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Scallop & Chorizo Tamales with Chipotle Crema

Cooking time: 80

Cooking method: Stove top


  • 16 dried corn husks (or banana leaves)
  • 1 cup instant corn masa (a type of cornmeal available from specialty stores)
  • ¼ cup lard (or vegetable shortening)
  • 12 scallops
  • 1 Mexican chorizo, squeezed from the casing and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp adobo sauce (from chipotles en adobo)
  • 1 chipotle chilli en adobo, deseeded
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • ¼ cup light olive oil

Cooking instructions

  1. Soak the corn husks in warm water to soften.
  2. Mix the corn masa with ½ cup of lukewarm water and mix until a soft dough is formed. The amount of water needed can vary a bit, so you may need to add a bit more to get a nice soft dough.
  3. Beat the lard in a bowl with a wooden spoon until it is softened. Add the beaten lard to the masa dough a tablespoon at a time, beating it to make a light fluffy dough. A small piece of dough should float in a glass of cold water when it is ready.
  4. Roughly chop 8 scallops, and mix with the chorizo (save 4 small discs of chorizo for garnish). Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Lay out a corn husk on the board and spread 1/8th of the dough on to the middle of the corn husk in an approximate square. Place a teaspoon of the chorizo and scallop filling and a dollop of the adobo sauce on top of the dough, slightly off centre, and then fold the dough and the corn husk over, enclosing the filling in the dough. Wrap the corn husk round the dough, making a little parcel. Wrap this in a second corn husk, and tie it with a piece of string, or with a strip of corn husk. Repeat this until you have made eight tamales.
  6. Bring a pot of water with a steamer to the boil and steam the tamales over the boiling water for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, grind the deseeded chipotle with the juice of one lime in a mortar and pestle until smooth, then mix the crème fraiche through.
  8. Blend the coriander with the oil.
  9. Sauté the remaining 4 seasoned scallops and 4 discs of chorizo for garnish.

This recipe serves 4 people. 

Photo: Jason Burgess, courtesy Auckland Seafood School
Recipe: Colin Doyle, Chef, Auckland Seafood School