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Red Bean Pupusas with Curtido and Salsa Picante [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Here's a good one for you! I've got my deets for the frijoles molidos, the pupusass, curtido, and the salsa. All in all, it's a very simple meal which deserves your attention muy pronto!

Red Bean Pupusas with Curtido and Homemade Salsa Picante [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


For the VMT Refried Red Beans:

  • 6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 5 cups cooked red beans (reserve at least 1 cup aquafaba)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the Curtido: 

  • 3-4 cups cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, finely shredded
  • 1 small white or red onion, finely shredded
  • 1 medium jalapeno, de-seeded, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh oregano (1 t. dry)
  • 1 cup warm water

For the Salsa:

  • 3 fresh tomatoes, cored
  • 1 medium jalapeno
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup water


For the VMT Refried Red Beans:

  1. Cook the beans a minute or two longer than normal, drain, but reserve your bean juice. (My red beans took 15 minutes in the pressure cooker to perfect tenderness; no pre-soak.)
  2. Pan fry whole garlic cloves with olive oil in a large skillet until browned on both sides. Mash the garlic cloves with a fork, then add the beans and spices over low heat.
  3. Allow them to simmer for a couple minutes while you go to work with a potato masher. Add the lime juice, olive oil, and bean juice to keep the mixture soft and workable. You decide what sort of viscosity you want them to be and add liquid accordingly. Make these ahead of time, and make a lot of them. They will not go to waste.
  4. Curtido is a lightly fermented cabbage slaw that is CRUCIAL for pupusas.

For the Curtido: 

  1. Got a shredding attachment for your food processor? Now’s your chance to use it. Stuff the first three things through there and watch the magic happen.
  2. When it’s done, add the contents to a separate bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients, except the water, and massage around a bit. Then put it all into a glass jar or other container and fill over the top with the water.
  3. Allow it to sit for a few hours. It’ll keep for a couple weeks, at least. An extra splash of vin or dash of salt’ll never hurt anyone.

For the Salsa:

  1. Add it all to the blender, and let it rip. Afterward, pour into a saucepan and allow to simmer down for about 5 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. That’s it! Now…you can pound out the pupusas.





Fresh, original, delicious vegan food that can be made while balancing the demands of a busy lifestyle. I'm a full-time teacher, father, and ultra-runner obsessed with vegan food, recipe development, and photography. I write my blog to share food-related experiences while living as an expatriate in Nicaragua. I work really hard to produce the most original, delicious vegan food that I can while balancing the demands of a busy lifestyle. Veganism is a way of life that demands exposure!



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