Crispy chewy corn base, topped with black beans, salsa, lettuce, avo and pickled red onion. Add shredded chicken, boiled eggs or crumbly cheese to these tacos for the perfect snack!
Once a year I try visit a country with food scene that inspires me. Not only are these trips a fantastic excuse for a vacation, but I also come back recharged and inspired to create food outside my usual repertoire. In 2019 we visited Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua as part of our honeymoon, but also because my husband and I are completely obsessed with the bright flavours of Mexican and central American cuisine. Every day we told ourselves that today was the day we simply could not have another masa based street food offering, only to find ourselves salivating at a road side taco cart, only an hour later.
So what are salbutes? Salbutes are a puffed deep fried disk of corn meal dough, called masa, that are topped with lettuce, sliced avocado, pulled chicken or turkey, tomato and pickled red onion. Salbutes originate from the Yucatán peninsula but are also common nowadays in Belize. Salbutes, like many other delicious fried goodies around the world, are a staple of the party scene and really hit the spot after a few cold beers, or cerveses, as they are known in Spanish.
To make these you are going to need to get some masa harina, which is a special kind of cornmeal flour for making salbutes and corn tacos. It is widely available online, and once you have a bag it will last for ages – meaning you can make tacos, salbutes or even tamales at a moments notice! Head over to my Instagram story, to learn how to make salbutes using two books, if you don’t have a tortilla press.
The recipe to follow is my own little love letter to Mexico, a place which became very dear to me and which is now filled with many happy honeymoon memories. I hope it transports you, body and soul, into one of the fondest periods in my life this far.
If you want to find the cook-along for this recipe, head over to The Culinary Cartel on Instagram and click on our Tulum Tacos story highlight.
If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this vegan?
You can indeed. We have adapted the salbute dough to plant based ingredients. Choose plant based toppings to finish your salbutes.
Can I make this gluten free?
We have tested this recipe with Freee gluten free flour with good results.
So salbutes are like tostadas?
No. Tostadas are made with day old tortillas, yielding a thin crispy crunchy base. Salbutes are fried disks of masa dough with a touch of flour that are light and fluffy. Traditionally salbute dough contains chicken fat or lard but we have adapted the recipe to use plant based ingredients.