This is the Filipino version of Tamales which is very different from the Mexican one. Made of ground rice, coconut milk and various toppings like chicken, ham, nuts and egg. Try this Kapampangan delicacy that is perfect breakfast or snack.
It is first cooked into a thick paste, wrapped in banana leaves and then later boiled or steamed. It is an all-in-one dish as you can see, commonly eaten for breakfast or merienda (snack). This is well-known in my hometown, Pampanga, where it originated and where it is also called “Boboto”.
Tamales is one of my favorite Kapampangan delicacies. I remembered looking forward to weekends when my parents will go to the local market early in the morning and come home bringing some hot Tamales for breakfast along with other rice delicacies like ‘Sumang bulagta’.
My aunts from Manila would also request us to bring them some Tamales as ‘pasalubong’ whenever we are going to meet. Although I am pretty sure they are able to find some Tamales in Manila but it is because the ones from Pampanga are simply the best (in my probably-biased-but-true opinion).
Special Filipino Tamales
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion - - finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - - finely minced
- 13.5 fluid ounces coconut milk
- 3/4 cup rice flour
- 1 tablespoon Achuete/Annatto powder - - dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken meat - - boiled and flaked
- 1 hard boiled egg - or salted egg - divided into 4
- cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup ham - - cut into squares
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- banana leaves
- Saute onion and garlic just until tender. Pour in coconut milk and season with salt and pepper then let it cook until it starts to boil.
- Add the rice flour and mix continuously until it thickens into a thick paste-like consistency.
- Divide the mixture into two. Set aside the other half for now and add the peanut butter and Annatto to the other half and mix well.
- Wash and dry the banana leaves. Cut them into squares about 20 cm wide. If using fresh banana leaves you may have to heat them first (direct heat) to become pliable.
- Scoop some of the white mixture and place it in the middle of a leaf. Spread it to form a square about 10 cm wide. Now scoop some of the orange mixture and spread it on top of the white one. Top it with chicken flakes, ham, cashew and egg.
- Fold the sides of the leaf inwards to wrap the tamales in. Wrap this again in another banana leaf placing the top side down to seal it properly. Repeat it at least 2 times more, using at least 4 leaves in the process. Tie with a string to secure it.
- Boil or steam for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve while hot but can also be eaten cold