Pork Tamales Recipe – Authentic Mexican Cinco de Mayo Tradition

I love going down the ethnic aisle in the grocery store. There’s so much inspiration there. My latest grocery store endeavor left my pantry filled with the goodies I need to practice for my Cinco de Mayo festivities. Yea, I have a month to go but I need the practice. I want to make traditional Mexican dishes so I’m reaching out to some awesome Latin friends for those recipes.


I have a Latin background, with my father being Puerto Rican, but I want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with true Mexican foods. I asked my friend, Julia, what some of her favorite foods were and the first thing she mentioned was tamales. I have never made tamales before, so when she told me it was a lot of work I kind of brushed it off. Let me just say, making homemade tamales is a lot of work!


I found everything I needed to make homemade tamales in the ethnic aisle. I even found a tamalera, which is basically a steamer used for cooking the tamales. It’s also great for seafood and canning – a nice investment I can be proud of. I also picked up a bag of tamale flour and just followed the directions on the back for that.


While the tamales did take a while to prepare and cook, the process wasn’t complicated. I’ll definitely be adding this to our Cinco de Mayo menu and hopefully bringing others in to help make them.


Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Amber
  • [b]Dough[/b]
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • [b]Filling[/b]
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cooked
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 4 dried California chile pods
  • 2 cups water
  • [b]Other[/b]
  • 16 dried corn husks
  1. Set the corn husks in a bowl of warm water to re-hydrate them.
  2. Mix a tablespoon of stock and the shortening in a medium to large bowl. Mix in the masa harina, baking powder and salt. Continue adding stock until you get a sponge like dough. Set aside.
  3. De-seed and de-stem the chili pods. Simmer in a saucepan with 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Use a food processor or blender to puree the chilies and water. Strain and add the salt.
  5. Shred the cooked pork tenderloin in a large bowl and stir in the chili sauce.
  6. Remove the corn husks from the water and allow them to dry a bit. Spread them out and spread the dough on top, leaving a 1/4 inch space on the outer edges uncovered.
  7. Add a tablespoon of the meat mixture and spread it out a bit over the dough mixture. Fold the husks in, starting with the sides, and flip to close.
  8. Place the tamales in your steamer and allow to steam for 1 hour. Carefully unwrap the husks, remove the tamale and enjoy.

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[email protected] - April 6, 2013

I love your pictures and recipes, they are mouth watering. Would love for you to share them with us at foodieportal.com. Over at foodieportal.com we are not photography expert snobs, we are just foodies.

Kate - April 6, 2013

Tamales are one of my absolute favorite foods. I pinned this and will be trying it soon!! =)

Scarlet Paolicchi - April 6, 2013

These look delicious! Where do you get your corn husks? If I can find all the ingredients, I’d love to give them a try!

I’ve added this to my StumbleUpon. 🙂

Kim @ 2 Kids and a Coupon - April 7, 2013

Wow. You make it look easy! Pinned and stumbled.

Ellen Christian - April 8, 2013

That does sound like a lot of work!

Mommy On Demand - April 8, 2013

Hopped over from Monday Mealtime. I actually just purschased the ingredients to make tamales. I have never made them before and I was up for the challenge. I will go check out this Tamelera gadget. Im glad they turned out. Looking forward to reading some other mexican dishes, now following. Stop over and say hi!

Cinco de Mayo Food and Free Printables - April 25, 2013

[…] my dishes for Cinco de Mayo this year. I’m planning dishes like a delish Tres Leches Cake, homemade Tamales and a margarita recipe (still trying to get the lime/tequila ratio how I want […]

Cinco de Mayo | Savoir Faire Abroad - May 4, 2013

[…] tamales (in my opinion) is the flavour of the filling, which is why I’m recommending this Pork Tamale recipe by Green Eggs & […]

Heide M. - May 5, 2013

Sounds tasty.

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