When we first moved to Chile, we really had no idea what to expect when it came to traditional food. Sort of ridiculously, we assumed their comida might include a lot of spicy dishes and tortillas, like the other Latin American countries we had visited.
Instead, we were super pleasantly surprised! What we found was a country home to a variety of delicious meats, breads, vegetable dishes, and seafood. (And let me tell you, 3,000 miles of coastline produces A LOT of sea food!) Food that warms your heart and your tummy during those cold, rainy Patagonian winter months.
In addition to being introduced to a new favorite- the delicious empanada… de pino (beef, onions, egg and raisens) or de queso (cheese), Chileans know how to throw a mean ASADO. (a BBQ/grill-out). Many even have quinchos in their casas….areas designated strictly to the grill. They cover their parillas (grills/open fires) with an assortment of sizzling deliciousness….chorizo, malaya, entrana, matambre, chicken, pork, entrails, hotdogs, etc, all of it sprinkled with a bit of parilla salt for added flavor.
And of course, our good friend, Senor Sopapilla. A warm, fried bread that we fell in love with from the first moment our dear Rosa made it a month in to our journey. It might be safe to say my roots planted a little more firmly with that first bite.
In our 3 years here, I’ve seriously covered my share of sopapilla territory. More than I care to admit! And I still have to say, for all of us, Rosa’s is our Numero 1 recipe.
It’s an easy recipe, only requiring decent dough-kneading skills. But 2-3 times in, and you’ll be a Chilean Sopapilla pro!
Wealth like this is only mean to be shared!
Without further ado, I present… Sopapilla de la Rosa. ❤
CHILEAN SOPAPILLAS DE LEVADURA CON SALSA PEBRE
(Yeast Puffed Bread w/ Pico de Gallo Sauce)
- 1 kg / 36 ounces / 2.5 pounds Flour (plus a little extra in case need later on).
- 2 tablespoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Tin-wrapped fresh, cake yeast.
- This is all we have used here. Is found in the refrigerated butter section, and largely resembles a stick of butter. However, I am not sure how easy fresh, cake yeast is to come by in the US.
- If you can’t find fresh, cake yeast, you can use one packet of dry yeast. First, make a cup of warm, sugar tea in a coffee mug. Next, pour the dry yeast into the cup and stir. Wait for the yeast to grow. Once it’s done rising, you can use as you would use the cake yeast.
- 2-3 cups Warm Water.
- Frying Oil – any kind you prefer.
Ingredients Salsa Pebre:
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- ¼ cup cilantro
- Lime juice
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Green, hot pepper – any, dependent on level of spice you prefer.
Instructions – Sopapilla:
- Pour all flour and salt in a large, bowl, mix .
- Make a well in the center of the flour/salt mix
- Place whatever form of yeast you are using in the well.
- Pour half a cup of warm water in the well.
5. Cover the water/yeast with flour.
6. Using one hand, massage the yeast until it begins to dissolve within the dry ingredients.
7. Using your other hand, SLOWLY add water, LITTLE BY LITTLE, while you continue to blend the dry ingredients into the water with the other.
8. Continue massaging the ingredients until they become a mound of springy dough.
9. Remove the dough from the bowl and hand knead it on the counter, working fast before it dries. Repeatedly turn it over, continuing to knead. Punch it down, once or twice, and knead gently. Gently pull it, and fold it over a few times. Pick it up and pound it on the counter a few times. (You are going to have to get a feel for this, but just make sure it doesn’t turn out too tough.)
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. IF IT IS NOT KNEADED ENOUGH, IT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HOLD THE TINY POCKETS OF GAS CREATED BY THE YEAST, AND WILL COLLAPSE AND BE TOO DENSE.
10. Place the large ball of dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel, and leave it to rise for 3 hours.
11. At the end of three hours, fill a frying pan half full with oil, and bring to a boil. You should be able to feel the heat if you place your hand 6 inches overhead.
12. Remove palm-sized balls of dough from , roll them out on the counter until they are about the thickness of thin cookie dough, poke a hole through the center, and place in the frying pan.
13. When one side becomes a golden brown, flip carefully (to avoid oil splatters) and fry the other side to match.
14. Remove when crispy and fluffy.
15. Served warm with a side of Salsa de Pebre, or we love it with a warm, asparagus or lentil soup!
- Finely chop onion, mix with salt and sugar in a bowl.
- Fill bowl with water and soak for 1 minute.
3. Pour water through strainer, separating the onions. Press firmly with a spoon to make sure all the water is out.
4. Stir in finely chopped cilantro, tomatoes, and hot pepper.
5. Squeeze a bit of lime juice and add a dash of salt on before serving as a dipping sauce, or you can break open the warm sopapilla and fill it with pebre.