Appetizer, Mexican

Corn n Chile Tamales


I recently had a fun trip meeting all my maternal cousins at Sante Fe NM. It was a complete trip down memory lane and thoroughly enjoyed with plenty of good food, drinks and lots of chatting. This trip we will remember for life – Thanks to T, R, G and H 😉 

During this trip, we had the most delicious Corn tamales on a street corner of Sante Fe square. It was served from a small food truck by an elderly couple. He had the tamales inside a pot of boiling water and warmed it up for us. We could barely hold the hot tamales and as we opened the wrappers, steam emanated. It was satisfying, simple and very delicately spiced. It reminded me about keeping food simple and letting the natural flavors speak. 

As always I tried to replicate the tamales at home. Again keeping it very simple and true to what we enjoyed. 

It is best to use fresh Corn cobs. First and foremost remove the outer wrappers very carefully, wash it and let it dry out. For the filling, use fresh shucked corn, add freshly chopped jalapeños and small bits of cheese. Thats it, keep it basic and let the flavors of corn and jalapeño shine through. 

Vegan Tip- Firm tofu bits will work very well for a vegan option 

For the outer layer, make a thick batter of just cornmeal, salt and water. I brought in a little bit of whole wheat flour to provide some binding. 

Gluten-free Tip- Replace whole wheat flour with Tapioca flour for a gluten-free option

Assembling it might seem daunting at first but it is quite straightforward. Spread the batter on 2-3 layered corn leaves, add corn topping, top with some more batter and roll to cover. Carefully steam. It only takes 10 minutes to steam. It goes great as an appetizer with a simple hot sauce or as a side to a robust soup. 

Let everyone open the corn wrapper themselves and enjoy the wafting corn smell entice them.

We enjoyed it with Corn and Leek bisque 😉 Coming up on our next post! 

Corn n Chile Tamales

Tamales are a simple Mexican street food to be enjoyed as an appetizer or a side. Corn and jalapeno steamed inside cornmeal in corn leaves. The tantalizing flavor of corn is the only flavor that shines with a delicate spice. Simple ingredients, simple food.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 Tamales


  • 10 Corn leaves outer wrapper of fresh corn cobs
  • 2 Corn cobs shucked
  • 1 Jalapeno chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cheese diced finely (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Extra Firm Tofu diced finely (Vegan option)
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • 2 tbsps Whole Wheat flour
  • Tapioca flour (Gluten-free option)


  • Remove corn husks/leaves, wash and dry out
  • Mix shucked corn, jalapeño and cheese; salt as desired
  • Mix cornmeal with whole wheat flour and water and make into a thick batter
  • Assembling the Tamales – arrange 3 corn leaves in a layer; spread a tablespoon of batter
  • Add a tablespoon of corn filling
  • Top with another spoonful of batter
  • Fold and cover the corn leaves carefully and place on a steamer rack
  • Repeat process steps 4 to 8 and prepare the tamales
  • Steam for 10 minutes with a lid on
  • Let tamales rest for 5 minutes before serving

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