Mexico has a reputation for having some of the best cuisines you’ll ever taste. Mexican food is so popular because it’s full of flavor and contains a variety of ingredients that combine to create mouth-watering foods. And if you’re a food fanatic, you must have heard of the traditional Mexican dish called “Tamales.” It has evolved from a “walk-around” food like a burrito to one of the most well-known specialties in Mexican cuisine. There are over 500 varieties of tamales sold throughout the country. You can find tamales stores near you, including top-rated restaurants or local food stands.
If you’ve never heard of this Mexican delicacy before, but are interested in it, here’s a quick overview of tamales.
Tamales: An Overview
Tamales are a delectable comfort food made from corn-based dough (masa harina) with a flavorful stuffing of various fillings (meat, vegetables, cheese, fruits, etc.) They are enfolded like a wrap in corn husks or banana leaves. After being wrapped, they’re steamed till cooked to perfection. With their huge variety of flavors, ingredients, and fillings, tamales can be eaten either sweet, salty, or spicy, depending on the eater’s preference.
Though tamales are a rich, stand-alone meal with hundreds of varieties, they can be bland while eating. But, adding some tasty side dishes to it will make your tamale more flavorful and interesting and turn this recipe into an ultimate tamale feast.
So, if you’re looking forward to making a meal with savory authentic Mexican dishes and tamales as the main course. Here’s a list of the eight best Mexican sides that amazingly complement tamales.
Side Dishes That Go Well With Mexican Tamales
While tamales can certainly hold their ground as a main dish, sometimes adding side dishes can complement them perfectly. Not only can side dishes help elevate their taste to a whole new level, but they will also pack a punch with every bite.
- Black Beans
Mexican cuisine is incomplete without beans. Almost every dish in Mexican cuisine has some kind of bean – and black beans are an excellent side to any Mexican meal, especially tamales.
The spiced black bean soup is a hearty first course or side dish to your tamale. If you’re looking for something wholesome as well as flavorful to go with your tamales, this quick and simple recipe is a good option.
The best part is that these can easily be made beforehand and warmed up just before a meal.
- Mexican Rice
Rice, especially Mexican rice (also known as red rice), is one of the best side dishes to serve alongside tamales. While you can use any rice, Mexican rice complements tamales well.
To make this dish, you will need white rice, tomato paste, and various spices like salt, pepper, garlic, etc. Cook the rice in broth for added spice and flavor, then add corn, cilantro, and lime juice when serving.
- Jicama Slaw
Jicama is a turnip-like vegetable native to Mexico. Jicama slaw is more like coleslaw and is the easiest, healthiest side dish to prepare and serve with tamales. This vegan salad features healthy, crunchy, shredded veggies tossed in a tangy vinaigrette.
To make jicama slaw, wash and slice cabbage, peel, and slice jicama and carrots. Mix everything in a bowl, and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and chili powder.
- Guacamole Sauce
Guacamole! One of the essentials of Mexican cuisine and among the side dish for tamales. Dipping your tamale in guacamole gives a delicious flavor and adds an extra layer of richness to your tamales. It contains avocado, white onion, tomato, serrano peppers, and cilantro, which are excellent additions to tamales.
After your sauce is prepared, all you need is some freshly-made pork, chicken, or beef tamale, some tortilla chips, and salsa, and you can have this Mexican combination for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
- Eggs And Salsa
Most families enjoy eating tamales for breakfast, so why not mix them with something as simple as fried eggs and salsa?
You can serve scrambled eggs as a side dish with your tamale, and you won’t need any bread or sauce because, in this case, the tamale will act as the bread. If you add peppers and onions to your eggs, you’ll get a delicious combination with your tamales.
- Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are another traditional Mexican bean that can be prepared in any way. For instance, you can season it with garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, or any other spices you prefer.
When these beans are combined with some tomato paste, the result is a creamy bean side dish so flavorful you won’t be able to keep your hands off it!
- Mexican Crema
Tamales are wholesome and flavorful on their own, but wouldn’t it be nice to add a layer of thick and lemony Mexican crema? Adding Mexican crema will give your tamales the right touch of creamy richness. It also helps tone down the smoky chili flavors of foods like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
The best part? It’s super easy to make. It takes cream and yogurt mixed well while letting it be at room temperature for two days. This will make the mixture thick, creamy, and incredibly delicious. Lastly, before serving, add some lime juice and salt for flavor, and Voila! It’s done.
- Tortilla Chips
Tortillas! One of Mexico’s most well-known side dishes and a tasty appetizer before an authentic Mexican meal. So, why not try adding plain tortillas to your tamales.
They make a tasty, crunchy side dish that goes well with a dip like salsa or guacamole. You can also add flavor to your meal by selecting different flavored tortillas.
Tamales are one of those staple meals loved by everyone. And while tamales are traditionally eaten alone, adding a few simple side dishes can add tons of new flavors that make eating tamales even more enjoyable.
Curious to try this savory Mexican delicacy? Then wait no more! Order tamales online from retailers like Texas Lone Star Tamales – the home to authentic and delicious pre-made tamales. Place your order today!