Video: How to Make Tamales -

Video: How to Make Tamales

Watch how to make this authentic Latin American treat.

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Wrapped and steamed in leaves, tamales are a beautiful and delicious special occasion or holiday dish. In this video, you’ll learn how to make tamales from scratch. Tamales arrive like a gift in a corn husk or banana leaf; maybe that’s why they’re a Christmas tradition. You’ll learn all about traditional tamale fillings, like braised pork and beef, and get a glimpse of the endless variations, such as chicken, roasted vegetables, cheese, beans, or seafood. To get started, you’ll learn how to slow cook your meat with traditional seasonings and spices. You’ll see how to prepare the husks to make them pliable, then you’ll learn how to make the tamale masa, the cornmeal mixture that’s essential to making tamales. Then learn how to wrap up your tamales, combining the filling and the masa dough. Make a lot of tamales and freeze them; we'll show you how to wrap them up for storage. Find top-rated tamale recipes.

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Nov. 13, 2014 5:23 pm
I would like to spreading with the tamale spreader. You can spread a dozen per minute. Yes you can spread masa fast and easy.
Feb. 17, 2014 2:04 pm
I see some would like to see a print up of this and other recipes. I am logged in but do not see save to recipes so I can experiment later!
Dec. 18, 2013 6:15 pm
I have found after making tamales all my life that it is much easier to go to you local Mexican store an get pre made masa. Saves time, money and the hassle.
Apr. 16, 2013 11:10 am
I agree with cookinglady,,plus to have the authentic tamales your going to have to get your masa from a Mexican tortilla factory/Mexican bread store. That's where I get mine.
Jan. 30, 2013 11:26 am
Hi Cookinglady and Mel, I want to make tamales but I need an authentic receipe of how to make them. Could you email me your receipe to
Jan. 21, 2013 9:41 am
As a Mexican-American, I agree with Mel. This is definitely the short-cut/ Americanized way to make tamales, which will not turn out well. I'm disappointed that Allrecipes didn't ask a Latino cook for a demonstration and tips as it did for some of the other world cuisine videos (e.g. pho or pad thai). Also, it's 1 tamal, 2 tamales. Someone with the appropriate background for this recipe would have known that.
Dec. 12, 2012 1:42 pm
Just don't think this is a 2 hour job, plan on a full day after you make the meat. The more hands the better..
Aug. 30, 2012 9:40 am
I tried this method as well and had very disappointing results. The mesa never sat up as a "bread" and it was grainy and loose. It was a lot of work and a lot of money wasted. They were terrible.
May 5, 2012 4:17 pm
We tried to make tamales today May 5th and were extremely disappointed with our results. The masa de harina we found in our area was yellow rather than the pale color of the video and I couldn't get a ball of it to float even when I added so much water that it became a soup. /we emded up frying the dough in a frying pan and layering the fillings on and covering with aniother pre cooked dough and baking in the oven. Tasted good but it certainly didn't look like tamales. I won't try it again as it is too much work for something that came out like this.
May 3, 2012 12:32 am
I have lived in El Paso almost 3 years now and tamales have been on my to try list for at least 2 years now. I think I may be ready to go ahead and giving them a try. Thank you!
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