Tamales

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Tamales or bobotu as the Kapampangans call it is bursting with flavors. This Filipino version of tamales topped with salted egg, shredded chicken, and garlic is perfect at any time of day!

tamales on top of banana leaves

I remember my mom buying this every Christmas as an addition to our Noche Buena . Before, tamales require time and effort to make since rice dough or galapong is not readily available. Well, those times of going to the market to get rice grinded are over! A bag of rice flour from Asian stores and voila you can make tamales at your home any time you want!

tamales with salted egg and chicken on top

Is it like the Mexican tamales?

It’s worlds apart from the original Mexican tamales. Although both are savory delicacies, the Mexicans use corn dough or masa. It’s then filled with various meats or beans and cheese then wrapped and cooked in corn husks. On the other hand, Kapampangans use finely ground rice and coconut milk to make the white and reddish paste. Topped with shredded chicken, salted eggs, pepper, and garlic and you have a whole meal wrapped in banana leaves.

cooked riced flour with achuete

HOW TO MAKE IT?

The Filipino version has two parts, the white paste sitting at the bottom and the top reddish part. It is wrapped in banana leaves which is the first thing to prepare. I bought mine in an Asian store which is pre-cut to 8 inches. Wash and dry then heat in an open fire to be more flexible.

Start off by preparing the toppings for the tamales. You’ll need chicken breast, sliced salted eggs, fried garlic which you can buy at groceries and ground pepper.

  • In a small bowl, Place chicken breast and add water just enough to cover the meat. Then add salt and cook until chicken is tender and cooked through. Drain and save the stock and shred the chicken using forks.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add achuete powder. Ti in the shredded chicken and cook for two minutes or until the meat is coated with color. Set aside.

Making the red part

  • Toast the rice flour in a pan over low heat until light brown in color. Transfer in a bowl and set aside.
  • Using the same pan heat oil over medium heat and mix-in achuete powder. Saute onion and garlic then pour in coconut milk. Add toasted rice flour and mix until it forms. Add chicken stock, fish sauce, ground pepper, salt.
  • Stir for a couple of seconds then add the peanut butter and continue mixing until consistency is thick and pasty yet spreadable. Transfer in a bowl and set aside.

Making the white part

  • Heat oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic. Pour coconut oil and let simmer. Tip in rice flour and salt keep on mixing until thickens into a paste. Add more water if needed if the mixture is too dry.

Wrapping the tamales

  • In a flat, clean surface lay two square banana leaves. Take 2 tbsp of the white mix and place it in the center. Scoop 1 1/2 of the red mix a place it on top of the white mix. Mold the tamales into a square using a spoon or the banana leaves.
  • Top the tamales with some shredded chicken, salted egg, a dash of pepper, and fried garlic. Fold the first leaf to wrap the tamales then flip and fold the second leaf to seal. Tie with twine or string to secure.
  • Arrange the tamales in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Remove from steamer and serve. Bon appetit!
cooked rice dough wrapped in banana leaves

Tips for Tamales

  • You can use hard boiled eggs if salted eggs is not readily available.
  • Do not limit yourself with the toppings, you can add ham, bacon etc.

The secret ingredient is always LOVE

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Tamales

Tamales or bobotu as the Kapampangans call it is bursting with flavors. This Filipino version of tamales topped with salted egg, shredded chicken, and garlic is perfect any time of day!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Filipino, International
Keyword: filipino tamales, tamales, tamales recipe
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Mia

Ingredients

For toppings

  • 1 200 grams chicken breast boiled and shredded
  • 3 salted eggs / sliced or sliced hard boiled eggs
  • fried garlic
  • ground black pepper
  • banana leaves for wrapping tamales

For the red part

  • cup rice flour toasted
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt optional or if needed
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

For the white part

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions

  • Cut banana leaves into squares approximately 8 in x 8 in. Wash and dry ten heat in an open fire to be more flexible. Set aside

Preparing chicken topping

  • In a small bowl, Place chicken breast and add water just enough to cover the meat. Then add salt and cook until chicken is tender and cooked through. Drain and save the stock and shred the chicken using forks. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add achuete powder. Tip in the shredded chicken and cook for two minutes or until the meat is coated with color. Set aside.

Making the red part

  • Toast the rice flour in a pan over low heat until light brown in color. Transfer in a bowl and set aside. Using the same pan heat oil over medium heat and mix-in achuete powder. Saute onion and garlic then pour in coconut milk. Add toasted rice flour and mix until it forms. Add chicken stock, fish sauce, ground pepper, salt.
  • Stir for a couple of seconds then add the peanut butter and continue mixing until consistency is thick and pasty yet spreadable. Transfer in a bowl and set aside.

Making the white part

  • Heat oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic. Pour coconut oil and let simmer. Tip in rice flour and salt keep on mixing until thickens into a paste. Add more water if needed if the mixture is too dry.

Wrapping the tamales

  • In a flat, clean surface lay two square banana leaves. Take 2 tbsp of the white mix and place it in the center. Scoop 1 1/2 of the red mix a place it on top of the white mix. Mold the tamales into a square using a spoon or the banana leaves.
  • Top the tamales with some shredded chicken, salted egg, a dash of pepper, and fried garlic. Fold the first leaf to wrap the tamales then flip and fold the second leaf to seal. Tie with twine or string to secure.
  • Arrange the tamales in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes. Remove from steamer and serve. Bon appetit!

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