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How To Cook Costa Rican Christmas Tamales

Field Report by Operation Blessing

COSTA RICA – Merry Christmas from Costa Rica! Today, we’re showing you how to make authentic Costa Rican Christmas Tamales. The recipe may look complicated, but don’t be afraid! Ligia will show you all of the techniques needed to perfect this delicious Costa Rican Christmas dish. These Christmas tamales are stuffed with pork, rice, and other delicious ingredients. Wrap them up in plantain leaves, and leave to boil for 3o minutes. If you can’t find plantain leaves, dampened corn husks work as well. Give these tasty Costa Rican Christmas Tamales a try and let us know what you think! And for more delicious holiday recipes from around the world, visit Merry Christmas!


  • 8 cups Tamal mix
  • 2 cups cold water
  • Cooked rice
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 2-3 lbs. seasoned pork shoulder
  • 1 ball of string
  • Plantain leaves
  • Carrots & bell peppers
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth


Base Mixture or Tamal Mixture

  • Add Tamal mix to large stockpot
  • Add water. Begin to mix
  • Add broth, margarine, and chicken bouillon
  • Mix together
  • Heat on stove until boiling
  • Chop up carrots and peppers
  • Cook pork fully
  • And prepare cooked rice with spice to taste
  • Now prepare Plantain leaves

Plantain Leaves

You can use store bought plantain leaves if you want. Corn husks can work as well.

  • Heat leaves to make them pliable
  • Cut into 8 inch squares
  • Place 2 leaves on top of each other
  • Now it is time to fill the tamales

Filling Tamales

  • Add ½ cup of the Tamal mixture base to the plantain squares
  • Add some pre-cooked pork
  • Add a few carrots and peppers
  • Add cooked rice
  • Fold plantain squares
  • Cut string into 14” pieces
  • Now wrap up tamales in both directions
  • Cover with water and boil for 30 minutes
  • Enjoy

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