Ken Oringer

Ken Oringer

James Beard Winner, Chef and Restaurateur

Mexican Fish Sopes

Award winning chef Ken Oringer is in his home kitchen teaching you how to make Mexican Fish Sopes – a street snack that you can find all over Mexico. Sopes are like thicker, smaller tortillas made using a corn based dough that can be topped with a variety of ingredients – in this case marinated fish and a charred tomato salsa.

If you’re cooking along with us at home, find the ingredient and preparation list below or listen and enjoy for your next meal inspiration.

COOK’S NOTE: Have oven preheating to 450 F when starting.

Serves 4-6 as a main and 8-10 as an appetizer


For the Fish:

  • 2 pounds fish, skinless fillets (such as cod, branzino, salmon)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce or miso, optional
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup

For the Sopes:

  • 2 cups Maseca (instant yellow corn masa flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups hot tap water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for cooking the sopes

Charred Tomato Salsa:

  • 5 tomatoes, such as beefsteak or roma
  • 1/2 small onion, such as yellow, white or red, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, cracked from it skin
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • Salt
  • Lime juice, to taste


  • Avocado, sliced
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 1, small mixing bowl (for the fish marinade)
  • 1, baking sheet (to cook the fish)
  • Foil, to line the baking sheet
  • 1, medium mixing bowl (to mix the sope dough)
  • Large resealable bag (to flatten/shape the sopes)
  • 1, medium to large size skillet (to cook the sopes)
  • Cooking utensils, such as tongs and spatula
  • 1, large nonstick sauté pan, to char the salsa ingredients
  • Blender or food processor, to blend the salsa
  • Plate or platter, to serve


For the Fish:
Preheat oven to 450. Mix all marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Place fish filets on a foil lined baking sheet and pour marinade over the fish. Let marinade at least 15 minutes and up to one hour. Place fish in oven and bake until just cooked through. This can range anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of fish. Remove from oven and keep warm until ready to assemble.

For the Sopes:
In a medium mixing bowl add the maseca, salt and hot tap water and stir with a fork or spoon until the mixture turns into a ball. Knead the ball in the bowl to get it to adhere. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To form the sopes, make a golf ball size ball. Place the ball between a large gallon size resealable bag and flatten with your palm until it is about 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick, about twice the thickness of a tortilla. Lift the sope off the bag and gently crimp the edges to make a ridged tortilla.

To cook, place a medium to large size skillet over medium to medium high heat and add oil. When hot, add the sopes and fry until golden brown and crispy on one side. Gently flip over and cook the other side for approximately 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on a
paper towel lined plate.

For the Charred Tomato Salsa:
Place a large non-stick sauté pan over high heat. When hot, add the tomatoes, onion and garlic and cook moving slightly until lightly burned all around. Once charred, transfer to a blender or food processor and add cilantro, salt and lime juice and puree to chunky salsa consistency.

To Assemble:
Take the warm sopes (can reheat in oven while cooking fish) and using a spoon, flake apart the fish and place on a sope. Drizzle with charred tomato salsa and top with avocado and shredded lettuce.

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