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Home » Filipino Recipes » Filipino Tamales Recipe

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Rating: 5.0/5 (6 votes cast)


Tamales is one of traditional specialties served during parties. This was introduced into the Philippines by the Spaniards and became a special delicacy.


Estimated cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Filipino Tamales Ingredients:

  • [singlepic=135,240,180,watermark,right]3 1/2 cups powdered rice
  • 3 tbsps. Atsuete seeds
  • 6 cups coconut milk
  • 12 pcs. banana leaves or aluminum foil, 10″ x 12″
  • 1 cup brown sugar, salt, pepper for flavoring
  • 2 pcs. chicken breast, boiled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup ground roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups boiled peanuts
  • 1/2 kilo pork loin, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 boiled eggs, sliced

  • 1/2 kilo cooked, shelled shrimps
  • 1/2 kilo cooked ham, cut into 1/2″ pieces

Tamales Cooking Instructions:

  • [singlepic=136,240,180,watermark,right]Soak the atsuete seeds in 1/2 cup water. Macerate (with fingers) and let stand for 1/2 hour; strain and set aside the juice.

  • Mix together coconut milk, rice, sugar, salt and pepper.

  • Cook mixture in low fire for 25 minutes with constant stirring so as not to allow sticking on the pan.

  • Add the ground roasted peanuts and cook further for about 8 minutes, and stirring constantly.

  • Set aside one-half of mixture in a container. This is the regular mixture.

  • Add the atsuete juice to the remaining half, cook for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. This is the (colored) red mixture.

  • On a banana leaf (or tin foil) put 3 tbsp. of the regular mixture forming a 3-inch square shape.

  • Put on top the square pieces of chicken, pork, ham, egg and peanut.

  • Cover with 3 tbsp., red mixture, wrap in banana leaves or tin foil. About 6-8 pieces can be made from the mixture.

  • Arrange in a kettle and steam for 20 minutes.

Ed Joven is the owner of PinoyRecipe.net and Aspire Search Marketing an SEO and Web Marketing company. He loves Filipino Recipes and other Asian cuisines. Over the past 6 years Ed has provided SEO services to hundreds of online businesses. You can find him on Google+ , Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Ed Joven – who has written posts on Filipino Recipes Portal.

Filipino Tamales Recipe, 5.0 out of 5 based on 6 ratings

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8 Responses

  1. mariel

    February 26th, 2008 at 3:21 am


    thanks for sharing this recipe…Since it is one of my favorite Kapampangan’s food i’ll surely try cooking this at home….I just noticed that there’s a typographical error for the word “children breast”, maybe it should read as “chicken breast”. Thanks.

  2. emjoven

    February 26th, 2008 at 12:36 pm


    Hi Mariel,
    Thank you for pointing out my typo error. Already made the correction, I really appreciate it. Please keep on coming back and you can also request for new recipes.


  3. arthur

    April 16th, 2008 at 1:24 am


    Tamales is my favorite. Now i know how to prepare and cook this T recipe.

    Thanks a lot and more power


  4. miles

    June 18th, 2008 at 10:01 pm


    thanks for all of this recipe.thanks for sharing

  5. Teresa

    January 12th, 2009 at 1:24 am


    Thank you for posting recipes. For a beginner like me who wants to try to cook, it is a great help. More power to your website!

  6. Brian

    March 15th, 2009 at 5:18 pm


    This is one of my favorite childhood foods. Great times. Had it steaming hot for breakfast, not so hot for lunch, a little later for merienda, and as a dessert of sorts for dinner.

    I’m used to eating tamales with just one slice of egg, so the pork and shrimp seem a little unusual to me. Still, thanks for sharing the recipe, got to try it some time!

  7. josy_ago

    July 1st, 2010 at 12:58 am


    There’s a special tamales in Batangas City. I think it’s the ‘standard’ taste and look of Batangas tamales.

    I’m trying to make it look and taste like it by adjusting the recipe that you shared. I’m having problems with the ground rice. There is a technique in grinding it on one’s own when it’s not available in the market. That I have to learn. I keep ending up with a course ground rice.

  8. Nette

    July 16th, 2010 at 9:55 am


    Thanks for sharing. I’ve tried it it taste good but its too dry. do you put chicken broth too?

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