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Making traditional homemade tamales can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. Fill yours with pork, roasted vegetables, shrimp, or even fruit—the delicious rewards far outweigh the amount of work you'll have to do. Here, F&W’s 10 best-ever tamale recipes to make now.
Making traditional homemade tamales can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. Fill yours with pork, roasted vegetables, shrimp, or even fruit—the delicious rewards far outweigh the amount of work you'll have to do. Here, F&W’s 10 best-ever tamale recipes to make now:
1. Fried Pork Tamales
Chef Alex Stupak first steams his pork tamales, then dusts them with flour and fries them until they are golden, crispy and incredible.
2. Portobello and Polenta Tamales
Here, beautiful, fresh corn husks are used as tamale wrappers. You can easily embellish the tamales by adding slices of grilled Italian sausage or, to be really decadent, a few disks of foie gras terrine.
3. Steamed Pork Tamales
These steamed banana-leaf-wrapped tamales are filled with ultra-tender braised, shredded pork.
Related: How To Make Tamales
4. Burnt Strawberry Tamales
Chef Carlos Salgaldo makes these fantastic tamales by charring strawberries in a skillet, then mixing them into a buttery masa filling.
5. Little Pork Tamales with Red Chile Sauce
These tender tamales with smoky, smooth ancho sauce are easy to make, but they do take some time. However, all the work can be done ahead, and at the last minute all you need to do is reheat them.
6. Chicken Tamales with Tomatillo-Cilantro Salsa
These light and fluffy tamales are great to make ahead for weekday lunches.
7. Crispy Baked Pork Tamale
This crusty casserole of succulent mole-braised pork, sandwiched between tender, cakey masa dough, is like a supersized tamale.
8. Quick Chicken-and-Cheese Tamales
Here, store-bought rotisserie chicken and cheddar cheese are mixed into a quick dough, and then wrapped in plastic before steamed.
9. Pulled-Pork Tamales
These powerfully flavorful tamales are best served piping hot with a robust beer like a brown or red ale.
10. Fresh Corn Tamales With Shrimp In Roasted Garlic Sauce
Shrimp plays the starring roll in this stellar tamale recipe from star chef Bobby Flay.