Pozole (Posole) Hominy

pozole stew
photo credit: viktorkits

About Pozole

Pozole (also spelled posole) is a Mexican soup. The soup is made with a special type of corn which has been slaked (soaked) in a solution of lime (cal). The traditional corn that is used is called maiz blanco or "cacahuazintle" [kaw-kaw-WAH-SEEN-til]. This is a very large-kerneled white corn grown in Mexico.

The process described below prepares the corn for the pozole. This preparation soften the corn and additionally makes the product more digestible and thus more nutritious. Once you've prepared the corn then use it in your favorite recipe.  

Prepare Dried Corn For Pozole

Makes: 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds

  • 1 1/2 pounds (1 quart) dried white or yellow field corn
  • 2 tablespoons "cal" slaked lime

Steps Overview

  1. Clean the corn
  2. Prepare the lime mixture
  3. Boil and soak corn
  4. Wash the corn
  5. De-head corn (only for pozole)

Each step is detailed in the next section below.

    corn in a colanderClean the corn

    Place the corn in a colander and rinse under cold water.  This step just helps to loosen and rinse away any extra hulls and dust pesticides that might be coating the corn.  Ideally you would use organic corn but some of the special Mexican varieties are difficult to find when trying to buy organic.


    calcium hydroxide calPrepare the lime mixture

    Add 2 quarts of water to a large (at least 4 quart) noncorrosive pan.  Place the pan over high heat and add the lime (cal) and stir until it is dissolved.

    Boil the corn

    Add the corn into the lime water, stirring gently.  Use a slotted spoon and remove any kernels that float to the top of the water.  Allow the water to boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.  If you are making the dough for tortillas, allow to boil 2 minutes. If you are making tamale dough simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow the corn to soak.  For tortilla dough allow to soak, covered, overnight.   For tamale dough, allow to soak for an hour.

    wash corn after soaking in calWash the corn

    This step is very important. If you don't rinse and clean the corn properly your dough will be yellow and taste like lime. 
    Pour the corn into a colander and place it under cold running water. Use both your hands and rub the corn between your hands to loosen any hulls still attached to the corn.

    Continue until the corn is all white (except the tips).  Drain the corn well. This cleaned, prepared corn is what is called "Nixtamal" or "Nixtamalado".


    damp corn ready to cook for pozoleDe-head The Kernels

    Pictured above you can see the little brown "heads" left on the corn.  If you are making Pozole and you want the kernels to open (flower) then you need to "de-head" the kernals. De-heading simply means to pick off those little tips. This rather time-consuming step is optional and does not affect the flavor of the pozole, just the appearance.

    Nutrition Information For Pozole (Posole) Hominy

    Serving Size
    1 cup
    Calories from Fat
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 1g
    Saturated Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 0mg
    Sodium 347mg
    Total Carbohydrate 24g
    Dietary Fiber 4g
    Sugars 3g
    Protein 2g
    Vitamin A  0% Vitamin C  0%
    Calcium  0% Iron  0%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

    Fresh Or Prepared Pozole

    You can make your own pozole from scratch as detailed in this article or you can purchase pozole corn, which has been treated with cal then re-dried.  This premade pozole does not have to be resoaked but may require a longer cooking time.

    You can also purchase canned pozole but the flavor is not the same as fresh.

    Purchase dried pozole or the ingredients to make your own in our online store at GourmetSleuth.com


    Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.