Latin Recipes

Tamales Huastecos in Plantain Leaves

Tamales Huastecos in Plantain Leaves

Plantain Leaves Recipe

Servings: 20Portions
Cooking Time : 52min
Difficulty : Medium


  • 2 Lbs. of meaty pork ribs cut into cubes of about 1 ¼ inch Ask your butcher to cut it for you
  • 2 Lbs. pork leg cut into cubes of about 1 ¼ inch

For the Adobo (Chilpan):

  • 8 Latin Deli Ancho chilies seeded, deveined and cleaned (reserve some of the seeds)
  • 6 Latin Deli Guajillo chilies seeded, deveined, and cleaned. (reserve some of the seeds)
  • 5 Latin Deli Morita chilies seeded or chipotles. Optional if you want your tamales to be spicy
  • ¼ cup of the chilies seeds
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons black pepper
  • ¼ cup of sesame seeds optional
  • ⅓ cup of Masa Lista or white P.A.N to prepared the corn dough
  • ½ white onion roasted and cut into thick slices
  • 3 cloves of garlic roasted
  • 4 Roma or plum tomatoes (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 packages of Latin Deli Plantain leaves


  • 4 ½ Lbs. P.A.N Flour or Masa Lista
  • 2 Lbs. lard could be substituted by shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • Water or chicken broth enough to cream the dough


The sauce “Chilpan”:
Lightly toast the Guajillo, Ancho and Morita chilies do not let them burn. If you add the Morita chili it will give you a smokey flavor.

Place the chilies into a bowl with 2 cups of warm water to soak for 30 minutes or until soft.

In the same pan you roasted the chilies, lightly roast the chili seeds and the black peppers corns, allowing them cool before mixing with the chilies. Do the same with the sesame seeds if using.

Drain the chilies, reserving soaking water, and place them in a blender puree with garlic, onion, black pepper and seeds. Add ½ cup of the soaking water. Use a good blender to have better results. The end result should be a fine thick sauce.

Dissolve the ⅓ cup of masa with some water and add to the “Chilpan” sauce and stir. Add salt and taste. Add this mixture to the meat and let marinated while you prepare the corn dough. This sauce can be made in advance.

Beat lard and salt with an electric mixer or by hand until light and creamy. Add the Masa Lista and broth little by little keep beating until dough is well mixed, smooth and homogenous. The dough will be light enough when a small amount floats when dropped in a glass of water. Just take care that it is well integrated and smooth.

Plantain Leaves
After removing the plantain leaves from their plastic package cut the rough hard part of the edge using your kitchen scissors (This is the leaf’s center vein).

Cut the plantain leaves into rectangles of about 9 inches wide.

Place them one with one over the stove top flame in a steady and fast movement, they will change to a glossy color and become pliable. Rinse with warm water and dry well with a kitchen towel.

Place ¼ of the batter into each leaf and spread it with wet fingers or with the back of a spoon (Have a bowl with water at hand for this purpose) top with one or two pieces of meat with the sauce.

Fold one side of the leaf toward the center; and then the other side overlapping, then fold the ends to the point where the dough begins into each side.

Line the steamer with plantain leaves scraps if you have leftovers. Arrange in a steamer that has been previously filled with 2 inches of water.

Cover with more plantain leaves and a kitchen towel and pot lid. You can also use a piece of aluminum foil or plastic to cover the tamales.

Cook for 2 hours after the water start boiling. Use the old trick of dropping a coin into the bottom of the steamer when adding the water to the pot. The coin will start rattling after the water has evaporated. If this happens then add more water carefully removing the lid facing against your face to avoid a steam burn.

To check if the tamales are cooked. Remove one from the pot and if the leave peels off easily, they are done. If not put back into the stove for 15 more minutes.

From 907gr of prepared masa (dough) you will make between 25 to 30 tamales.

The filling could be uncooked pork or chicken. The chicken is cut into pieces. If using already cooked meat, the cut the steaming time to 1 hour and 5 to 10 minutes.

Back to blog

Leave a comment