White pozole (pozole blanco) is a traditional Mexican soup that is prepared in some states of Western Mexico. The recipe has ancient origins and is undoubtedly one of the most representative dishes from the country.
Pozole -sometimes spelled posole-; is a traditional Mexican dish whose origin dates back to pre-Hispanic times. At that time, the dish was mainly prepared in the Aztec ceremonies and was only consumed by the Emperor and the highest-ranking priests.
This dish was as special and significant as it was gruesome; because in the preparation was used the flesh of sacrificed warriors in the rites of the Aztec culture.
With the arrival of the Conquest in Mexico, the Spaniards changed these practices and impose the natives to prepare this dish using other types of meat; such as pig and poultry, which are the most common types of meat for white pozole to this day.
In Modern Days
The modern recipe is made in various versions that depend on the region where is made. It may include a sauce made with chili peppers which adds not only a different flavor but also a particular red or green color.
In Mexico, you will find this dish at any cenaduría (diner) along with other traditional dishes like enchiladas, sopes, and crispy tacos.
But as versatile as it is, white pozole is also offered for breakfast at regional markets, or as a main dish for special occasions like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Baptisms, and Birthdays.
What Kind Of Corn To Use For White Pozole?
Traditionally, the corn (hominy) used to prepare pozole blanco is one called cacahuazintle. This type of corn is originally from Mexico and has a large white grain, perfect for this type of soup.
Unfortunately, this type of corn is not so easy to find abroad. So my recommendation is to use Peruvian mote corn that looks and tastes similar to Mexican hominy.
Look at Mexican and Latin American stores for corn to make the hominy, you might find one of those two types.
Canned hominy is commonly used to make pozole blanco too. And is also perfect to cut down the preparation because you won’t need to soak the corn overnight but only cook it together with the meat.
There are several brands you can find on Amazon or Mexican online stores, the one in the photo below is what I often use:
What Meat To Use
- The meat most used to prepare this kind of posole is pork; although chicken is also used in some states.
- Cuts vary, but traditionally a whole pig’s head and some fatty cuts are used. Like the belly, ham, and even the feet and rind which adds an amazing flavor.
- If you want to cut-down calories in this soup, you can add pork tenderloin, which is lean meat yet have a good flavor.
How To Make White Pozole
The night before you intend to eat this dish, place the corn to soak in plenty of water. The next day you will notice that the corn has softened a bit.
Discard the soaking water and wash the corn thoroughly.
Discard the little brown “heads” on the corn. If you want the kernels to open (like a flower) then you need to “de-head” the kernels.
De-heading means picking off those little tips (using your fingers) and is mostly a time-consuming step since you have to do it one by one.
You can also skip this step, it won’t compromise the flavor but only the soup texture.
Place the corn in a large pot and cover with about 2-inch (5cm) of water.
Cook for about 3 hours over medium heat, the time will depend on the type of corn you using (Mexican cacahuazintle corn cooks faster than Peruvian mote).
NOTE: If you use canned hominy, you can just rinse it with cold water and start the recipe from here.
Meanwhile, place onions, garlic, and spices (cumin, pepper, bay leaves, oregano) and 2 tablespoons of salt into a blender.
Add 2 cups of water (or chicken stock) and blend for 3 minutes or until nicely combined. Strain the mixture and set it aside.
After three hours the corn will start to “bloom” and you will notice because most of the kernels will be popping and the broth will have a thick consistency.
If necessary, (and you will find out in the next step) add more water.
Wash the meat thoroughly, then pat dry it and add it to the pot. Pour in the onions mixture and, if necessary, add more water to cover all ingredients and to allow the meat to cook evenly.
Cook from 2 to 3 hours over medium heat, until the meat and hominy are nicely tender. Adjust salt to taste then turn off the heat.
Remove the meat carefully, place it in a container and cover it. You can also cut it into small chunks or shred it, for easy serving.
Note: If the corn kernels still feel a bit hard, you can continue cooking without the meat inside. Just remember to always adjust salt if you add a little more water.
Once hominy becomes very tender, pozole blanco will be ready. You can serve it as suggested below or store it for later.
How To Serve Pozole Blanco
- Add the hominy and plenty of broth to a deep plate.
- Top with some meat.
- Add lettuce, onions, and radish slices.
- Sprinkle some oregano (this is optional but it adds a fragrant touch).
- Drizzle with chili oil or Mexican peanut salsa (both are perfect for pozole).
- Last, add a squeeze of lime juice and enjoy!
White pozole is served with different extra toppings that depend on the zone or region where it is prepared.
Also, is very common to serve pozole blanco with tostadas (fried tortillas) or fried potato tacos on the side.
- De-heading the corn kernels is the most tedious part of this preparation. I usually do it while watching something on TV.
- You will need a large pot with sufficient capacity for the corn, plenty of water, and the meat.
- The consistency of the soup depends on how much water you add during the cooking process.
- To make the soup thicker, smash some corn kernels against the sides of the pot using a large spoon.
- If you live in Italy you can buy pancia (belly), arista (loin), braciole (chops), and costolette (ribs), as well as cotica (pork skin) to make this white pozole.
How To Store And Reheat
Before storing, make sure the soup is completely cooled down, then transfer into various or a single container with a tight lid and store in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Before reheating, thaw and add the hominy soup to a pot, if you think is necessary, add a splash of water to loosen up the broth, then reheat on the stovetop over medium heat.
More Mexican Soups
White pozole (pozole blanco)
- 2.2 lb Cacahuazintle corn or peruvian mote corn (or 3 lb canned hominy)
- 2.2 lb pork belly (a whole piece)
- 2.2 lb pork tenderloin (a whole piece, optional)
- 1.1 lb pork ribs (cut in big pieces)
- 1.1 lb pork skin (cut into large pieces)
- 1 medium white onion (cut in quarters)
- 1 garlic knob
- 1 tsp whole cumins
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp dy oregano
- lettuce (shredded)
- onions (chopped)
- radishes (sliced)
- limes (juice)
- Mexican chili oil
prepare the hominy
- The night before, put the corn to soak in plenty of water. The next day, discard the soaking water and wash the corn thoroughly.
- Discard the little brown “heads” on the corn. This step is optional, please read notes.
- Place the corn in a large pot and cover with 2-inch (5cm) of water.
- Cook over medium heat for about 3 hours, the time will depend on the type of corn you use.
make the recaudo
- Place onions, garlic, cumin, pepper, bay leaves, and oregano in a blender.
- Add 2 cups of water (or chicken stock). Blend for about 5 minutes. Strain the mixture and set it aside.
cook the meat
- Wash the meat thoroughly, then pat dry it and add it to the pot.
- Pour in the onions and spices mixture then add more water to cover all ingredients and to allow the meat to cook evenly.
- Cook at medium heat from two to three hours or until the meat and hominy are very tender. Adjust salt to taste
- Remove the meat carefully, place it in a container and cover it. Once slightly cooled, you can shred it or cut it into small pieces.
- Add pozole to serving plates with plenty of broth.
- Top each plate with shredded meat, onion, lettuce, and radishes.
- Drizzle with hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.
- If you want the kernels to open (like a flower) then you need to “de-head” the kernels. De-heading means picking off those little tips (using your fingers) and is mostly a time-consuming step since you have to do it one by one.
- You can also skip de-heading the corn, it won’t compromise the flavor but only the pozole texture. Or, if you using canned pre-cooked hominy, you can just rinse it with cold water and continue with the recipe.
- If you don’t have a large enough pot you can use two medium pots or half the recipe.
- The consistency of the soup depends on how much water you add during the cooking. Some people like their pozole to have a soupy-almost liquid consistency while others like it thicker.
- The liquid from the pozole should be a little thick; if this is not the case, you can smash some corn kernels against the sides of the pot using a large spoon.
A PERSONAL NOTE: A grew up eating pozole blanco. My grandma Elvira owned a cenaduría (a sort of diner) and her recipe was so famous that even to this day, people still talk about it.
My mother loved this soup with lots of spicy salsa and in my family runs the story that I love it too because she ate too much of it when she was pregnant with me.
I knew, since I was a kid, how to make this recipe because is my favorite and also, in my opinion, the best out there.