Saturday, April 18, 2009

Breakfast Tamales

I've been making a lot of tamales lately. They've been a big hit at the Bayou City Farmers Market
This one is pretty cool. When people ask what's in the tamales I tell them that it's migas ( a Mexican scrambled egg dish) Then after they've tried it and said, "wow" or "yum", I tell them that it's tofu migas so it has no cholesterol. I'm surprised by the number of big burly meat eatting types who buy them anyway.

We make the tamales in three steps and we make giant batches so I'll try to estimate a smaller batch but it's not exact.

Start off by soaking your corn husks!

Basic Tamale Dough

2 cups Masa

1and 1/2 cups warm Vegetable Stock

1/2 cup Peanut Oil

3 teaspoons baking powder

4 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup cold water

Start by putting the masa in your mixer and turning it on. Add the veggie stock and let it mix for 3-5 minutes. Add the peanut oil and let it mix for another 3-5 minutes. While that's mixing combine the rest of the ingredients in a little bowl. After five minutes add the rest of the ingredients and mix again for 3-5 minutes.

The Creative Part
At this point in our tamale process we add some kind of vegetable. For the breakfast tamale I add about a half a can of tomato sauce and a half an onion ground up in a blender. I also add fresh sage to this tamale dough.
You can add all kinds of veggies to your dough. I've added onion, chayote, spinach, herbs, sweet potato and beets at one time or another to my different masas. I find that this does gives the masa character and tenderness so the masa doesn't come out dense like a hockey puck, or bland like a corn tortilla.
Tofu Scramble
about 1 cup finely diced onion, bell pepper and hot pepper combo (easy on the hot pepper, Tiger)

2 large packages of medium or hard tofu (crumbled up really good)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons miso

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon each freshly chopped oregano and parsley (most herbs can be used here)

2 cloves fresh minced garlic

This can all be mixed together and it doesn't need to be cooked. It will steam in the steamer.

OK now your ready to assemble. Take a nice big corn husk and lay it out on the table. Spread a thin layer of masa onto the husk in a rectangular shape about 3" wide and 5" long. The masa should be about a 1/4 inch thick. Now add a strip longways down the middle of the tofu filling.

Now you want to fold the two exposed masa sides together so that in the end you have a tube of masa surrounding your delicious filling. Fold the extra flap of corn husk up and lay the tamale down so that the flap doesn't pop back up

Steam that tamale for 30-45 minutes.

I realize that this is going to require some better pictures so we will do that next time we do tamales (every week) so stay tuned.


Paulina said...

I've never made tamales before nor have I ever seen my mom make them and we're Mexican!

But I love them anyways despite the fact that I haven't had them since I've went vegan two years ago.

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kittee said...

hey there,
i would love more info on your tamales. do you actually mix the tomato sauce into the masa? i wasn't sure about that part, but i love how carefree your instructions are.


Alex said...

I made tamales based on this dough recipe last week. I just want to mention that I found this amount of salt to be way too much. I would probably try halving the salt in a small batch to see how they turn out.

I know the saltiness was not a result of the filling, or of the stock that went into the dough because the filling was fine on its own and the stock was home-canned chicken stock with no added salt.