Chicken Tamales with Katsu Picante Sauce

Number of Portions
Chicken Tamales with Katsu Picante Sauce


- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 450 grams skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 75 ml katsu sauce
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp Crushed Chillies
- 18 corn husks
- 100 grams lard
- 175 grams masa harina (masa flour)
- ½ tsp Oregano
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 150 ml katsu sauce
- 75 grams cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp medium heat green chilli pepper, chopped
- ½ tsp Oregano
- ¼ tsp Crushed Chillies


Pre-heat the grill to medium. For the Chicken Filling, mix the oil and Garlic Salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Grill chicken for 6-7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Cool slightly, then finely chop. Mix chicken, katsu sauce, sugar and Chillies until well blended, then set aside.

For the Tamales, soak corn husks in hot water for 30 minutes, or overnight until soft and pliable. Melt lard in a medium saucepan on a low heat. Mix masa harina, Oregano and Garlic Salt in large bowl until well blended. Add lard and stock, then mix to form a moist dough. Drain corn husks and pat dry. Cut 2 of the larger corn husks into 12 thin strips for the tamale ties.

To assemble each tamale, spread 3 tbs masa dough into a 10 x 12cm (4 x 4 ½ inch) rectangle at the wide end of the husk. Spoon 2 tbs Chicken Filling into the center of masa. Bring long sides of husk up to enclose filling with masa, then roll husk around tamale. (Do not roll husk into masa.) Fold up the narrow end of the husk, keeping the top end of the tamale open. Tie tamale with husk strip.

Pour 3cm (1 inch) of water into large pot and bring to the boil. Stand tamales with open ends up in steamer basket. Cover with a layer of remaining 4 husks. Insert steamer basket into pot and steam on a medium heat for 1 hour or until husk peels away easily from tamale and masa is slightly firm. (Tamales will continue to firm up when removed from heat.)

For the Katsu Picante Sauce, place all ingredients in blender, cover and blend until smooth. Serve with tamales.


Tamales are masa dough filled with savoury or sweet fillings and wrapped in corn husks then steamed. In this non-traditional version, katsu sauce, a savoury-sweet Japanese condiment, flavours the chicken filling and the picante sauce accompaniment. Katsu sauce is a Japanese condiment that typically accompanies tonkatsu, a fried breaded pork cutlet. It can be found in the Asian aisle of some supermarkets or in an Asian market. Masa harina is the flour made from dried corn kernels that have been soaked in limewater. It is used to prepare corn tortillas and tamales. Masa harina can be found in the flour section in the supermarket or specialist delis. Thick baking parchment can be used as an alternative to corn husks. Tie together using kitchen twine.

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