “masa harina” as opposed to cornmeal, as the flavor and texture are very different.
- Salt. To add flavor.
- Hot water. To make the masa dough.
- Oil. Preferably vegetable oil or any oil you would use for frying.
For the toppings, prepare some refried beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, protein of your choice, sliced avocado, grated cheese, and lime crema.
How to make picaditas
It may look like a lot of steps, but in reality, making picadita is quite simple. You should have this recipe memorized in no time! Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1- Make the dough
In a medium bowl, begin by mixing together the masa harina and the salt. Once mixed, pour hot water into the bowl and mix until the water is fully absorbed.
Next, knead the dough for 5 minutes or until the dough becomes firm but not too dry or sticky. Form the finished dough into a ball and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Step 2- Form the sopes
Divide the dough into 10-12 equal pieces, then re-form into balls using the palms of your hands. Cover the newly formed dough balls and set them aside.
Next, cut open a Ziplock bag like you’re turning it into a book. Place one dough ball in the center and cover the ball with the other side of the plastic wrap. Press with a heavy iron skillet to flatten the dough to about ¼ inch in thickness.
Step 3- Quickly cook the sopes
Transfer the dough to a skillet and cook them for 30 seconds per side, then transfer the cooked dough to a plate and pinch the edges around the entire dough to create a rim. Cover the cooked dough with a towel. This step helps to prevent the dough from falling apart while frying.
Step 4- Fry and serve
Pour the oil into a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the sopes for 30 seconds on each side until the dough becomes crispy and golden. Then, remove the sopes from the skillet and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve the sopes warm.
- If you’re making a big batch of picaditas, keep the finished ones in an oven set to 200°F while you continue frying until you’re ready to serve.
- Serve your finished sopes with an assortment of toppings, and let your friends and family customize their own.
- Wait for the oil to get hot before adding the sopes; otherwise, you risk them sticking to the skillet. To test if the oil is hot, carefully flick a few drops of water into the oil. If it sizzles, then you’re ready to fry.
- If any of the sopes tear while pinching the rim, simply pinch them back together.
To store: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To reheat: Place picaditas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and heat at 350°F for 5-7 minutes, or until the sopes are fully reheated. The microwave will work as well though you’ll lose some crispiness. Heat in 15-second intervals until reheated.
To freeze: Store cooled picaditas in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
Sopes are basically extra-thick tortillas that are fried, so they remain crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. They’re usually mild in flavor since the only ingredients used are masa harina and a little salt. The toppings are what really give the sopes their flavor.
While both cornmeal and masa harina are made from corn that has been ground to a flour, masa harina is made from corn that has been nixtamalized or soaked in lime, which gives masa harina a distinct savory flavor. Nixtamalization also makes the nutrients from the corn more readily absorbed by the body.
Sopes are a finger food that’s meant to be picked up like a pizza or flatbread. That said, you can use a fork and knife too.
- Mix together masa harina and salt in a medium bowl.
- Pour hot water into the bowl and mix together until all the water is absorbed.
- Knead the dough with your hands for 5 minutes, until the dough becomes firm: not too dry or sticky.
- Form the dough into a bowl and cover for 10 minutes to rest.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form into balls, using the palm of your hands. Cover the dough and set aside.
- Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cut open one zip lock bag, like a book, and place one ball of dough on it. Cover the dough with the other side of the plastic bag and press with a heavy iron skillet to flatten it out. Transfer the dough to a skillet and cook for 30 seconds per side. Transfer the cooked dough to a plate, chill for 30 seconds, and pinch the edges, around the entire dough, to create a rim. Cover the cooked dough with a towel.
- Pour the oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the sopes, flipping every 30 seconds until the dough becomes crispy and golden. Remove it from the skillet and dry them on paper towel.
- Serve the sopes with your favorite Mexican toppings like refried beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, etc.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.