What can I use to make tamales other than corn meal? My son is allergic to corn.

1 Answer 1


In some cuisines, the masa isn't usually corn at all. Sometimes it's rice, sometimes it's plantain and/or other starchy fruit. The tamale-like dish is actually called pasteles, but the difference between tamales and pasteles seems to be primarily the corn.

Check out this informational link and these recipes from Epicurious and The Polynesian Kitchen; and this video.

Making these wouldn't be like substituting a less than ideal ingredient for corn, because it isn't. Pasteles are a well loved dish in their own right. But once you know how to make the masa, you could certainly make a tamale recipe you like, but with the pasteles masa.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.