How to Make Tamales

Tamales are as beautiful as they are
delicious. Wrapped and steamed in leaves, this
Latin American treat can be made in so many variations.
Just like the American Sandwich. Served as a special occasion food, in
part because they take time to make, tamales are steamed corn meal dumplings
filled with moist flavorful filling all wrapped up like a gift in a corn husk. First, let’s take a look at what goes
inside a tamale. From the inside out. Filling: this is traditionally meat.
Braised beef or pork. But you can pack tamales with chicken,
roasted veggies, cheese, or seafood. Masa dough, the dumpling of breading
of the tamale, is made from Ground cornflower, lard, and salt. This doughy mixture is cooked into
firmness through steaming. The wrapper: Tamales are wrapped and cooked
in a plant leaf, dried corn husks, fresh corn husks, or banana leaves, are
common wrappings. This non-edible layer holds the tamale
together as it cooks. And it gives the tamale
its distinctive, authentic look. Before you get started be aware that
tamales take a fair amount of time to make. Some Tamale makers suggest you may
need as much as two days. Day one, you cook the meat.
Day two, you assemble the tamales. Others suggest that you make tamales all
in one day, and make a party out of it. Invite over your friends and family to
form a tamale making assembly line. Either way, here are the tools to make
tamales. A dutch oven to cook the meat. Large capacity 16 to 20 port
steamer, to steam the tamale. Tongs, knife, spoon or spreading
utensil of your choice. Step One:
Prepare the filling. Most tamales are filled with braised
pork or beef in a sauce of spices in dried or fresh chiles. But you can use chicken, roasted
vegetables, cheese, beans, or seafood. You can even make dessert tamales
filled with this sweet mix of fruit and nuts. Traditionally you simmer a large three to
four pound piece of pork or beef roast in a dutch oven with onion, garlic, and
enough water to cover the meat. Cook the meat on low heat until
it is tender, and cooked through for at least two hours. Ideally, you want to be able to
pull it apart with a fork. Once you’ve cooked the meat,
you can add spices and seasonings. Typical choices are chiles, chili
powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, black pepper and salt. Well here’s how you season the cooked meat.
Heat a splash of corn oil in a large pan. Heat on medium high and
add seasonings of your choice. Add the pulled cooked meat,
and mix with the oil and seasonings. Step Two:
Prepare the husks. Soak the dried corn husks in water
for about an hour to make them pliable. Step Three:
Make the Masa. Traditional tamale dough is a mixture
of masa, lard, and salt. Fresh masa is dried corn that has been
cooked in lime water, soaked overnight, and ground up while still wet.
You can buy fresh masa; it makes the lightest, fluffiest tamales.
Or you can make your own masa using masa harina.
Flour from dried out masa. If you use masa harina, you add
liquid, either water or meat broth, to moisten it. For light and fluffy tamale dough, whip the lard and salt with an
electric mixer for a few minutes. If you don’t want to use lard, you can use the same amount of
vegetable shortening. Add masa and continue to whip, adding
water or broth, until the mixture is the consistency of soft cookie dough. How do you tell if your masa mixture
is moist enough? Here’s a test: drop a small ball of dough
into a glass of water. If it dough sinks, it needs more liquid
whipped into it; If it floats, it’s ready to use. Step Four:
Wrap it up. Open up a corn husk or leaf, and
lay it on a cutting board. Spread a layer of masa dough about a
quarter to a half inch thick. Then spread a tablespoon filling down
the middle of the masa dough. Carefully roll up the husk so that the
masa completely surrounds the filling; and the parcel stays intact. Use a strip of husk to tie the
package closed. Pretty, isn’t it? Step Five:
Steam the tamales. Stand the tamales upright in a steamer
basket. Turn the water to high, and steam over boiling water
for 45 minutes. Remove the tamales from the steamer
with tongs, taking care to not burn yourself. Arrange them on a platter; dig in! Remind tamale newbies to remove the
corn husk before eating. Make a lot of tamales and freeze the
excess. Tamales can be frozen for up to six
months. Wrap them in a heavy duty
resealable plastic bag. To reheat, thaw tamales
in the refrigerator, and steam, or microwave them
until they are heated through. If you’re craving tamales, set aside some
time, invite over friends and family, and get rolling! Tamales are easy to make when there
are lots of handsto help.

100 comments on “How to Make Tamales”

  1. Flaka says:

    because white ppl try to make them to their own style.

  2. Jen Johnson says:

    This isn't the way we do tamales here in Honduras, all this is wrong..!! 1st of all the tamales wrapped in a white leaf are named "tamalitos dulces" they are sweet… & if u add chicken they become "Montucas" is a great combination of salty & sweet..!! & the ones wrapped in a green banana leaf are "nacatamales" & the 3 or them gotta be boiled… Not use steam to cook..!! & the masa isn't made this way Is a looooooot different.. Need to be cooked & mixed for hours.!

  3. Flaka says:

    did u just read what u wrote.? theres so many different types of tamales and and thats am saying when a white person taiste the tamales they could tell the huge difference. some mexicans can't tell why? becuase our taiste buds are so use to eating them.

  4. Albert Escamilla says:

    you do iknow this is a video for mexican tamales rather than honduran ones right?

  5. Albert Escamilla says:

    i don't think it matters considering they are being steamed rather than boiled. just enough for it to not evaporate all at once.

  6. Marlon Reynolds says:

    Warm tamales for breakfast. Life can't get much better!

  7. Michelle Hernandez says:

    whoa white girl know how to make em???

  8. Michelle Hernandez says:

    yeah tamales in resturants never really taste that good , you should buy them from some people that are out of grocery stores that sell them those are the best

  9. FishOrMan says:

    choke, spit coffee! lol.

    At the local farmers' markets, I see tamales 'sin manteca' and wonder, WTF!

  10. whitney m says:

    didn't you come here to watch how people make tamales ?
    not fight about your race ? really ?

    we're all equal !

  11. OrangePie says:

    chili powder

  12. Baby Munchers says:


  13. singleserveberry Cole says:

    Woops accidentally clicked wrong video – was meant to click on Tyler the creator.

  14. prince666 says:

    Boy I am certain getting a tamale party together with my friend this weekend

  15. Lara Schilling says:

    I had a go at making Tamales this weekend. I started on Friday night with the meat and made the red mole and did the assembly on the Saturday. My dough didn't turn out too fantastic, because I didn't use lard, but olive oil. Mind you, the filling and mole tasted AMAZING.

  16. Danny Fenty says:

    Ahhh tamales and this is the recipe my mom makesssss there so delicious and good and christmas is around the corner soooo its almost time to eat tamales, so excited 🙂

  17. LoLEsperanz4 says:

    hot tamale, hot hot tamale, hot tamale, hot hot,
    do you like tamale, hot hot tamale?
    i like tamale, hot hot.

  18. Leslie Kirsten says:

    poorly made

  19. alicia gascon says:

    wtf ? they look dry

  20. Nelson Villa says:

    Ummm they seem too dry

  21. Curious Cat 77 says:

    Do you know that there is an old wife’s tale that if you make a pot of tamales and don’t share them, the rest of the tamales in the pot will go sour?

  22. Isaiah frost says:


  23. Isaiah frost says:


  24. Leslie Abramo-Castellano says:

    Wtf. These tamales look like they are made by a white person wannabe hispanic. Look these tamales look dry and they don't even look like the typical Mexican tamales. Son diferente o sólo soy yo? Pues yo los se hacer mejor. Nice try though.

  25. AvenueD417 says:

    she says this is something cooked on special occasions so use real lard. one time shouldnt hurt and it makes tamales taste a whole lot better

  26. Si6ney says:


  27. Frances Carranza says:

    This is an overview not a step by step recipe and it is ok, covers the main points and tamales are not just MEXICAN…ok!!!!

  28. Abriill Barraza says:

    PARECEN tamales

  29. maia993 says:

    I'd like to see more pie recipes . I actually don't know how to make them !
    It would be so much helpful !

  30. Takasatin says:

    What are the measurements?

  31. Ted Riggs says:

    @penda3, What you heard is an American accent, not an English accent.

  32. Aspie Otaku says:

    Never knew they took so long to make but man they are delicious!

  33. YessiBubble says:

    Here's a little help if you want the traditional Mexican tamales : traditionally in my home we add the broth from the meat in the Masa mixture and if the little ball of dough doesn't float in the water we add more lard. The more lard you use the more moist the tamale is going to be, but you just need enough lard until the dough ball floats in water because if you do add more than enough the dough will take even longer to cook or just wont cook at all. We usually use pork in the filling but since I don't like pork my family makes three different types of tamales: pork, beef, and beans (all are equally delicious!) but we usually add this sauce that includes two types of peppers (chile) Chile Ancho and Chile Mulato. You let those soak in hot water for an hour until they are really soft and then add to a blender with spices (usually garlic, ground cumin, salt) and blend. Then you "fry" (about a tablespoon or two of oil) the sauce and its ready to add to your filling (just add to the meats, pork or beef). We like to add it to the beans as well. Just mash some cooked pinto beans, add a little bit of lard and water, once they start to boil a little add about a spoonful of the chile sauce and boil again until almost dry (cooking until dry helps to stop them from oozing out of the tamale during cooking). Just fill up your husks and steam for an 40-1 hour (keep checking because times may depend on where you live, some areas have more moisture in the air, while others are dry or in high places). To check just take out one tamale and see if the dough is cooked. do not over cook. this is hard because sometimes the dough may seem under cooked when taken out of the pot because it is still warm. The best way to eat them, in our opinion, is the day after on a comal. Or you can toast them on a skillet/pan, the outside husk looks burnt but the inside tastes delicious and crunchy. That's what we call recalentado! Enjoy!

  34. Martha Gartsman says:

    Que linda receta. Gracias Corazon!

  35. Lili Ana says:

    Try making Guatemala Tamale.
    We make them out of rice or masa.

  36. leolove8 says:

    I'm not Mexican, but I sure love their food! I will try and make tamales one day.  Traditionally, I make chicken enchiladas every year for Christmas.  Yummy!!!! 🙂

  37. Stoney Stark says:

    Easy enough

  38. Stoney Stark says:

    Very lucrative business around the holidays

  39. Coco Thornlow says:

    First: "Tamales" is the plural of "TAMAL", not "tamale".  Basic Spanish grammar teaches us to pluralize nouns ending in "L" such as Tamal, Frijol, Papel, adding "es". "S" is added to nouns ending in a consonant or an stressed vowel. There are more exceptions but I will not dwell on them, this is not a Spanish grammar lesson.

    Your recipe and demonstration are excellent.  One more constructive criticism: Not all Mexican dishes require cumin.  This is a spice that overpowers all other making your dishes boring since the taste is the same.  Try eliminating it from all of them, except "Chili con Carne", which is not Mexican creation but Tex-Mex.  Very few authentic Mexican recipes call for CUMIN.

  40. laeaglin says:

    are these like baby tamales? cuz the tamales that I'm used to are HUGE!

  41. purple piano girl says:

    Who was eating a tamale while watching this?

  42. Yesit'sJess says:

    Lol, my local H-E-B (a Texas only store) makes them from scratch. I'll just buy those. 😛

  43. Icy Rock says:

    I had always heard that it takes a day to make tamales, so I came here to see why. I had the most amazing chicken tamales at a restaurant located in a Hispanic grocery. I wasn't expecting much and chicken tamales are soooo hard to find, but I was impressed.

  44. Carlos G says:

    Really 😑 white people fr

  45. Francisco Villa says:

    My 2 sister make 100-200 from scratch in like 2+ plus what ever time it takes it to cook

  46. Francisco Villa says:

    My 2 sister make 100-200 from scratch in like 2+ plus what ever time it takes it to cook

  47. MexicoOnline says:

    hello everybody, I want to introduce you the tamales masa spreader to make step 4 of this video way easier. you can buy it at our online store

  48. ceiling says:

    thanks tyler

  49. Davidson Harly says:

    Oh shit lard. Now I'm fucked. Pork too.
    Dam my mom lied. I'm going to hell.
    Dam ancestors.

  50. Patty Garcia says:

    You YouTube because it's help my mom make tamales

  51. SaW Clan says:

    Who else was brought here cause tyler

  52. Ayad Hadad says:


  53. LordAmon 457 says:

    Hot tamale, hot, hot tamale
    Hot tamale, hot, hot
    Do you like tamale? Warm tamale?


  54. camelpissflavour says:

    sandwiches are english

  55. Rika Higa says:


  56. Eye Hates You says:

    Thanks Tyler The Creator!

  57. Kyle Dilbert says:

    Is it ok to eat the bag? Because I hate wasting valuable nutrientsuseful salvages

  58. Auntie Coon says:


  59. Tokyo Nights says:

    This is the american way of making tamales. Mexican tamales are way better and we make our own salsas and add flavor to it. Thats not how you wrap a tamale… wheres the flavor!!!! Omg dead

  60. meera sharma says:


  61. Cocino japones says:

    masa means dough

  62. Moderator says:

    4:54 anyone else want to eat Asley's coconut bliss before she gets home?

  63. Polar Bear says:

    just throw the meat in a slow cooker with all the seasoning onions and garlic.

  64. ACILOVITCH Channel says:

    I want to taste tamales, where can I find them?

  65. BlackFatWolf BLYND says:

    U r stupid that's not how you make tamales u idiot

  66. Amber Alcantara says:

    don't forget chillies with cheese

  67. Amber Alcantara says:

    and yes one day

  68. Eric Lucero says:

    why is this wrong all tamales the masa or the dough is supposed to have blended up chile in it and the inside needs pork not beef

  69. GBatT says:

    Who thought .. I'm never gonna find that.. when she said : "get some masa" :b

  70. Emiliano Hernandez says:

    Just to clarify, tamales originated in Guatemala, but they have been changed due to cultural differences.

  71. BoosT _ says:

    Banana leaves make it taste better

  72. candlewax122 says:


  73. Elsa&lisa says:

    I don't find these directions to be correct. There is no baking powder and the masa "floats" because of the whipped lard that contains air. Disappointed.

  74. lil boobymilk says:

    what do these white people think they're doing

  75. tsukasa1608 says:

    Mexican food probably the most mainstream native american food of all.

  76. snail says:

    this hurts to watch

  77. Cris Escobedo says:

    Why is some white bitch trying to show us how to cook our food?

  78. Bo Huggabee says:

    i like to bake mine.

  79. Perfect Timing says:

    I'm 11 and I make it much better

  80. ChubbyBunny Rivera says:

    Those are not Mexican tamales … ayeee nooo way !! Eewwwwww … so dry and not good looking… smh!!!! Enserious? Mentirosoooo…. !!! Queeee essss como esss!???? Quien essss ???!!! Mis ojossss!!! Ayeeeeeee

  81. Jocelyn sanchez says:

    ook where is the sesoonings and salasas for the filling??. this viedo is not mexican tamaliies.

  82. Peter MacRae says:

    I accidently clicked this video when tryna listen to tamale 😂

  83. Torin Baughman says:

    Tamale tamale tamale tamale tamale tamale tamale!

  84. Dj FMA says:

    No mames Wrong!!

  85. James Campbell says:

    Tie them off? Bahahahaha. Abuela aint got time for that!

  86. FactoryOldFork says:

    I only know what a Tamale is because of Tyler, The Creator

  87. scRam Jet says:

    These actually require technique and skill. Things like tasty just dump all indredients together and cook. No skill at all

  88. Federico Sagun says:

    This is like filipino suman. But i love to taste this.

  89. StabbyMcCutty says:

    White people.

  90. Trenton Lambert says:

    I've never made a tamale but there has to be a better way

  91. CYRUS GRAHAM says:

    Mexican Christmas Tradition: Phoenix Arizona. Year 2001-2004

  92. Aura Wolf says:

    Am I the only one who cringed when she called the tamales dumplings?

  93. michael wyborny says:

    BIG failure regard just 'throwing in filling'. You miss the seasoning, sauced, etc.

  94. Kristi Ziemba says:

    The singular form of tamales is tamal. There is no such thing as a "tamale" or "tamale dough". And I don't think anyone should be confused about removing the corn husk unless they need help being fed too.

  95. Katie Pena says:

    Lol this is the white way

  96. Randy Martinez says:

    Omg this is not how to make Tomalles. Too much masa..

  97. Spicy Dalaylah says:

    "latin american"
    okay bitch

  98. Antonio Castro says:


  99. MLGPRO806 says:

    Do you eat tamales with or without the shell

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