Sopes are very similar to gorditas – what makes them different is their shape. Sopes have a pinched border and gorditas are cut in half and stuffed. If you would like to make Gorditas de Tinga de Res, it is very similar to this!
One of my favorite restaurants in Mexico City is called La Unica, where I have had the most delicious sopes ever! My family never really made them, they were more into making gorditas. Sopes are also a traditional street food and can be served as a mid-day snack in a Mexican household.
Form the sopes. In a medium bowl, mix the masa harina with 1 ½ cups of water together with your hands. If you feel it is too dry, add water. If it is too sticky, add more masa harina.
Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat and wait for it to heat up. Grab a piece of dough and form into a ball, the size of a ping pong ball (this is to know how much to use). Pat into a flat circle and add on the dry pan. Heat up for a total of 5 minutes, turning frequently.
Once the dough is done, shape the sopes by pinching the border to form a wall. They must still be hot in order to do this. Set aside to cool.
Fry the sopes. On medium heat, add ½ inch oil in a large deep pan. Dip each sope in the salsa, turning to coat completely. Once the oil is hot, fry the sopes, flipping frequently until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside on a plate with paper towels on it.
Assemble the sopes. Fill the sopes with the warm refried beans, carne asada, guacamole and queso cotija.