Photography, Styling, and Recipe by Adriana Torres Chong
Shot on location at Cookspace Hawai‘i
Gather friends and family for “tamalada,” a tamale-making party, and prepare for a hands-on day in the kitchen. This great tamale recipe makes about 16 tamales; multiply as needed.
1 lb. Big Wave green tomatoes (2 large)
¼ Maui onion
1-2 Serrano chilies (to taste)
3 garlic cloves
3 cilantro sprigs
Hawaiian salt and black pepper (to taste)
½ tsp. sugar
2 lb. local pork shoulder
½ Maui onion
½ tsp. Hawaiian salt
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
4 C. masa mix
5 C. reserved pork broth (more if needed)
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
⅔ C. lard
⅔ C. vegetable shortening
16-20 corn husks (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes)
Step 1: Assemble all ingredients.
Step 2: Prepare salsa verde.
Put first five ingredients in a saucepan and add enough water to cover (2-3 cups). Cook over medium heat, covered, until tomatoes soften, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, puree. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Step 3: Prepare pork.
Add all ingredients in a pressure cooker, cover with water and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove pork and shred; reserve broth for masa.
Step 4: Prepare masa.
Combine masa mix, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the pork broth, working with hands to form a soft dough. In a separate bowl, whisk lard and shortening until fluffy. Incorporate masa into the lard mix, whisk until dough has a spongy texture. Can be done by hand or using a mixer. Test by dropping a small ball of masa into a glass of water; if it floats, it’s ready.
Step 5: Assemble tamales.
Spread 3 Tbs.of dough evenly over soaked corn husks. Fill the center with 1 Tbs. of cooked pork and ½ Tbs. of salsa verde. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center, tying the ends if needed.
Step 6: Steam.
Line a steamer rack with a double layer of corn husks and place tamales vertically within it. Drape with a towel, then cover with lid. Steam for 50-60 minutes or until the dough peels easily from the husk. Tip: Add an inch of water to the pot and place a washed penny in the middle. The penny will rattle as the dish simmers; when rattling slows, it’s time to add more boiling water to the pot.
Step 7: Share.
Serve warm with salsa verde. Tamales freeze well, so make quantities ahead. Buen Provecho!