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Tamalitos Verdes

  • Prep 45 min
  • Total 1 hr 15 min
  • Ingredients 16
  • Servings 12

Ingredients

For the sauce:

1
red onion
1
Peruvian yellow pepper
Fresh cilantro, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon

For the tamales:

2
lb fresh corn, loose kernels
2
cups cilantro leaves
1
cup fresh spinach
1/2
cup vegetable oil
1/2
cup chopped onion
1/2
cup Peruvian yellow pepper, processed (optional)
3
garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
3
tablespoons sugar
1
cup oil
Fresh corn husks, as needed

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
% Daily Value
% Daily Value*:
Exchanges:
Free
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
No nutrition information available for this recipe

Expert Tips

This recipe calls for ají amarillo in the dough just to enhance the flavor. These tamales are not spicy.

In Peru, they are simply known as tamalitos verdes (green tamales). They are from the region of Piura, in the north of Peru; they’re made with fresh tender corn and lots of cilantro to give them their characteristic flavor and color. Many chefs combine spinach and cilantro so the flavor can be more delicate but still have an intense color. Normally, they are not filled with anything and that’s how I prefer them but you can add a few pieces of chicken and sometimes cheese. They are rolled in fresh cornhusks, still green, although it’s not always easy to find those in the United States. In that case, you can use the dried husks that are sold at Latin supermarkets. The cornhusk adds flavor to the tamale and that’s a big plus. There are a few ways to make these green tamales. Once they are cooked they can be refrigerated and can even be kept frozen for later use. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these tamalitos verdes are always a hit.

To make sure the tamalitos are very soft, to add oil or lard to the dough. You can add up to 1 cup of oil while stirring with a spoon until everything is well combined.

Directions

  • 1 For the sauce: Cut the red onion into fine julienne strips and rinse in cold water. Drain and combine with the Peruvian yellow pepper into fine julienne strips, coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Lastly, add a few drops of olive oil.
  • 2 For the tamales: Blend the corn, cilantro and spinach. Remember that the corn shouldn’t be too liquid as it will affect the texture of the tamales. Transfer the processed corn to a container.
  • 3 Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion, sauté it while stirring so it becomes soft but not too brown. Add the processed yellow pepper and garlic and sauté it for a few more minutes. Add to processed corn and mix to combine everything. Season with salt, pepper and sugar, stir with a wooden spoon for about 15 minutes.
  • 4 Meanwhile, wash the cornhusks. To assemble the tamales, overlap two cornhusks, add 2 tablespoons of the dough right in the center. Fold the cornhusks to make the tamales and tie in the center with a piece of string or a strip made from the cornhusk.
  • 5 Add a layer of cornhusks to the bottom of a large pot. Place the tamales on top. Add 3 cups of water, cover with more cornhusks, cover with lid and bring to a boil. The tamales will cook for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • 6 If you wish to eat the tamales right away, you should let them cool for a little bit so they don’t fall apart when you open them.
  • 7 Serve 2 tamales per person with a side of salsa criolla.

In Peru, they are simply known as tamalitos verdes (green tamales). They are from the region of Piura, in the north of Peru; they’re made with fresh tender corn and lots of cilantro to give them their characteristic flavor and color. Many chefs combine spinach and cilantro so the flavor can be more delicate but still have an intense color. Normally, they are not filled with anything and that’s how I prefer them but you can add a few pieces of chicken and sometimes cheese. They are rolled in fresh cornhusks, still green, although it’s not always easy to find those in the United States. In that case, you can use the dried husks that are sold at Latin supermarkets. The cornhusk adds flavor to the tamale and that’s a big plus. There are a few ways to make these green tamales. Once they are cooked they can be refrigerated and can even be kept frozen for later use. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these tamalitos verdes are always a hit.

Rate and Comment

Morena Cuadra Morena Cuadra
September 20, 2016

In Peru, they are simply known as tamalitos verdes (green tamales). They are from the region of Piura, in the north of Peru; they’re made with fresh tender corn and lots of cilantro to give them their characteristic flavor and color. Many chefs combine spinach and cilantro so the flavor can be more delicate but still have an intense color. Normally, they are not filled with anything and that’s how I prefer them but you can add a few pieces of chicken and sometimes cheese. They are rolled in fresh cornhusks, still green, although it’s not always easy to find those in the United States. In that case, you can use the dried husks that are sold at Latin supermarkets. The cornhusk adds flavor to the tamale and that’s a big plus. There are a few ways to make these green tamales. Once they are cooked they can be refrigerated and can even be kept frozen for later use. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these tamalitos verdes are always a hit.