Spicy seafood tamales with roasted tomato salsa and goats cheese

Paul Bloxham's Mexican inspired combo of spicy tamales with piquant fried prawns really gets the taste buds firing
By Paul Bloxham
Spicy seafood tamales with roasted tomato salsa and goats cheese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 8 tamales
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium


For the sauce

  • 500 g plum tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 mild red chillies
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small bunch coriander

For the tamales

  • 500 g cornmeal
  • 1/2 litres water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 g goats' cheese
  • 8 dried corn husks, cleaned and soaked

For the prawns

  • 1 kg uncooked jumbo tiger prawns, cleaned
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic and chillies in a roasting tray, drizzle with the oil and bake for 15 minutes.

2. Transfer to a food processor along with any juices from the bottom of the tray, add the cumin, salt and coriander and pulse until the mixture forms a chunky textured paste. Set half of the sauce aside to serve with the tamales.

3. To make the tamales, mix together the flour, water and salt until it resembles a thick batter. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, combine the batter with the remaining salsa and beat until fully incorporated, before folding in the goats' cheese.

5. Place the cornhusks on a baking tray, cover with a damp towel and leave on one side to soften.
6. Using a tablespoon that has been dipped in water, spread a thin, even layer of the cornmeal mix over the surface of the husk. Fold the narrow end up and fold both sides together to enclose the filling. The sticky cornmeal will make a seal. Pinch the wide top closed.

7. Stand the tamales up in a large bamboo steamer or colander with the pinched end facing upwards. Lay a damp cloth over the tamales and cover with a lid.

8. Steam over gently simmering water for 2 hours, topping up the water level from time to time as necessary.

9. Coat the prawns with cumin, chilli powder, cayenne and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the prawns for 2 minutes, until pink.

10. To serve, cut the tamales open like a jacket potato, top with the spicy prawns and spoon the reserved tomato sauce over the top.

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