The Tamale Making Process (text version)

Prepare Tamale Filling

A wide variety of fillings can be used as tamale fillings vary from region to region and family to family. Varieties include: chicken, turkey, pork, venison, beef, hogshead, or a combination; thick chili meat, beans, and vegetables. Use your favorite meat filling recipe or our own recipe.

Prepare Corn Husks

Pull apart dry husks and soak in hot water for an hour or until soft.

Prepare Tamale Masa (Dough)

Select dozens of tamales to be prepared. Use one of our recipes for fresh masa.

Spread Masa Fast and Easy

Spread masa using the Mas Tamales Masa Spreader. (View a demo movie.) Take some corn husks out from water, wring and drain water. The corn husk has two sides, a rough and a smooth side. Spread masa on smooth side. Spreader works best with soft warm masa. Use large smooth surface to spread. For a thicker spread use more masa and less pressure.

thumbnail of the masa spreader thumbnail showing masa picked up by front of spreader thumbnail showing masa picked up by front of spreader thumbnail showing masa picked up by front of spreader thumbnail showing masa picked up by front of spreader thumbnail showing masa picked up by front of spreader

Filling and Cooking Tamales

After the masa is spread, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of fillling (refer to our recipe) lenghtwise in center of masa. Then, fold sides over towards center. Next, fold end of husk and pinch open end. In a large steamer, place tamales upright, with the folded side on the bottom. Cover with kitchen towel or husks and add water. Cover with steamer cover and steam 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Tamales are cooked when the dough is firm and spongy and does not stick to husk.

A video demonstration of the tamale making process is also available: Tamale Making Video Demo

 

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