Earlier this year, I shared my review of Vegan Tamales Unwrapped by Dora Stone,who is the very talented blogger behind Dora’s Table. I wanted to let everyone know that Dora’s book is now available on Amazon! If you haven’t checked out Dora’s Table, Dora shares creative healthy, plant based Mexican recipes. She recently wrote an ebook that is all about tamales! Tamales are one of my favorites foods so I couldn’t wait to read Dora’s Vegan Tamales Unwrapped Ebook!
This ebook is perfect for this time of year. Tamales are such a holiday staple in Mexico and Dora’s ebook offers Vegan options that even omnivores will love.
If you have never made tamales before, there is no need to worry. Dora has included photos of the step by step process of making the tamales. From making the dough to the assembling the tamales, there are detailed descriptions and photos to guide you through the process. Each recipe also has a photo of the finished recipe.
There are 18 different recipes in the ebook and there are aren’t only savory recipes, but also sweet ones. I am looking forward to making the Strawberry Tamales, which would be perfect for strawberry season which will be here before we know it! It was tough to choose which recipe I wanted to make first. All of the recipes sound amazing, especially the Pasilla-Black Bean Tamales and Roasted Poblano & Creamed Corn Tamales. I decided to make the Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales.
The red chile jackfruit filling is so flavorful and easy to make. If you haven’t worked with dried chiles before, there is no need to be intimidated by them. The sauce uses a combination of guajillo chiles and arbol chiles. The jackfruit replaces the traditional pork and honestly you can’t even tell that you aren’t eating meat.
If you have never made tamales before, it might seem a little intimating by all the different steps involved. Dora has broken down all the steps for making tamales: from the filling to the dough she walks you through the whole process from start to finish. The great thing about making tamales is that you get quite a few tamales from each recipe. I love make a bunch of tamales at one time and storing them in the freezer for quick and easy meals. The frozen tamales reheat beautifully.
If you are a fan of tamales or simply looking for more Vegan recipe books to add to your collection, Vegan Tamales Unwrapped will make a great addition to your cookbook collection. You can purchase the ebook on Amazon.
For the sauce:
- 20 ea. (4 oz.) Chile guajillo, dry, seeded
- 3 -4 Chiles de arbol, seeded
- 6 ea. Garlic, cloves
- ½ White onion, chopped
- 2 cups Chile soaking liquid
- 4 ea. Garlic, cloves, minced
- 2 cans (20 oz./ea.) Green jackfruit
- 1 ½ cups Guajillo chile sauce
For the dough:
- 1 cup (8 oz.) Coconut oil, room temperature
- 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz.) Masa harina
- 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
- 1 ½ tbsp. Salt, kosher
- 1 ½ tbsp. Cumin
- 3 ½ cups Vegetable broth or stock
- 1 ½ cups Guajillo chile sauce
- 30 corn husks
To prepare the corn husks:
- Soak the corn husks in hot water in a large pot or in your kitchen sink.
- Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
To make the sauce:
- Place the chiles in a small sauce pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and let cook for about 10 minutes. Drain the chiles and reserve 2 cups of the soaking liquid. Place the chiles, garlic, onion, and soaking liquid in the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and strain. You should end up with about 3 cups of sauce.
To make the filling:
- Drain the jackfruit. Rinse and pat with paper towels. Cut out the core of the
- jackfruit (tip of the triangle pieces) and cut pieces in half. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large sauté pan set to medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the jackfruit and cook for 3-4 minutes or until it begins to brown. Pour 1 ½ cups of the guajillo chile sauce and reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 20 minutes or until jackfruit begins to break down and the sauce has thickened slightly. Use a fork to shred the jackfruit as it cooks down. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
To make the dough:
- Beat the coconut oil on medium-high speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add the baking powder, cumin and salt. Beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the coconut oil.
- Add half of the masa harina to the bowl. Pour in half of the vegetable stock. Beat to incorporate. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and vegetable stock and add 1 ½ cups of the guajillo chile puree. Beat at low speed until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary, add more vegetable stock until you reach that consistency. Taste the dough and add more salt if necessary. It should be a little bit salty.
- For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and beat it again, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
- Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
To set up your steamer:
- Fill the bottom with water, making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
To wrap the tamales:
- Pull 24 pencil-thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you
- and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk,
- forming a 3-inch to 4-inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
- Place 1 ½ tbsp. of the filling in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together.
- This will cause the masa to surround the filling. Roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center and then fold the other long side on top.)
- Fold down the empty, tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
- Place the tamal in the steamer vertically, leaning against the side of the pot, with the open end on top.
- Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales.
- When they separate easily from the corn husks, it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
- Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.
If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa and use only 3/4 cup of vegetable stock. To substitute the coconut oil, you can use 8 oz. of vegetable oil or vegetable shortening. For tamales without fat, use 8 oz. of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin.
Dora is kindly letting me share her delicious recipe for Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales with you! Disclaimer: I did receive a free copy of Vegan Tamales Unwrapped but all thoughts and opinions are my own.