Hey all… just made it back from Christmas weekend with maman. Then a blizzard hits and I am out of food. All to say, it's a perfect time for making tamales!
A few weeks ago I tasted a trio of tamales at Momofuku, a terrific Asian "noodle bar" on New York City's Lower East Side. All were delicious but one, in particular, stuck in my head. It's made with pork and kimchi… bringing fermented cabbage, fatty pork and lard and corn masa to steamy matrimony. Glorious!
So here I am at home, figuring out my rendition…. Here goes, though note: get supplies before you're snowed in!
Tamales (not quite a recipe)
My adaption is to use goose lard, which makes for a deliriously delicious version.
Now the filling, which us not traditional, but the flavors are spot on; slightly fermented, spicy and, well, sort of a familiar sauerrkraut taste. I thickened the braising liquid with maseca, as does Rick Bayless. And I used a pork shoulder cut into pieces, browned and pressure cooked for about 15 minutes with just about 11/2cup of water with some onions and garlic cloves. Then I shred the tender pork and cut up some store-bought kimchi, covered it with my remaining cooking liquid, and simmered till soft. Then I whisked in about half a cup of broth with maseca, and brought it back to a boil till it was slightly thickened. Instead of banana leaf I used corn husks, which I had and I wasn't going back out in yesterday's blizzard for some insane mission, even if I love tamales!
During this last batch, I thought of also doing something with pork from David Chang's recent book, but I didn't have time I was hungry…that's for when I have patience!
Lard with salt and baking powder.
Masa mixed and ready for assembly.
Kimchi, the heat and the umami….
Filling of pork and kimchi.
And so it's ready for the steam treatment!
Cooked and ready to eat.