These authentic corundas Michocanas are fluffy, savory, and with a distinctive corn flavor. They are easy to make and perfect to enjoy as a main meal for special occasions or as a treat any weekday.
Corundas are traditional Mexican tamales originating from Michoacan, Mexico. They have a small triangular shape and are usually wrapped in fresh corn leaves, rather than husks, unlike other types of tamales.
This type of tamal doesn’t contain any filling because they’re usually served with a tasteful pork stew or spicy salsa roja, cream, and cheese; making a fulfilling meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Masa harina: This is the same flour used to make tortillas and can be found at Mexican grocery stores or online.
- Lard: In the traditional recipe pork lard is used. You can substitute it with bacon fat.
- Broth: Pork broth is preferred, but you can substitute it with chicken stock.
- Baking powder: To add fluffiness to the dough.
- Salt: Use table salt to give flavor to the dough.
- For serving: You’ll need Mexican crema or sour cream, queso fresco, or any fresh farmer cheese you prefer. Also, you can opt for a hearty pork stew or a spicy salsa.
- For wrapping: You will need fresh corn leaves to wrap the dough and make the typical triangular shape. You can substitute with strips of banana leaves.
How to Make Corundas
Start by washing the corn leaves and pat drying them with a kitchen towel. Set aside.
Place lard in the bowl of a stand mixer and add salt. Whip for 6-7 minutes at high speed until lard is nicely soft and fluffy.
Add masa harina, baking powder, and pork broth. Use the flat paddles and beat until everything is combined and you have a slightly sticky dough. Taste and adjust with salt if needed.
Take a corn leaf and add about 1/2 cup of dough on the widest end of the leaf.
Overlap the long part of the leaf to cover the dough. Then keep folding to cover the exposed parts of the dough shaping it into a triangle (watch the video below).
Tip: It can be a little tricky to shape the dough into a triangle at the start, however, you can remove the dough and try again until you’re happy with the results.
Tuck the pointy end of the leaf under another part of the leaf to secure the triangular tamal.
Repeat the step until you use all the corn masa and leaves. More or less you’ll make about 13-14 tirangular tamales.
Place a steamer rack inside a large pot. Add water about 1 inch below the rack level, then place a layer of corn leaves on the rack.
Arrange the corundas inside the steamer and cover with another layer of corn leaves.
Steam over medium heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes, adding more water to the steamer whenever needed (I usually check every 15-20 minutes).
Once done, allow the corunda tamales to rest for 10 minutes then serve as suggested below.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- To check if corundas are fully cooked, remove one piece and carefully unwrap the leaf, allow to rest for 1 minute then check the center, it should be spongy and soft. If it feels sticky they need more cooking, so just re-wrap the corunda and steam for 15-20 extra minutes.
- My abuela Elvira was from Michoacán so I grew up eating corundas and learned how to make them from a young age. So this is her recipe that I’ve been making for years and never fails!
- If you’re having a hard time making the triangular shape, just wrap the masa as best as you can, some people wrap it in a star shape because it’s easier to do it.
- Not to be confused with tamales de ceniza or tamales nejos as those will be made using ashes on the dough and sometimes beans, while Michoacan corunda doesn’t contain any of those ingredients.
How to Serve
In Michoacán, corundas are usually served with cream, cheese, and a hearty pork stew with tomato sauce and poblano peppers. However, you can save with any type of salsa you prefer, here are my recommendations:
You can accompany them with café de olla if you serving them for breakfast or with agua fresca if you prefer to enjoy them for lunch or dinner.
Store and Reheat
Corundas will last up to 3-4 days. Make sure you don’t unwrap them so they don’t dry out, just transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge.
They can also be frozen for up to 2-3 months. What I usually do is wrap them individually with plastic wrap (don’t remove the leaves), then place them in a resealable bag.
When ready to enjoy again, the best reheating method is steaming them again for 10-15 minutes, this will make them soft and fluffy again, just like freshly made!
More Tamales Recipes
- 1 pound masa harina
- 4 cups pork broth (from cooking pork meat)
- 1 cup lard (read notes for substitutions)
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- salt (to taste)
- queso fresco (or Feta cheese)
- Mexican crema (or sour cream)
- pork stew or salsa roja (read notes)
- Add lard and a pinch of salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until soft and fluffy (about 6-7 minutes).
- Add masa harina, baking powder, and pork broth. Use the flat paddles and beat at medium speed for 5 minutes. Taste the dough and adjust the salt if needed.
- Take a corn leaf and add about ½ cup of dough on the widest end of the leaf.
- Overlap the long part of the leaf to cover the dough. Then keep folding to cover the exposed parts of the dough shaping it into a triangle.
- Tuck the pointy end of the leaf under another part of the leaf to secure the triangular tamal.
- Repeat the steps until you use all the corn masa and leaves. Making around 14-15 corundas.
- Place a steamer rack inside a large pot. Add water about 1 inch below the rack level, then place a layer of corn leaves on the rack.
- Arrange the corundas inside the steamer and cover with another layer of corn leaves.
- Steam over medium heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes, adding more water to the steamer whenever needed (check every 15-20 minutes).
- Substitute pork lard with bacon fat or use a flavored oil such as extra virgin olive oil.
- For serving, you can make this pork stew or my salsa roja recipe.
- It can be a little tricky to shape the dough into a triangle, but you can remove the dough and try again until you’re happy with the results.
- To check if the corundas are done, remove one from the steamer and carefully unwrap the leaf, allow to rest for 1 minute then check the center, it should be spongy and soft, not sticky.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.