Mexican Sopes

Mexican sopes are a truly tasty appetizer, although we could easily make a whole meal out of these little beauties. Masa cups get filled with slow-cooked pork, queso, and pico de gallo for an explosion of fresh and mildly spiced flavors.

Three Mexican sopes on a rustic platter with a glass of tequila in the background.

Sopes are traditional Mexican appetizers made from fresh masa or masa harina, the same dough or corn flour used in making tortillas. Shaped into small boats, they are filled with meats, cheeses, or salsa and are the ideal complement to a fine añejo tequila.–Karl Petzke

Mexican Sopes

Three Mexican sopes on a rustic platter with a glass of white wine in the background.
Sopes are one of the most popular Mexican antojitos (literally, little cravings) to serve as an appetizer. Made with a masa harina base, they get filled with juicy tequila-lime pulled pork shoulder, pico de gallo, and queso cheese. I bet you can't stop at just one.

Prep 35 mins
Cook 11 hrs 25 mins
Total 12 hrs
12 servings
100 kcal
5 from 1 vote
Print RecipeBuy the Tequila: Myth, Magic & Spirited Recipes cookbook

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For the sopes

  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening or lard
  • About 3/4 cup warm water

For the slow-cooked pork with lime, tequila, and chile

  • 1 cup blanco tequila
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered chile
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • One 3-pound boneless pork shoulder

For the fillings

  • 1 cup slow-cooked pork with lime, tequila, and chile
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo salsa
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
  • Sour cream as needed
  • 1 large red radish thinly sliced


Make the sopes

  • Preheat to oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir the masa harina, baking powder. And salt together. Add the shortening and blend with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add the warm water until the mixture has a soft dough consistency.
  • Knead for a minute or so, then form into balls about the size of a small walnut, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per ball. Form the balls into small cup shapes. They don’t need to be perfect, as long as there are no holes in them. The thinner the walls and base of the cups are, the more delicate the end result will be.
  • Transfer the cups to the prepared sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or just until the edges start to brown.

Make the pork

  • In a large glass or other nonreactive bowl, combine all the ingredients except the pork. Stir to dissolve the salt, then place the pork in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, turning the pork occasionally.
  • Preheat the oven to 225°F (107°C). Adjust a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the pork from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat the pork dry and place on the prepared pan. Bake for about 8 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. The pork will have shrunk considerably.
  • To serve, simply pull it apart and chop into chunks. Let any leftovers cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


  • Fill the cups with any combination of the fillings, garnish with sour cream and radish slices, and serve at once.
Print RecipeBuy the Tequila: Myth, Magic & Spirited Recipes cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 100kcal (5%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 899mg (39%)Potassium: 46mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 31IU (1%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 24mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Originally published July 13, 2009



  1. This is exactly what my friends mom would make for us when we were teenagers. We would have picnics on the beach in Pacifica, California. I never knew what they were called. Checking out websites, I found what they are called. This recipe is exactly what I remembered. That was about 75 years ago. Thanks so much for this recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    Looks so delicious!!! This recipe combines 3 things I love- homemade masa corn tortillas, slow cooked pork, and tequila!

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