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.
LOCAL PORK TAMALES WITH BIG WAVE GREEN TOMATO SALSA
- Pressure Cooker
- Steamer Rack
- 1 lb. Big Wave Green Tomatoes (~2 Large Tomatoes)
- 1/4 Maui Onion
- 1-2 Serrano Chilies (To Taste)
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 3 Cilantro Sprigs
- Hawaiian Salt and Black Pepper (To Taste)
- 1/2 tsp. Sugar
- 2 lbs. Local Pork Shoulder
- 1/2 Maui Onion
- 1/2 tsp. Hawaiian Salt
- 1 tsp. Mexican Oregano
- 4 Cups Masa Mix
- 5 Cups Reserved Pork Broth (More If Needed)
- 4 tsp. Baking Powder
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 2/3 Cup Lard
- 2/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening
- 16-20 Corn Husks (Soaked In Warm Water For 30 Minutes)
Assemble ingredients and soak corn husks in warm water for 30 minutes.
Prepare salsa verde.
- Add the tomatoes, onion, serrano chilies, garlic, and cilantro to 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.
- Add pork shoulder, onion, Hawaiian salt, and Mexican oregano in a pressure cooker, cover with water and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove pork and shred; reserve broth for 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve warm with salsa verde. Tamales freeze well, so make quantities ahead. Buen Provecho!