When I was little, the first thing I would hunt for on the fiesta table is the Tamales Gisu. To me, the tamales gisu was like a delicious present ready for me to unwrap. It was also the perfect size for my pocket for an on-the-go snack! #fatlittlegirlproblems
I searched all the tamales gisu recipes on-line – I even searched my old Chamoru cook books to find the best recipe. They all seemed to be the same. However, I was looking for a recipe that wasn’t too fancy.
I found this recipe from TheScentOfGreenBananaLeaves… it was exactly how I remembered – even without the bacon!
The reason I choose to leave out the bacon is because it was PROVEN that processed meats (- canned meat like Spam & fast food meat) cause/ promote cancer by the World Health Organization. Google it, nai!
I didn’t have to google it because I learned the hard way, like most of us do.
My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer… and guess what foods promote pancreatic & colon cancer?
Yup! Processed meats! Some of my dad’s favorite foods (and foods I grew up with) was spam, vienna sausage, hotdogs, and sardines with rice.
How many of our family members have to suffer for us to get the message? #foodforthought
So with all due respect to the original recipe, tradition, and my dad – here is a healthier version of Tamales Gisu…veganized with a few changes.
1 1\2 oz pkg achiote seeds or annatto seeds
1 medium onion (chopped and divided)
3 cloves garlic (minced & divided)
2-3 small red hot chili peppers (finely minced)
1/2 c corn starch (diluted with 2 cups water)
OR instead of 1 c toasted rice and cornstarch, replace it with 1 c precooked white corn flour.
4 c – vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
– 1 pkg vegan bacon, diced (optional)
1/2 medium onions (chopped)
1-2 c ground toasted rice ^ or replacement
2- c vegetable broth
1 c cornstarch – diluted with 2 cups water
– 1 pkg vegan bacon
1/2 medium onions (chopped)
1- c pre- cooked white corn flour
– toast 1 cup rice in a non-stick skillet (on medium heat for about 20 minutes).
– when rice is cooled, blend in a food processor or blender.
– boil 2 cups water and pour over seeds in a wire strainer.
– Soak achote seeds in water. Stir. And continue to soak for another 10 minutes.
– Discard the seeds.
– Sautée vegan bacon, garlic, and onions until golden brown.
– Add the achote water.
– Add the chili peppers, salt, black pepper.
– Add 2 cups vegetable stock
– Bring to a full boil and slowly stir in the toasted rice until thick
– Dilute cornstarch in 2 c water. Slowly stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
– if it’s too thick add a cup if water at a time until you reach a not-too-watery and not-too-thick consistency.
– Remove from heat
– Sautée the garlic and onion until transparent.
– Add salt and 2 cups vegetable stock
– bring to a full boil and slowly stir in White Corn Flour until a soft paste has formed.
– Remove from heat.
Wrap 2 tablespoonfuls of red tamale mixture adjacent to 2 tablespoonfuls of white tamale mixture in a banana leaf or foil.
– i think a good size foil or banana leaf would be 6″ x 8″
– fold in the bottom, the top, and then the sides.
– if using banana leaves, cut a portion off the center of the leaf to use as a tie to hold the tamale together.
– steam until cooked.
(about 30 minutes)