Los Ocampo's Sope with Chicharron Prensado: 100 Favorite Dishes, No.19

Chicharron Prensado Sope.jpg
Fried pork, fried masa, cheese - what's not to love?
Los Ocampo recently opened their fourth location making it even easier for city dwellers to get their greasy mitts on reasonably priced, authentic Mexican food. While many items fill their menus, arguably best dishes revolve around the various masa cakes filled with your choice of meat toppings.  And while they do have a respectable carnita, pollo de tinga and other carnivorous toppings, the tastiest by far is the chicharrón prensado.  Never had it before and concerned you're about to end up with a plate of crusty pork rinds?  Don't worry, you're in good hands.
Chicharróns are commonly sold as fried pork rinds, puffy crackling and snack ready.  Chicharrón prensado is a little different.  (Vegetarians turn away.) The top layer of pork skin is genrally fried and then pressed (prensar: to press) into a solid wheel that is then shaved off and used in dishes and sauces.  In this instance the chicharrón prensado is cooked in a sauce of reconstituted dried red chilies.  The toasty red chilies lend their sweet smokey flavor to the rich pork meat. A sizzling spicy it's then topped with bright crispy cool lettuce, a sprinkling of white cheese and a drizzle of cool sour cream; studded with radish slices.  The textural mix of hot, spicy, cool, salty cheesy crunchiness is cradled in the warm embrace of the sope. 

Not to be outdone by its saucy meat condiment, the foundation for this delicious treat is a pillowy corn flour mixture wrapped around a gooey cheese center.  The bottom and sides get toasty crisp while the inside remains lush. A flavorful, taste riot all for under ten dollars.

Chicharron Prensado
Buenvenidos to Tasty Town

Los Ocampo, website
Various Twin Cities locations


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