top of page
  • Taqueria Los Jarritos

Best Mexican Tamales

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Tamales are a staple Mexican food that brings families together.

This special Mexican food is used for any occasions, parties, weddings, or whenever someone is hungry. Tamales really create lasting memories and an amazing taste your mouth cannot resist.

We'll show you a quick tamale cooking guide to make the best, delicious red tamales, green tamales, and corn tamales that's tamales rojos, tamales verdes, and tamales de elote in Spanish.

If you want to cook these Mexican tamales, you'll need the below ingredients.

Otherwise, feel free to call us or come visit us in the local Dyckman, Washington Heights here in the Manhattan NYC area for some great locally made Mexican tamales.

Corn Tamales (Tamales de Elote)


  • Mashed/Shelled fresh corn (15)

  • 1cup of sugar

  • 1 cup of oil

  • 15 corn husks (the leafs)


  • Grind the corn kernels with the sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the oil in the form of a thread until it is fully integrated and a paste is made.

  • Place a tablespoon of the mixture on a sheet of corn. Close it and repeat the process with each of the leaves.

  • Cook the tamales in the steamer for about 40 - 45 minutes or until you notice that their contents come off the sheet.

Red Tamales (Tamales Rojos de puerco o tamales de pollo)


  • Masa preparada (Use Mesca, it just needs water)

  • Corn husks (hojas)

  • Dried Chile de Arbol

  • Pieces of beef or pork (trozos de puerco)

  • 4 tbsp Olive oil

  • Ancho chilies soaked in very hot water, deveined and peeled

  • 1 tablespoon of lard


  • In a large stock pot, add the pork pieces, garlic, onion, 1 ½ tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. 

  • Cook on low for 2 hours. 

  • Soak the corn husks in warm water and put an object on top of the husks that’s heavy enough so they can soak the moisture. 

  • Once the pork is fully cooked, remove the meat from the pot and let cool. 

  • To a blender, add the rehydrated chiles, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ tablespoon cumin, and 3 cups pork broth (from the reserved pork liquid). Blend until smooth. 

  • Once the pork is cool to the touch, shred the pork meat with two forks. 

  • Add the shredded pork meat to a large stock pot and pour the remaining red chile sauce to the pork and 1 cup of the pork broth.

  • Cook for 15-20 minutes. 

  • For the Masa: Add ½ cup of the reserved red chile sauce to the prepared masa. Mix well until the chile sauce is fully blended.

  • To Assemble:  Shake off water from the corn husk and spread about 2 tablespoons of masa on the corn husk

  • Take a tablespoon of the pork filling and add to the center of the masa. Continue assembling until you no longer have corn husks or filling.

  • Fill the bottom of a large steamer pot with hot water. 

  • Insert the steamer and add all the tamales with the open side up. 

  • Cover with a lid and turn on the stove to cook on low for 1 ½ hours - 2 hours. 

  • Check the water level after 30 minutes and ddd hot water, if it's necessary. 

Green Tamales (Tamales Verdes de puerco o tamales de pollo)


  • Masa preparada (Use Mesca, it just needs water)

  • Corn husks (hojas)

  • 1 ½ pound of tomatillos green tomatoes husk removed

  • 6 serrano peppers or 4 jalapeños

  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled


  • Cook the tomatoes, peppers, and garlic in a pot until they are cooked & tender.

  • Place the tomatoes, peppers, and garlic in the blender and puree until smooth.

  • Season with salt, if needed.

  • Then, in a spacious bowl add the corn masa harina, baking powder, and chicken broth. Mix well and taste to season with salt. Mix until all your ingredients are well combined and the dough is light and spongy.

  • Place the corn husk on your work surface with the wide end facing towards you. Place some of the dough in the center but closer to the bottom of the corn husk, top with 2 tablespoons of the chicken-green sauce filling in the center of the husk. Fold one side of the husk to the center and fold the other side to the center, too. Fold the bottom towards the center. Repeat process with remaining husks (hojas) and filling.

  • Start placing your finished tamales inside your pot. Place them in a standing position.

  • Cover the top with a layer of the corn husks and a dish towel and the pot lid. Steam for about 60 minutes in a medium heat or after taking one tamale and checking if the husk easily separates from the dough. Be careful while removing the lid.

If you're not down for this difficult tamale cooking, time consuming task, then check out our los jarritos menu to order delicious NYC tamales.


bottom of page