Food & Drink Magazine

Pasteles De Masa (Puerto Rican Pasteles)

By Jannese Torres @delishdlites

For Puerto Ricans, Christmas isn't Christmas unless there are pasteles de masa on the table. These lovely banana-leaf wrapped treats are one of 3 must-have dishes on the menu during the holiday season, along with and

What Are Pasteles De Masa?

Pasteles are admittedly hard to describe. I like to call them Puerto Rican hot pockets (lol), except they're not. Made with a tropical root vegetable dough, that's filled with a savory meat, and wrapped in green banana leaves, pasteles are often compared to tamales, but their similarities end with the fact that they're wrapped in a leaf.

Pasteles are a delicious traditional dish served in Puerto Rican during Christmas. Each family has their own secret recipe, pasteles are typically made with a combination of root vegetables, like yuca, yautia, calabaza and plantain, that peeled and processed into a paste, which forms the masa, or exterior dough. The typical filling is a savory stewed pork (guiso). To hold their shape, pasteles are wrapped in banana leaves, tied into bundles and boiled until the masa is cooked through.

How To Make The Masa For Puerto Rican Pasteles?

If you're lucky enough like me to live near an ethnic/Latino supermarket, you'll be able to find grated masa para pasteles in the freezer section. This saves lots of time and energy, as taro & cassava are tough root vegetables that require several steps to prepare for this dish. If you're unable to find it, that's ok! You'll just have to make it the traditional way. That involves processing the peeled root vegetables into a paste and seasoning it.

How To Assemble Puerto Rican Pasteles De Masa

You'll need parchment paper, banana leaves, and butcher's twine.

Cut your banana leaves into about 8-9 inches in length. Remove the hard rib located on one side of the leaf.

Cut your parchment paper into 12 inch squares.

To build the pasteles, smear about 1 tablespoon of liquid from the stewed meat onto the banana leaf.

Then, spread 1/2 cup of masa into the middle of the banana leaf. Place 1/4 cup of filling into the center of the masa, making sure to drain any excess liquid.

How To Wrap Puerto Rican Pasteles

1. Fold the top of the parchment over towards you, so that the ends meet.
2. Using your hand, tuck the filling into the center.
3. Make a one inch fold at the bottom of the parchment, then make another.
4. Rotate to bring the folded seam to the center.
5. Tuck the filling in at one end.
6. Fold the end under.
7. Tuck again on the other side.
8. Fold the other side under.

Stack two pasteles together, with the tucked ends facing inwards.

Tie the pasteles de yuca together using butchers twine.

You're now ready to store or cook the pasteles de masa.

How To Cook Pasteles

If storing, place them in a gallon sized freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. If cooking them, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then boil for 45 minutes to an hour. If you're cooking them from a frozen state, cook for 60-90 minutes.

Drain them, cut the string, and unwrap to enjoy.

Pasteles De Masa (Puerto Rican Pasteles)

Puerto Rican Pasteles De Masa

Pasteles De Masa (Puerto Rican Pasteles)

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog