Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Sweet corn tamales

Repeated requests have made the sweet corn tamale—once a holiday-only treat—a year-round favorite at Casa Vega.

Christina Vega Fowler
Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks

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15 corn husks
3 3/4 cups sweet corn, cut from the cob, or frozen if not in season
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 tsp. cornmeal
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp. baking powder
10 strips cheddar cheese
10 small strips freshly cooked, skinned and seeded Anaheim chilies (canned chilies will work, too)
Mexican crema (recipe follows)


In a large container, place corn husks deep in hot water and cover for a couple hours until they are soft and pliable. (Note: You may need to weigh the husks down with an inverted plate and a heavy can to keep them submerged.)

In a food processor, grind corn and then add sugar, flour, cornmeal, butter and baking powder. Grind together thoroughly to make the masa spread.

Drain water from husks. One at a time, flatten husks with the narrow end toward you and place 3 to 4 tbsp. masa in the middle of each husk. Add a strip of cheese and small strip of chili in the middle of the masa. Take the left side of the husk and fold it directly over the right side. Fold the narrow bottom end of the husk onto the folded tamale. (Note: For parties and presentation, you can tie dry tamales with a strip of corn husk.)

As you are making the tamales, stand them up on the rolled ends in a prepared steamer basket. Steam over boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes or until masa is firm and holds its shape. (Note: Cover tamales in the steamer with a layer of leftover corn husks. You can also fill empty spaces with gently wadded aluminum foil to keep tamales from falling over.) Serve dry with hot sauce and Mexican crema.

For Mexican crema: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp. salt (or to taste). Cover and let sit at room temperature for several hours. Serve or refrigerate until ready to use. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

Serves 10

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