Real Mexican tamales

Hola my blogger friends!

Have you ever tried Mexican tamales? I have never tried them before, until now… so let me share few facts about it πŸ™‚ Tamale is one of the most traditional dishes in Mexico and i is made of masa or dough (starchy and usually corn – based), which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. You can prepare many different types of tamale and preparation can vary as well.

The tamale caught on very fast and eventually grew in variety and diversity unknown in today’s culture. There were plain tamales, tamales with red, green, yellow and black chile, tamales with chocolate, fish tamales, frog, tadpole, mushroom, rabbit, gopher, turkey, bee, egg, squash blossom, honey, ox, seed and nut tamales. There were white and red fruit tamales, white tamales, yellow tamales, dried meat tamales, roasted meat, stewed meat, bean and rice tamales. There were sweet sugar, pineapple, raisin, cinnamon, berry, banana and pumpkin tamales. There were hard and soft cheese tamales, roasted quail tamales, ant, potato, goat, wild boar, lamb and tomato tamales. Well, you get the idea.


What do you need for traditional pork tamale:

750 g pork shoulder or pork butt

10 cups water

1 onion

3 – 4 garlic cloves


4 cups of red chilli sauce

6 cups masa harina

1 tsp baking powder

corn husks

Firstly, prepare pork meat in big pot or better in slow cooker. Bring pork, water, onion, garlic and salt to boil. Simmer covered approximately 2 – 3 hours or until is very tender. Remove the meat from broth and let it cool down. When done, shred pork into small pieces. I usually use forks. Take a 6 cups of broth and place it in bowl, you can keep the rest of broth for preparation of something else. Take a big sauce pan (or Wok pan), heat up the red chilli sauce and add shredded meat. Cover with lid and let it simmer for 10 minutes.


Take a large bowl and mix masa harina, baking powder and 2 tsp of salt together. Mix masa harina with broth until a thick creamy paste is done. In the mean time, soak corn husks in warm water for at least 20 minutes. Afterwards, rinse to remove any corn silk and drain well. To make each tamale, spread 2 tbsp of the masa harina mixture on the centre of the corn husk. Place about 1 tbsp of meat and sauce mixture in the middle of masa harina. Afterwards, fold sides of husk and fold up the bottom. Now, you are ready to steam your tamales. Place the foil to the bottom of steamer basket and put tamales in, with open side up. Bring water to boil and reduce heat. Cover and steam approximately 40 minutes. And then… you can enjoy ready tamales.



I have found this dish very interesting and slightly difficult. You have to pay attention that you have the right ratios of all ingredients. Tamales do not need to be just pork, you can have many many types, even sweet ones.

Vero and little Canito

21 thoughts on “Real Mexican tamales

  1. Completely new dish to me as well… And we do have a few good Mexican restaurants near our place. Never saw this dish on the menus. Very interesting and curious about it. Would love to try it. Unfortunately, I doubt I can get the ingredients.

    Liked by 1 person

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