Crispy Panko Crusted Tamale Cakes with Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

  • Yield:

    1 dozen (3-inch) cakes

  • Total Time:

    40 mins

  • Prep Time:

    20 mins

  • Cook Time:

    20 mins


  • Tamale Dough
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon Mazola® Chicken Flavor Bouillon Powder
  • 2-1/2 cups MaSeCa® Instant Corn Masa Mix OR tamale flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese style) bread crumbs
  • For frying: 3 to 4 cups Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • Roasted Tomato Salsa
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chilies
  • 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers from can ned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 1 cup fresh OR thawed frozen corn
  • 1 cup diced bell, poblano OR pasilla chile pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 limes, cut in wedges


  1. To make tamale dough:
  2. Step 1) Mix water and bouillon powder together until dissolved; set aside. Combine corn masa mix, baking powder and salt in large bowl with electric mixer. Gradually add chicken broth on low speed; continue to mix at medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn mixer off and allow to rest for 1 minute.
  3. Step 2) Continue mixing on medium speed and gradually drizzle in corn oil. Mix until dough is smooth, light and slightly thickened. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to one hour.
  4. Step 3) Divide dough evenly into twelve 1/4 cup pieces; roll into balls and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Place panko in a shallow dish. Press each ball of dough into the panko to form a patty about 3-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick. Turn and gently press into bread crumbs until thoroughly coated.
  5. Step 4) Heat 1/2-inch oil in a deep sided skillet over medium heat to 300° to 325°F or use deep fat fryer (following manufacturer's directions). Gently lower 4 tamale cakes at a time into the hot oil using a slotted spoon.
  6. Step 5) Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per batch or until browned and puffed, turning as needed for even browning. Transfer cooked tamale cakes to a paper towel lined plate. To serve, place 1 to 2 tamale cakes onto each plate, top with Roasted Tomato Salsa, crumbled queso fresco cheese, cilantro and a lime wedge. Serve immediately.
  7. To make salsa:
  8. Step 1) Combine tomatoes, green chilies, roasted red peppers, garlic and chipotle chilies in a food processor or blender. Pulse until almost pureed. Set aside.
  9. Step 2) Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté corn, bell peppers and onion for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato mixture, black beans and cumin and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Salsa can be made up to 48 hours ahead and refrigerated. Serve warm or cold.