I can’t make an authenticity claims for how I make chalupas, but they are delicious. Similar to tacos, chalupas can hold a variety of fillings, with the main difference being the tortilla shell for chalupas is fried, unlike tacos.
They're a quick and easy meal, any time of day, and so adaptable to leftover meat or beans. I also love them for breakfast, alongside a few poached eggs.
Soft corn tortillas
Finely diced onion
Shredded cheese such as cheddar, jack, or crumbled cotija
Ghee, tallow or olive oil, to fry in
Shredded cooked chicken or pork
Seasoned and cooked ground beef
Any type of bean, drained well
Prepare all your ingredients so you can assemble the chalupas quickly. To assemble each chalupa, spread a thin layer of sour cream over each tortilla, then lightly sprinkle with onion, meat or beans if you’re using any, a couple small dollops of salsa, and finally, cheese of your choice. Go lighter than you might want to for each topping, you don’t want to overwhelm the tortillas, which could yield a soggy chalupa.
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium/low heat, add your choice of oil to fry in, 1-2 teaspoons depending on the size of your skillet. There’s no need to completely submerge the tortilla in oil, you just want enough to ensure the bottom of the tortilla is well coated to ensure a crispy shell, and one that doesn’t stick to your pan.
Fry your chalupas over medium/low heat for about 3 minutes, until the bottom of the tortilla begins to crisp. Adjust the heat while frying if necessary- too cold and the tortilla won’t crisp well, too hot and your oil may smoke.
Cover the skillet with a lid for the last minute of cooking, to encourage the cheese topping to melt.
Serve immediately, with fresh cilantro as a garnish.