Tamale Making Supplies
Ready to make some tamales? Well here's a list of the supplies you will need to have on hand to start. Some of these items can be found in the Mexican food aisle of your local grocery store. Others can be found at Mexican specialty stores or on online. The MexGrocer has many of the supplies.
The following ingredients are the most commonly used ones needed to make your own tamales.
- Dry Corn Husks (ojas) - to wrap the tamales for steaming
- Fresh Masa (corn dough) - fresh ground masa is made at some grocery stores starting in November and continuing until January. Masa Harina or Tamale Masa Mix can also be used to make your own.
- Masa Harina or Tamale Masa Mix if fresh masa can't be found.
- Lard (Manteca) - added to masa for flavor and smoothness. Shortening, unsalted butter or margarine can also be used if desired.
- Chicken Stock - added to masa for flavor and smoothness. Water can also be used in place of the stock if desired.
- Salt - added to masa used with savory fillings
- Sugar - added to masa used with sweet fillings
- Other ingredients as specified by your tamale recipe
The following basic equipment is needed to make your own tamales.
- Tamale Pot, Tamale Steamer (Tamalero) or Bamboo Steamer - for steaming tamales. The tamale pot should be large (at least 8 quarts) used on a stovetop and have a section for water and a rack above the water to hold the tamales. If you can't find a tamale pot you can also use a Chinese bamboo steamer.
- Mixing Bowls - for mixing fillings and masa
- Knives - for chopping meat or vegetables for fillings
- Spatulas - for spreading masa on corn husks
- Tongs - for removing tamales from the steamer
- Kitchen string (optional) - to tie tamales
- Parchment paper (optional) - to wrap tamales
- Food Processor, Blender, or Mixer (optional) - to mix fillings and masa.