PSA: Fry Your Tamales


Maybe most of you already know this, but I’m going to repeat it for the few of you that might not have heard. If you’re like most tamaleros, even after you’ve had your fill of freshly steamed holiday tamales you’re still going to have a bunch of lil’ masa presents leftover in plastic bags crowding out your fridge. And you’ll get sick of eating them non-stop after the first few days, no matter how good they taste. But until that dreaded day when you decide to finally throw the rest out, after you realized the futility in trying to push your excess tamales on friends and family, or worse, down your own throat, there’s a better way to heat them up. Sure you can steam them up again but that’s more effort than its worth, as a fry up in just a small amount of corn oil will not only be faster, but tastier as well. In fact, I much prefer tamales that next morning just so I can fry them up, nothing beats that crispy exterior. You can see some of that crispiness in the picture above, along with some broken up made-by-an-amateur chunks of queso con rajas, that nonetheless still taste good. So yeah, that’s my civic duty for the day.

Well, since you bothered to read this far, here’s an mp3 for you, my favorite song from Latcho Drom, El Pajaro Negro by La Caita (Remedios Silva Pisa), it’s a 12 MB download (right-click, save link as..) and an 8 minute long track with some powerful lyrics. Long enough for you to cook up your breakfast and maybe to give some thought to the plight of the much maligned Gitanos.

In case flamenco with tamales doesn’t work for you, go ahead and try this little morsel by Los Originales de San Juan, a song about an Aguacatero. It might be a little old but it’s still fun and one of my favorite tunes.

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16 Responses to PSA: Fry Your Tamales

  1. moon says:

    How the heck did you know? We bought some, neighbor gave some, daughter made some and now we are over loaded. I froze some but not sure how long they’ll keep or if they’ll be any good. They are like little rabbits in the ‘fridge and somehow multiply.

  2. regina says:

    I’m so glad I crawled out from under my rock this morning to read this enlightening PSA! It never occurred to me to FRY them! Mmmm… Crunchy bits? Yes, yes, YES! Sign me up!

    And I received my package of awesomeness from you late last week. I have proudly hung the lovely colors in my office at work. (That’s where the bullet holes reside.) And the stickers? Da BOMB!!! LOVE!!! 🙂

  3. ChicanaSkies says:

    hahaha, you have captured the tamale dilemma of all Mexicans very poignantly. My mom unloaded two plastic bags full for me to take back to the East Coast…they defrosted on the long trip, but i froze them again, I guess that’s not the most sanitary thing to do but whatever….

    Question: do you defrost before frying???

  4. ritzy p says:

    i love “crispy critters”

  5. Diego says:

    Sadly, I think the tamales you fried are mine. One on the left looks pathetic and small, exactly like one that I made.

  6. Rolo says:

    whats better than tamales? fried tamales!!! its like chocolate covered on chocolate. Cant top this shit right here…. im hungry now

  7. EL CHAVO! says:

    I don’t usually freeze them unless I want to keep them for awhile, but yeah, I’d defrost them first before frying, I don’t think you want to find out the center is still cold!

    I suggest everyone go take a look at Regina’s blog, she has a contest going where you can win possibly the worlds best toothbrush!

  8. chimatli says:

    What’s better than fried tamales? A fried tamal stuffed in a telera, yum!

  9. Rolo says:

    “But until that dreaded day when you decide to finally throw the rest out” no fkn way chavo, every xmas i down 70 tamales with a smile on my face and when im done i get upset cuz i want more.

  10. Marshall says:

    Tamales are just one of many foods that are somehow even better as fried up leftovers. I just ate and now I’m all hungry again.

  11. cindylu says:

    This is my favorite way to eat tamales. I like everything just a little toasted (even my tortillas). However, I don’t ever add corn oil. The best is some sweet tamales with chocolate (o champurrado o canela) toasted for breakfast. Hmmmm. That was my first meal of ’08. I guess it’s gonna be good year.

  12. Vero says:

    Everything tastes better fried, but I agree with cindylu. Put them on a comal, husk and all. By the time the husks blacken a bit, the aroma is tugging at your tripas for nice and toasty tamales.

  13. Dona Junta says:

    Well my moms don’t fry them but she puts them on the comal the next day it looks sorta like that with out the oil but right about now i am over tamales lol

  14. Ok, that does indeed look tasty.

    And as a belated response to your question about mochi making being equivalent to tamale making… I’m not sure but it sure sounds like they are!

  15. A whole new world has been opened to me. I was just thinking about the left over tamales in the freezer today. And how long would tamales safely last in the freezer anyway?

  16. captain_tinker says:

    Oh man, that’s a great idea! I have actually done it before too, except I’ve broken mine up a bit in my cast iron skillet and will often add scrambled eggs either with the tamales, or on the side. Then some beans or some chili and some melted cheddar is really good with it too!

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