Banana Leaf Tamales with Beef Caldereta

January 26, 2019

Beef Caldereta is one of those dishes that taste better after a day or two in the refrigerator. If we’re talking about the perfect leftover dish to spruce up, Caldereta can definitely give Adobo a run for its money.

Kaldereta Tamales1

I’ve honestly never had the pleasure of making Tamales before. I just knew that it would be a bit sweet and starchy because of the fresh corn and corn flour base. Taking a cue from the Mexicans, they usual pair it with some rich, tender, and meaty stew so instantly I thought of beef caldereta. Tamales are usually wrapped in dried corn husks but since we were going all Filipino, using banana leaves just made more sense.

Kaldereta Tamales4

It’s a great dish to carry around to the beach or to a picnic. It’s a complete meal by itself, you don’t even have to bring rice. Each packet serves is its own plate as well, with all the necessary daily nutrients you need. You have your starch (tamales), protein (beef), and veggies (whatever vegetables you typically put in your beef caldereta such as carrots, bell peppers, and olives).

Kaldereta Tamales3

Banana Leaf Tamales with Beef Caldereta

Total Time: 90 minutes / Yield: 4-6 servings


  • About 2 cups of leftover Beef Caldereta meat and veggies minced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels, from 3 ears
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup masa harina (dried corn flour; I bought mine at Healthy Options)
  • 2 whole young leaves from a Banana Tree (light in color)


  1. Add the corn kernels to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Then add the egg, salt, and baking powder. Mix well to incorporate them all together.
  3. Add the flour and pureed corn and mix until it forms a loose smooth dough.
  4. Place a banana leaf Ā in front of you with the wide side closest. Spread 3 tablespoons of the dough all over the bottom half (wide side) of the banana leaf, leaving about a 2-inch border on the right side and a 1-inch border on the left side.
  5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the Caldereta on the right side of the tamales.
  6. Pick up the 2 long sides of the banana leaf and bring them together. Roll both sides of the banana leaf in the same direction over the filling. (Making sure to be gentle in order to not tear the banana leaf. If it does tear, just double up the banana leaf). I tied the tamales with 1/4 inch strips of more banana leaves to make sure that it doesn’t open up, you may use bakers twine as well.
  7. Repeat the same steps with the remaining banana leaves, Caldereta and dough.
  8. Arrange the tamales in a steamer and add 1/2-inch of water. Cover with a tight fitting lid, bring to a simmer, and steam for 30-45 mins adding additional water as needed to maintain 1/2-inch of water at all times.
  9. Once done, remove them from the steamer, cut the banana leaf ribbon or twine, open up the tamales and serve.
Sabrina Go SEE AUTHOR Sabrina Go

Sabrina is a self-proclaimed super mom who juggles work, family life, and a passion for gastronomical exploration. Her social media persona, Sinfully Sabrina, is an ever-dependable host who likes to entertain friends and family with hearty and indulgent dishes. Not having professional culinary training doesn't stop this kitchen maven. Her fancy for food even landed her a brief stint in a reality show-based cooking competition. Although that experience was short-lived, it led her to her current profession as an account manager for premier food and lifestyle channels in Asia.

4 comments in this post SHOW

4 responses to “Banana Leaf Tamales with Beef Caldereta”

  1. Zynnie says:

    Love this! So many possibilities! Even make it with rice… Suman/caldereta!

  2. Carl Tomacruz says:

    So each tamal serves one person, right? Still looks like a big mouthful.

  3. […] You can choose from several vegetable dishes, the usual pork chops and Liempo, the Papaitan, Caldereta, Calamares, Hamonado, and well, you get the picture. Prices range from forty to seventy pesos. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep on