Gorditas: How to Make Mexican Masa Stuffed with Beans & Queso

Gorditas are chunky tortillas made from masa harina and stuffed with your favorite Mexican filling. For Vivi Abeja, one of our favorite Mexican cooks, the choice of filling always has and always will be queso and frijoles — beans and cheese. Watch Vivi make these gorditas with queso and frijoles that she grew up eating in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood in this how-to recipe video. Be sure to check out her trick for extra-crisping the outside. ”I learned to make gorditas from watching many people cook them around me: My grandmother, my tías, and family friends,” Vivi explains. ”It’s been a journey to master the masa, but I think I finally got it down.” Very important is the use of warm water, she says. “The warm water helps with the hydration of the masa and brings out the best consistency.”

You might be wondering, as thousands of viewers did when Vivi first posted this recipe: How are gorditas different then pupusas? Both are made with masa and filled with traditional rellenos like beans and cheese. But the two are not the same, explains Vivi. ”The difference is how you cook them. With pupusas, you put the filling in the raw masa, and both masa and filling are cooked together on the hot comal. With gorditas, first you cook the raw masa with no filling, and once it’s toasted and nice and golden, you slice it open, and add whatever filling you want. Then, you cook the gordita again to heat the filing.” Make sense? Watch Vivi make her bean and cheese gorditas, step by step, and master this Mexican favorite snack.

Find more traditional Mexican family recipes from Vivi here.

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