Homemade Hot Tamales Recipe

Homemade Hot Tamales
Homemade Hot Tamales | Source

You can make hot tamales spicy or mild, with pork, chicken, beef, vegetarian or whatever you like. Some folks even add beans and cheese, the filling of the tamale is only limited by your imagination!

This recipe makes 4 dozen you can adjust the recipe for the amount you want to make.

In the Southwest, tamales are a tradition during the holiday season but are enjoyed any time of the year.


  • 1-4 pounds pork roast
  • 2 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 -5 dozen dried corn husks
  • 5 fresh green Serrano chiles
  • 8 tomatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chicken-flavored bouillon granules
  • 2 cups shortening
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 cups instant corn masa

Equipment Needed

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large capacity steamer
  • Large slotted spoon
  • Dutch oven
  • Electric Blender
  • Plastic gloves
  • Mixing bowls
  • Baking sheet
  • Knife
  • Fork
  • Plastic bag, large
  • kitchen towel
  • Tongs
  • Large skillet, with lid
  • Spoons, stirring

Making the Tamale Filling

  1. In a Dutch oven combine pork roast, 1 medium onion, crushed garlic, and salt.
  2. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 to 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender.
  4. Drain meat with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 cup broth.
  5. Shred meat with a fork. Set aside.
  6. Place Chile peppers on a baking sheet; broil 3-4 inches from heat, turning often with tongs until blistered on all sides.
  7. Immediately place chilies in a plastic bag, fasten securely, wrap in a towel, and let steam 15 minutes.
  8. Using plastic gloves, remove stems and peel each Chile pepper, cut a small slit in the side of each Chile, and rinse under cold water to remove seeds, coarsely chop chilies.
  9. In an electric blender combine chilies, 1 medium onion, 3 garlic cloves, 4 tomatoes, and chicken-flavored bouillon granules.
  10. Blend tomato mixture until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  11. In blender add remaining 4 tomatoes; blend until smooth. Stir into mixing bowl with tomato mixture. Set aside.
Shredded Tamale Meat
Shredded Tamale Meat | Source

Softened the dried corn husks

  1. First, place the dried corn husks in a large bowl with hot water; let stand 1 hour or until softened. To keep the corn husks submerged in the water, place a heatproof plate over them.
  2. Drain corn husks well, and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess water.
  3. Overlap two husks to make a wide one if some husks are too small. If husks are too wide just tear off one side.

Soaking Dried Corn Husks
Soaking Dried Corn Husks | Source

Make Tamale Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl cream shortening; add baking powder, baking soda and reserved broth; mix well.
  2. Gradually add corn masa to shortening mixture mixing well; beat 10 minutes on medium speed of heavy duty electric mixer until mixture is light and fluffy.

Tamale Dough
Tamale Dough | Source

Finishing Tamale Filling

  1. In a large skillet sauté the meat in vegetable oil until browned, stir in tomato mixture.
  2. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

How to Assemble and Steam Tamales

  1. In the center of each corn husk, place 1 tablespoon of masa dough.
  2. Spread dough within ½ inch of edge of corn husk.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons of meat mixture on dough, spreading evenly.
  4. Spoon in any other filling additions, like cheese or beans.
  5. Fold short ends of husk to center.
  6. Fold one long side of husk to center, enclosing filling completely; roll up from the same side.
  7. Tie the tamale with string or narrow strip of softened corn husk.
  8. Place the tamales into a steamer on folded end. Arrange them so they'll remain as upright as possible.
  9. Add just enough water to keep tamales above water.
  10. Bring water to a boil.
  11. Cover and steam 60-90 minutes or until tamale dough pulls away from husk; add more water as needed.

Yields: 4 dozen tamales

Assembling Tamales
Assembling Tamales | Source
Steaming Tamales
Steaming Tamales | Source

Re-heating Hot Tamales

  1. To reheat tamales, the best way is to steam them again for about 10 minutes if refrigerated.
  2. For frozen tamales steam 25-30 minutes.
  3. You can also reheat tamales in the microwave by covering with damp paper towel, cook for 1 minute or more.
  4. Make sure they are hot throughout before serving.


  • Add 1 tablespoon of Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese to filling.
  • Use chicken or beef for the meat filling.
  • Other seasonings that may be added are paprika and black pepper.
  • For vegetarian tamale dough; substitute vegetable shortening.
  • Tamale toppings include melted cheese, green chiles,sour cream, and salsa.
  • Sides to serve with tamales are salads, rice, beans, or guacamole.
  • Cooked tamales can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Tamales should keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
  • Be careful to not steam your hand or arm when lifting the lid on the steaming tamales

How to Make Chicken and Cheese Tamales

Vegan Tamales with Beans and Rice

Vegan Tamales with Bean and Rice
Vegan Tamales with Bean and Rice | Source

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Join in on making homemade hot tamales! 2 comments

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 7 weeks ago from Home Sweet Home

i have never heard of this recipe before but it looks alike beancurd, thanks for sharing,

Margie Lynn profile image

Margie Lynn 7 weeks ago from Beautiful Texas Hill Country Author

They are really delicious! Thanks for stopping by peachpurple

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