At El Topo Cantina we are pretty particular about cooking with the traditional Mexican recipes and with fresh ingredients on our menus.

But every once and a while we fool around with blending different ethnic components into a dish and if it’s real good we share it with our buddies. In Hawaii the PuPu is basically an appetizer plate, kind of like Tapas are in Spain. So we used the name PuPu for this dish, as it has some characteristic of Asian cuisine and some mango salsa, but mostly just because we like the term PuPu.

This is a killer appetizer plate that can also be served as an entrée and shared by more than one person. It can be served with tortillas or you can just dip the carne asada slices into some sauces and go from there. The secret here is to get a good cut of meat such as beef sirloin or flank steak. You can make the Mango Salsa and the Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce and slice up a fresh ripe Avocado or you can leave any of those out. So here we go:

The marinade:

  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic (not salt)
  • 2 Tbs Rose’s lime juice (or fresh lime juice and sweetener)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ounce (a shot) of Tequila

Using 2 lbs. of Flank steak or Beef Sirloin, poke the meat with a fork several times all over and marinate for about 2 hours at room temperature. Make sure the BBQ has propane. Pop a beer or pour a glass of red. Then proceed to make yourself some mango salsa:

  • 1 or 2 fresh mangoes, skinned, fruit cut off the pit and diced
  • ½ fresh lime, squeezed
  • 1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and diced tiny
  • Fresh Cilantro, your choice how much
  • Diced red bell pepper, if you have some
  • ½ tsp sesame oil

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and occasionally stir. At this point you can slice up a ripe avocado and whip together some cilantro-yogurt sauce if you so desire. In a Cuisinart or a blender, add:

  • 1 cup plain Yogurt
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic

Blend long enough to cream garlic, about 20 seconds. Chop about ¼ cup fresh Cilantro fine and add to yogurt.

After the steak has been marinading for a couple hours, put it on the BBQ or under the broiler and cook until medium-rare, (we serve ours rare) then pull from the BBQ and let cool for about 10 minutes. Then slice on a cutting board across the grain of the meat into thin 2 inch slices and arrange nicely on a platter leaving room for the Avocado and Mango Salsa. The Cilantro-Yogurt sauce can be on there too or close by, along with a bottle of El Topo Habanero–Chipotle. Heat up a couple tortillas if you like and have at it.

Hint: the Habanero Sauce goes hand-in-hand with the cilantro-yogurt.