The Trick To Reheating Tamales

Chances are that if you're a fan of Mexican food, you've enjoyed a tamale or two in your life, whether filled with meat or cheese and chiles. While having leftover tamales from a restaurant is rare (they're just so good), if you find yourself with some, or if you've made a big batch at home, there's a trick to reheating them so they're just as good as they were upon the first bite. 

Before you try to reheat your tamale, think about how they're cooked. Tamales are steamed and cooked within a moist environment, and that's what you want to replicate when reheating them. 

What are tamales?

Tamales are a traditional Mexican food. They're made by filling masa, a soft corn dough, with fillings like meat, cheese, and vegetables, then wrapping each one in a corn husk or banana leaf and steaming the tamales until the dough has formed and the filling is heated through (via My Latina Table).

The corn masa dough is savory and sweet, and the fillings are usually spiked with different seasonings. Tamales can be served with a variety of spicy salsas, and because they take so much hands-on work to make, they're often made in large batches, which means there are plenty of leftovers (via Tamara's Tamales). 

How to reheat tamales so they don't dry out

Tamales are cooked in a steamer, which gives them a moist texture. If you want to preserve that texture when reheating your tamales, you should use a steamer too, so your tamales don't dry out (via Kitchen Byte). 

It's easy to use a steamer to reheat your tamales. Add some water to a pot and heat it until steaming. Add your tamales to the steamer basket, standing on their ends, then cover the pot and steam your tamales for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

When they're done, remove them from the steamer basket with tongs and allow them to cool slightly before digging in. 

If you want to try something a little different, you can try reheating your tamales in a pan. Remove the husks from your tamales, then cook them in a frying pan with a little oil until heated through and brown and crispy on all sides. They won't be as soft and moist, but the toasted corn from the pan-frying adds a flavor all its own.