Homemade Hot Tamales Recipe

Updated on November 21, 2017

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Homemade Hot Tamales

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
  • tomgs
  • large skillet, with lid
  • spoons

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 the meat is tender.
  4. Drain the meat with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 cup broth.
  5. Shred the meat with a fork. Set aside.
  6. Place the chile peppers on a baking sheet; broil 3-4 inches from the heat, turning often with tongs until blistered on all sides.
  7. Immediately place the chilies in a plastic bag, fasten securely, wrap in a towel, and let steam 15 minutes.
  8. Using plastic gloves, remove the 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 the tomato mixture until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  11. In a blender add remaining 4 tomatoes; blend until smooth. Stir into mixing bowl with the tomato mixture. Set aside.
Shredded Tamale Meat
Shredded Tamale Meat | Source

Soften 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 the 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 the shortening; add baking powder, baking soda, and reserved broth; mix well.
  2. Gradually add the corn masa to the shortening mixture mixing well; beat 10 minutes on medium speed of a 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 the vegetable oil until browned, stir in the 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 the masa dough.
  2. Spread dough within ½ inch of the edge of the corn husk.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons of meat mixture on the dough, spreading evenly.
  4. Spoon in any other filling additions, like cheese or beans.
  5. Fold the short ends of the husk to the center.
  6. Fold one long side of the husk to the center, enclosing the filling completely; roll up from the same side.
  7. Tie the tamale with string or narrow strip of the 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 the tamales above the water.
  10. Bring the water to a boil.
  11. Cover and steam 60-90 minutes or until the tamale dough pulls away from the 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 the 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 the tamales in the microwave by covering with a 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 the filling.
  • Use chicken or beef for the meat filling.
  • Other seasonings that may be added are paprika and black pepper.
  • For the vegetarian tamale dough; substitute vegetable shortening.
  • Tamale toppings include melted cheese, green chiles, sour cream, and salsa.
  • Sides to serve with the 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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    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Margie Lynn 16 months ago from Beautiful Texas Hill Country

      They are really delicious! Thanks for stopping by peachpurple

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 16 months ago from Home Sweet Home

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