Wild Rice Tamales

Wild Rice Tamales with Bagnet Chips

September 26, 2016

We breathe new life into the traditional Mesoamerican fare. What was once a popular dish in the country has dwindled down to making an appearance in fiestas in a couple of provinces. Unsurprisingly, since the preparation for these parcels of goodies requires a whole team. Among the many variations on the parcels, Filipinos have adapted the cooking style to their own ingredients. Usually substituting corn husks with banana leaves and masa with ground rice. A flexible recipe, these can be enjoyed plain or with a variety of fillings. We prefer an alternative take on the tamale, our wild rice tamales combines wild rice with corn grits and cheese. In contrast, the crisp bagnet chips adds texture to the dish.

Wild Rice Tamales

Wild Rice Tamales with Bagnet Chips

Yield: 8 servings
Time: 1 hour (20 min prep / 40  min cooking)


  • ¾ cup dry wild rice
  • 1½ cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1½ cups grits
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ tbsp cumin, ground
  • ¾ tbsp pepper, ground
  • ½ tbsp sweet paprika
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 10 pieces corn husks, soaked in warm water
  • 16 pieces bagnet, thinly sliced
Wild Rice Tamales


  1. Bring water and coconut milk to a boil, stir in the wild rice. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 40–45 minutes or just until kernels puff open. Uncover and fluff with a fork and simmer for an additional five minutes without the cover. Drain off any excess liquid, set aside and cool down.
  2. Melt a tablespoon of the butter and stir into the grits and add salt to taste.
  3. Heat a pan over medium high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and onions.
  4. Cook the onions until lightly caramelized. Add the rice and spices.
  5. Set aside, allowing the mixture to cool for about 10–20 minutes, and stir in the cheese.
  6. To assemble, tear one of the corn husks into long strips and set aside. The strips will be used for tying the tamales.
  7. Take another husk and spread a third of a cup of the grit mixture over the wider end of the husk, flattening it well. Place 3 tablespoons of the wild rice, filling over the mixture. Roll up the husk, making sure the entire filling is surrounded by the husk.
  8. Bend of twist the ends of the corn husks and tie them closed with one of more corn husk strips. Repeat until all the tamales are assembled.
  9. To cook, place prepared tamales in a steamer basket and steam for about 20 minutes.
Wild Rice Tamales
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

1 comments in this post SHOW

One response to “Wild Rice Tamales with Bagnet Chips”

  1. n/a says:

    I think I am making the tamales sweet and will add glutinous rice flour; will also use banana leaves since I bought 5 lbs of it. There was no other way I can buy just a pound or half kilo. Everything else is great. Thanx for the idea ♥

Leave a Reply

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

Keep on