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Tamales Veracruzanos

Tamales Veracruzanos

Tamales Veracruzanos are a culinary treasure, representing the coastal flavors and vibrant traditions of the Veracruz region in Mexico.

These tamales offer a unique fusion of indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean influences, creating a delightful and aromatic experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Ideal for those seeking the authentic taste of Veracruz, with a love for savory and aromatic delights.
  • Estimated duration: While the preparation demands time and care, the end result is a flavorful experience lasting around 3-4 hours.
  • Nutrition Facts: Tamales Veracruzanos provide a well-balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, influenced by the choice of fillings.

About this Recipe

Tamales Veracruzanos are known for their coastal flair, featuring a masa seasoned with achiote and filled with a combination of seafood, chili peppers, and spices. These tamales offer a journey into the heart of Veracruz’s rich culinary tapestry.

Equipment Required

  1. Large Steaming Pot: Essential for achieving the perfect texture of the masa.
  2. Mixing Bowls: For preparing the masa and fillings.
  3. Banana Leaves or Corn Husks: Traditional wrapping material for an authentic touch.


  • Masa: 3 cups, finely ground.
  • Seafood (Shrimp, Fish, or Crab): 1 lb, cooked and finely chopped.
  • Chili Peppers (JalapeƱos or Serranos): 2-3 pieces, finely chopped for a spicy kick.
  • Achiote Paste: 2 tablespoons, for color and flavor.
  • Garlic and Onion: 1/2 cup each, finely chopped for added flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: 2 cups, for seasoning the masa.
  • Banana Leaves or Corn Husks: 12-15 pieces, for wrapping.


  1. Prepare the Masa: Mix masa with chicken broth and achiote paste until it forms a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  2. Prepare the Filling: Combine finely chopped seafood with chili peppers, garlic, and onion in a bowl.
  3. Assemble the Tamales: Spread a thin layer of masa on a banana leaf or corn husk, add a spoonful of the seafood 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 a side of Veracruz-style rice and a fresh salsa for a coastal feast.

Storage Options

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

Ingredient Substitutes

Experiment with different types of seafood or add a squeeze of lime for a refreshing twist.

Alternatives to this Meal

For a vegetarian option, consider making tamales filled with a medley of roasted vegetables and beans.

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


Tamales Veracruzanos offer a coastal culinary journey into the heart of Veracruz, providing a flavorful experience that captures the essence of this vibrant region. Whether shared during festive occasions or enjoyed as a comforting family meal, these tamales celebrate the diverse and rich culinary tapestry of Veracruz.