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Tamales de Puerco

Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales)

“Tamales de puerco” or “tamales de cerdo” are tamales filled with pork. Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made of masa (a dough made from corn), filled with various ingredients, and wrapped in corn husks before being steamed.

For tamales de puerco, the filling usually consists of seasoned and cooked pork, which can include pieces of pork shoulder or pork loin cooked in a flavorful sauce made with spices like cumin, chili powder, garlic, and other traditional Mexican spices. The pork filling is placed in the center of the masa dough before wrapping it in a corn husk.

The filled corn husks are folded and secured to enclose the filling, forming individual tamale packets. They are then steamed until the masa is cooked through and the filling is tender and flavorful.

Tamales de puerco are a popular variety of tamales, appreciated for their savory and aromatic taste derived from the seasoned pork filling combined with the masa. They’re often enjoyed during holidays, celebrations, or special occasions in Mexican cuisine.

Recipe Background

This dish is a beloved staple in Mexican households, particularly during festivals and family gatherings. It’s an ancient recipe that combines the richness of pork with the comfort of masa.

  • Origin: Deeply rooted in Mexican tradition
  • Flavor Profile: Savory, Umami, Hearty
  • Preparation Time: 3 hours

Why make this recipe?

  • Cultural Richness: A bite of tradition and history.
  • Taste: Seriously, it’s pork in a tamale. What’s not to love?
  • Flexibility: A hit for special occasions and everyday meals alike.

What does Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales) taste like?

Imagine a tender pork filling infused with spices, wrapped in soft, steamy masa. A blend of umami and a punch of flavor!

Taste Palette


What is in Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales)?

  • Masa: Corn dough
  • Filling: Pork and spices
  • Wrapper: Corn husks

Equipment required for this recipe

  • Large pot
  • Steamer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Hand mixer or whisk


  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 cup pork broth
  • 1 lb pork shoulder, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup red chili sauce
  • Corn husks
  • Salt to taste


  1. Prep Husks: Soak corn husks in hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Make Masa: Combine masa harina, pork broth, and salt. Whip until airy.
  3. Prepare Filling: Mix pork shoulder with red chili sauce.
  4. Assemble: Layer masa on husk, add filling, and fold.
  5. Steam: Position tamales vertically in a steamer. Cook for 60-75 minutes.
  6. Enjoy: Allow to cool before serving.

How to serve Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales)

Simply unwrap the corn husk and enjoy! No forks or knives needed.

What to serve Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales) with

  • Guacamole
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Salsa roja

My recommendations and tips

  • Opt for bone-in pork shoulder for extra flavor.
  • For a smoky twist, add a teaspoon of smoked paprika to the masa.

Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales) storage ideas

  • Freeze: Once cooled, wrap individually and store in freezer.
  • Reheat: Either steam again or microwave covered with a damp towel.

Potential ingredients substitutes

Pork ShoulderBeef or Chicken
Red ChiliGreen Chili
Pork BrothChicken Broth

Nutritional Information

Note: Approximate values

  • Calories: 220 per serving
  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can these be made ahead? Absolutely, they freeze well.
  • What if I don’t have a steamer? Use a large pot with an inverted bowl at the bottom.


Tamales de Puerco is a labor of love that pays off with each delicious bite. Great for any occasion or simply to satisfy a tamale craving. For more mouthwatering recipes, stick around on HolaMexico.

Hasta la próxima, foodies! 🌶️🍴