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Mexican tamales

Mexican Tamales: A Taste of Tradition

Mexican tamales stand as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Mexico, showcasing a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

These iconic bundles of joy have been a staple in Mexican households for generations.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Ideal for those seeking an authentic taste of Mexican cuisine, with a love for hearty, comforting meals.
  • Estimated duration: While the preparation requires time and effort, expect a rewarding experience lasting around 3-4 hours.
  • Nutrition Facts: Mexican tamales offer a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, influenced by the choice of fillings.

About this Recipe

Mexican tamales are characterized by the artful combination of masa (corn dough) and a variety of fillings, wrapped in corn husks. The filling can range from savory meats to vegetarian options, providing a delightful array of choices.

Equipment Required

  1. Large Steaming Pot: Crucial for achieving the perfect texture of the masa.
  2. Mixing Bowls: For preparing the masa and fillings.
  3. Corn Husks: Traditional wrapping material for the tamales.


  • Masa: 3 cups, finely ground.
  • Meat Filling (Pork, Chicken, or Beef): 1 lb, cooked and shredded.
  • Chilies: 2-3 pieces, finely chopped for a spicy kick.
  • Cumin and Paprika: 1 teaspoon each, for added flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: 2 cups, for seasoning the masa.
  • Corn Husks: 12-15 pieces, for wrapping.


  1. Prepare the Masa: Combine masa with chicken broth, chopped chilies, cumin, and paprika until it forms a smooth, pliable consistency.
  2. Prepare the Filling: Mix shredded meat with your choice of seasonings and set aside.
  3. Assemble the Tamales: Spread a layer of masa on a corn husk, add a spoonful of the filling, and fold the tamale, securing the ends.
  4. Steam to Perfection: Arrange the tamales in a steaming pot and steam for 1.5 to 2 hours until the masa is cooked.

Side Dishes

Serve with salsa, guacamole, or a side of Mexican rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

Storage Options

Store any leftover tamales in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to three days.

Ingredient Substitutes

Experiment with different meats, such as beef or chicken, and customize the filling with additional vegetables for a unique twist.

Alternatives to this Meal

For a quicker option, consider making smaller tamales or opting for a vegetarian filling for a lighter, meat-free experience.

For futher reading check out this comprehensive article on Regional Tamales. For similar tamales check out: Oaxacan Tamales and Yucatecan Tamales.


Mexican tamales encapsulate the essence of Mexican culinary tradition, offering a mouthwatering journey into the heart of authentic Mexican flavors. Whether enjoyed during festive occasions or as a comforting family meal, these tamales bring people together through a shared love of good food and tradition.