Green Corn Tamales - Uchepos

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Pronounced [oo-CHEH-pohs ] Uchepos are fresh sweet corn tamales from the Michoacan region of Mexico. To make them you cut the fresh corn kernels off the cob and mix the fresh corn kernels with the masa dough. This mixture is applied to the fresh green corn husks (not dried husks like typical tamales) The tamales are steamed and served with just a little bit of crema of queso fresco. The tamales should be eaten within 3 days or they freeze well for up to 3 months
  • Prep1hr 30min |
  • Total2hr 15min |
  • Serves24 tamales


    • 12 ears of fresh white or yellow corn
    • 1 lb Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
    • 1 lb pure lard
    • 1/2 lb butter
    • 1/2 cup (scant) sugar
    • 1/4 cup light cream, or more
    • 2 green chiles, parched and peeled
    • 1 lb cheddar or longhorn cheese
    • salt


Chop stalk end of each ear of corn flush with the base of the ear. Shuck, being careful to keep corn husks intact for later use. Wash husks, and drain.

Cut corn off cobs. Grind corn with the Jack cheese in a meat grinder, blender or food processor.

Cream lard and butter to a smooth and fluffy consistency with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the ground corn and cheese mixture, sugar, cream and salt to taste. Continue to mix with the electric mixer until mixture looks like whipped cream. Add more cream if mixture is dry.

Cut the roasted green chiles into long strips. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the corn mixture on each corn husk. Spread mixture out into a rectangle and allow at least 2 inches of husk to extend below the corn mixture and a few inches of margin on both sides of the husk. Place about 2 strips of green chile down the center of the corn mixture, then sprinkle with a few pinches of the grated Cheddar cheese.

Hold the two sides of the tamale together to make the corn mixture fold up around the filling. Then tuck one edge of the husk over the top of the tamale and roll, tying the ends with strips of corn husks. If preferred, the bottom end of the husk can be folded up before rolling. If you plan to freeze the tamales, freeze them at this point.

Place the tamales upright on a rack in a pressure cooker or large steaming kettle. Before the rack is completely filled with tamales, pour 1 to 2 cups water into the bottom of the pan, about 1/2 inch deep.

Steam at 15 lbs pressure for 25 minutes, or in a conventional steamer for 45 minutes. Serve warm with Green Chile Sauce, plain, or with beef, pork or chicken added.

Store refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.

Freezing Tip
Package tamales in plastic "freezer" zipper bags.  Keep frozen up to 1 year.

More About Tamales

Learn more about making Mexican tamales, typical ingredients, varieties, history and where to buy supplies.

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