Tamal de Sabogal

Tamal de Sabogal

David Loftus

Sabogal’s Tamal. Making a tamal requires craft and creativity, so this recipe is named after José Sabogal, the painter and muralist, who was born in Cajamarca, a place known for its great tamales. We usually use the Andina choclo corn for this recipe, but sweetcorn works well, too. The combination of sweet and savoury, with a runny egg yolk, cured salmon and herby hollandaise, is mouthwatering.


Quantity Ingredient
60g granulated sugar
60g salt, plus extra to season
1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped
50g panca chilli powder, or chipotle or other smoked chilli powder
600g salmon fillet, skinned
4 poached eggs, to serve
freshly ground black pepper

For the tamales

Quantity Ingredient
50-75g cornmeal
450g cooked sweetcorn kernels, puréed
100ml full-fat milk
8 corn husks, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, then drained

For the huacatay hollandaise

Quantity Ingredient
a bunch huacatay or
a small bunch each of coriander, tarragon and mint
6 parsley sprigs
250g unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1/2 lime, Juiced


  1. First, make the salmon cure. Mix the sugar, salt, dill and chilli powder together. Rub this into the salmon, making sure both sides of the fish are well covered. Put the fish in a plastic self-seal bag, or lay it out on a small tray and cover with clingfilm, then refrigerate for 48 hours, turning every few hours when you can.
  2. To make the sweetcorn tamales, mix 50g of cornmeal with the puréed sweetcorn, milk and a generous pinch of salt. You should have a thick, spreadable paste – if the mixture is a little loose, add another 25g of cornmeal and mix again. Divide the mixture equally between the 8 corn husks and fold each husk to form a square parcel, making it as secure as possible to keep in the filling. Put the husks in a steamer and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the steamer and allow to stand – they will firm up as they cool.
  3. While the husks cool, make the hollandaise. Place all the herbs in a food processor or blender with a little water and blitz to a smooth purée. Put the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and allow it to melt very gently. When it has melted, remove from the heat and set aside. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with half the lime juice, then gradually whisk in the melted butter until it emulsifies and you have a rich, creamy sauce. Stir in the herb purée and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add a little more lime juice if you think it needs it. Keep the hollandaise warm until you are ready to serve (if you need to reheat it, just take care that it doesn’t start to bubble).
  4. To assemble the dish, open the tamales but leave them on the corn husks – use 2 per person. Rinse the salmon thoroughly to remove the cure, then slice it thinly on the diagonal. Place a few slices of salmon on top of each tamale, top with the poached eggs, then drizzle over some of the hollandaise. Serve the remaining hollandaise at the table.
Martin Morales
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