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Make Corn, Poblano and Crab Tamales at Home

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Because Christmas is coming up, lots of San Antonians will be following their family tradition — making tamales, or just being sure they order from their favorite suppliers well in advance.

This is an unusual recipe, but one that has won Lisa Wong’s Rosario’s Mexican Cafe 7 Cantina admiring recognition. They aren’t any harder to make than the more traditional variety — and take our word for it, they’re delicious!

Rosario’s is at 910 S. Alamo St.

Maurer Rosarios Poblano Corn Crab resizedRosario’s Corn, Poblano and Crab Tamales

7 ears of corn

Pepper Mixture:

5 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, deveined and diced
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peel, deveined and diced
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups roma tomatoes, small diced
½ teaspoon fresh garlic puree
2 tablespoons lard
2 tablespoons chicken stock


5 pounds prepared masa


10 ears of corn; boiled, grilled, kernels taken of cob
2 cups heavy cream
2 pounds lump crabmeat
2 cups queso fresco, shredded
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Zest of 2 oranges

For Corn Mixture:

Boil 7 ears of corn for 5 minutes. Remove kernels from cob. In a food processor, pulse just until chunky.

Pepper Mixture:

Sauté garlic and onion lard. Add tomato, poblano, red bell pepper and stock; simmer 10 minutes.


In a large sauté pan, bring cream to a boil and add corn. Add salt to taste. Simmer until cream has thickened. Add crab, queso fresco, cilantro and orange zest.

In a large bowl, mix masa, baking powder and salt. Slowly add melted lard. Add Corn Mixture then Pepper Mixture. Add the cheese. Knead until masa is firm.

Forming Tamales:

Lay each husk tapered end towards you. Spread ¼ cup of masa onto husk, leave a small border around the edge. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling down the center. Fold one side over the filling then fold the other side over that. Fold the pointed edge under. Repeat.


Use a large steamer or tamale pot. Line the bottom with a few extra husks. Place finished tamales folded-end down in a spiral formation starting on the outer edge of the pot. Do not pack tamales; they need room to steam. Cover the tamales with several extra husks. Fill pot with water until right below tamales. Cover and steam tamales on medium about 1 ¼ hours. If necessary, refill water in pot with boiling water. Let tamales stand in the steamer off the heat for 15 minutes to firm up.


Makes 6 dozen tamales.

Recipe courtesy Lisa Wong, owner of Rosario’s

Cover photo of wrapped tamales courtesy Tracey Maurer Photography. Tamales from Johnny Hernandez, La Gloria and styling is by Mary Ellen Rose.

Photo of Corn, Poblano and Crab Tamales by Tracey Maurer Photography.

About this photo: Local members of Les Dames de Escoffier from Rosarios ( Lisa Wong, owner, and Nancy Fitch, chef ) asked for a couple of tamale recipes to shoot during our Texas Tamale shoot and we also showcased these tamales at an LDEI conference ( we had a tasting along with our food photography presentation ).  We created a series of 7 tamale recipe cards for the presentation with recipes from Dames across Texas and handed these out to dames who attended. (T.M.)

The credits for these images:
Photography by Tracey Maurer
Food Styling by Julie Hettiger and Carla Buerkle ( from Houston )
Assisted by Casey Howell and Gidget White
Special thanks to CIA and their students


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