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Memelas are a regional food native to Oaxaca. They’re made of masa and topped with fresh ingredients – perfect as an appetizer or a snack. The masa is usually a mixture of corn and water, though some recipes also call for flour. Toppings can include anything from refried beans and cheese to salsa and meat. Make your own using this simple recipe!

Memelas are fried or toasted cakes made of masa topped with different fresh ingredients eaten as antojitos or snacks in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico which has its origins in prehispanic food. They are similar to fresh corn tortillas, but are slightly thicker and usually oblong/oval in shape. Similar to sopes or huaraches, memlas are grilled thin masa cakes topped with beans, salsa, cabbage, guacamole and cheese. The toppings can be anything you like. Serve with some Mexican Pickled Carrots.

Traditionally, they were served at breakfast time as an alternative to breads and tortillas, but today they are used in a variety of dishes including quesadillas, tacos and tamales. You can find them at markets all over Mexico so make sure to try them when you visit next! Check out our Mexican Fiesta Menu suggestions.

Learn how to make these delicious traditional Mexican memelas at home. Check out our recipe below! Enjoy 🙂



memelas scaled

Homemade Memlas are a wonderful snack made with Masa Harina.

  • Author: Epicurious
  • Prep Time: :20
  • Cook Time: :10
  • Total Time: :30
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Cuisine: Mexican



2 pounds (910 g) fresh masa (storebought or homemade)
1/4 cup (50 g) Aciento (pork rind paste)
1/2 cup (120 ml) Black Bean Paste
10 ounces (280 g) queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 cup guacamole
Any salsa you have on hand


  1. Assemble the masa into balls measuring 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide (weighing 55 g each) and set them aside. Press each one individually on a plastic-lined tortilla press. Each ball should be about 5 inches (12 cm) in diameter after pressing.
  2. Place a nonstick griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Carefully transfer each memela to the comal. Cook each side for about 2 minutes until the tortilla is fully cooked.
  3. Using your fingertips while the memela is still really hot, fold up a quarter inch of the edges so that the memelas start to look like little boats. Using a knife, make a few slits in the middle. Spread about 1⁄2 teaspoon of aciento on each memela, and layer with another 1½ teaspoons of beans on top.
  4. Return the memelas to the hot comal, bean side up, and cook until the bottoms get a bit crispy. Top with crumbled queso fresco. Allow the cheese to get warm on the tortilla, then top with salsa and guacamole. Remove from the heat and serve hot.
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