Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Shrimp, Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Tamales

Hot tamales, hot tamales, get them while they’re hot!

I have so  many memories from growing up in a small town in Missouri. My hometown was about 7,000 people and not a Mexican restaurant in sight (not for at least 30 years). We used to go to town shopping and I remember a little man that stood on the corner with his tamale cart.   We would tell him how many tamales we wanted and he would wrap them in newspaper and we would take them home to eat. They were the best — that is until my mother decided she was going to learn to make them.

My mother and a friend came up with a recipe and they would get together once a year and make hundreds of tamales. They would work all day, making the meat and mush, rolling the tamales, and tying them in bundles. At the end of the day, they would divide up their day’s work and put them in the freezer for us to enjoy during the year.

I lost both my parents within 6 months of each other in ’08. Over the last several months a lot of  “food” memories have been popping up in my head — like the tamales, my dad going frog gigging in a boat that he made by welding two car hoods together — those huge platters of fried frog legs, what I wouldn’t give for a platter of them and seeing all of us around the table afterwards playing Indian poker. There are so many stories that I feel are responsible for my love of food and I am sure I will be sharing those from time to time.

So, in memory of my mother’s tamale making days I have decided to try a “different” type of tamale than what she made. This is a shrimp and corn tamale that I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while. A friend and her husband came over one night and we decided to tweak my shrimp tamale recipe a little. I have made tamales (beef/pork) for years but have never made anything out of the ordinary or even used corn husk to roll the tamale. They turned out easier than I thought. If you try these, I would advise watching a Youtube video on making tamales. It helped us when it came to the steaming method and rolling them.   Bon Appetite !— Sherry


These are Hatch chili peppers which come just once a year to our stores here in Texas. These are getting nice and roasted before they go for the STEAM


Peppers in the bag for steaming, then the skins will just slide off after 15 minutes.


All the ingredients are ready for a quick saute before getting roll into the masa.

Sauteed ingredients ready for the mush. This may seem like a really involved long recipe, but it really is fairly easy once you get started and I can’t wait to try other fillings for a tamale.

Smear some mush on the soaked husk.

 A little filling down the middle and then roll up. 

Tie one end and stand up in steam and steam for about an hour until firm.

There they are just waiting to go into the sauna! The mango salsa I make like I always do, no recipe, just mango, red onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice and jalapeno. Next time I may make some black beans to go along with this.

Shrimp and Corn Tamales


  • 1 lb. shrimp cleaned and cooked, cut in small pieces
  • 1 c. shiitake mushrooms small dice
  • 2 ears corn remove kernels
  • 2 Hatch green chili peppers roasted (or other chili peppers)
  • 1 small red onion finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 c. masa corn flour made for tamales
  • 1 1/2 c. shortening or lard
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper or to your taste
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • corn husk or tamale papers


  1. You need to soak your corn husk according to package directions. I think I soaked mine for 2-3 hours.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, saute the onions, corn, red pepper, and mushrooms for about 5-6 minutes (or until onions are done). Add in the chopped green chili peppers and the shrimp. Stir until the shrimp are pink. Let the mixture cool and then season with the salt, pepper, cilantro, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Set aside and make your mush.
  3. To make the mush, put the masa in a bowl with all the seasoning and work in the shortening or lard with either your fingers or a wooden spoon. Add in the hot broth and stir until you have no lumps.
  4. When you are ready to make your tamales use an offset spatula or knife and spread a thin layer of the mush on the husk, keeping it about 1″ from top and 1 1/2″ from bottom. Then you take 2-3 tablespoons fo the shrimp mixture and put it down the center of the mush. Take the corn husk on the side nearest you and fold the mush over the filling. Take the corn husk that you have just folded over and scoot it a little towards you. That will make the mush go around the filling. Then just roll over the tamale and roll up. Fold up the end and tie with a thin piece of corn husk. Stand upright in steamer basket. When you have finished, steam these for about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. To serve the tamale, take out of steamer, cut the end off and roll the tamale on your plate. Add a little mango salsa and enjoy.

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