Homemade Tamales

Yummy pale tamales 🙂

I have spoken about tamales once here. And that was almost a year ago. It has been only lately that I have been feeling the need to make some, and of all the bad timing, with the bad weather, I had all the ingredients ready except for the banana leaves. With the raging storm, nobody had banana leaves for sale, which we just usually buy from the village market. But the good thing about having a more than complete kitchen, we had enough parchment and aluminum foil to make into the wrapper of the tamales! 🙂

My work station
White and orange

I was guided by this recipe but as usual, I tweaked the recipe based on what I know. The recipe was helpful that I was able to use it as a guide for what I wanted to do. I wanted to copy the one that I usually buy from the Manong in Alabang Town Center.

Orange on top of white

First thing, I removed the onions. And, having removed that, I also didn’t bother sauteing the mix (less oil). I also used fresh coconut milk, but I did use ground rice flour. I tried grinding myown flour once, and it was insane. So I’m more sensible now. Back to the recipe.

Topped with egg and chicken

I first boiled a chicken breast in salted water and flaked it once cooled. I set aside the broth for use as the liquid in the mix. I followed the same ratio, more or less, of liquid and flour. And as the site instructed, I also mixed the flour and half of the coconut milk beforehand. And since I didn’t have any sauteing to do, I just dumped in a non-stick pan the sugar, salt, black pepper and leftover coconut milk in the pan, allowed it to boil, then added the rice flour mixture. Mix mix mix. I slowly added the additional liquid.

Fold and fold and fold and fold

I set aside 2/3 of the mixture for the base, and added annatto powder and more black pepper to the leftover 1/3 until it turned orange. I set this aside and proceeded to assemble the mix. Using a strip of parchment paper on aluminum foil, I scooped about 1/2 cup of the base, added about 1/3 cup of the orange stuff, then topped with chicken and egg. Fold over. Do 8 more times. Steam for 20 minutes 🙂

Tamales Recipe

400g flour
800 ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon pepper, ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 chicken breast flaked
1 salted egg sliced
annatto powder

Mix the flour with half of the coconut milk. Set aside. In a  non stick pan, mix the sugar, salt, pepper and the leftover coconut milk. Slowly add the chicken broth and water. Cook. Set aside 2/3 of the mixture, and leave the 1/3 in the pan. Add annatto powder and more black pepper. Set aside.

Assemble. If using banana leaves, it’s bound to be more complicated, I think. But using the parchment and foil is easier. Use a square piece of foil, about 10 inches long, then place a piece of parchment, about 4 to 5 inches wide, and as long as the foil. Scoop 1/2 cup of the plain white base, add 1/3 cup of the orange mixture, top with egg and chicken. Fold the foil to make a packet. Steam for 30 minutes 🙂


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