Noche Buena ala Chef Sau

Chef Sau del Rosario 3

Chef Sau Del Rosario

There were a lot of heartwarming stories, a great deal of laughter but in the end it is the brilliance of Chef Sau del Rosario that shined through at his recent cooking demo for The Maya Kitchen’s Elite Culinary Series. Chef Sau showed how the intimidating Tamales can be done effortlessly; how the seemingly complex Chicken Galantina is worth all the effort; how a Salmon encrusted in a thick layer of salt comes out moist and flavorful and how a mentor’s Brazo de Mais is both a pleasure to the eyes and to the palate. He generously shared his recipes so you can have your very own Noche Buena feast with new dishes that may well be the next family favorites. Below is the recipe for his Tamales.


For the Tamales Mixture:
250 grams rice (milling can be done in the market)
2 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
¼ cup annatto oil
4 tablespoons fish sauce
3 cups coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
100 grams cooked ham, sliced into square pieces
250 grams cooked chicken breast, cut into strips
¼ cup peanuts fried with garlic, ground
4 salted eggs, quartered
banana leaves

To make the Tamales Mixture:
Soak rice in water for at least 2 hours then grind a bit coarsely. In a wok, sauté garlic in oil until golden brown. Set aside. In the same wok, place the annatto oil and blend in fish sauce, ground rice and coconut milk. Stir constantly over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Mix well to avoid scorching on the side of the wok. Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble: (Traditional way)
Place half cup of tamales mixture on the center of the banana leaves. Top with slices of ham, chicken, a teaspoon of ground peanuts and a quarter slice of salted egg. Wrap tamales in banana leaves and tie with a string. Cook tamales in a bamboo steamer. Cook for 30 minutes. Serve either chilled or hot.

And that’s Chef Sau’s Tamales recipe. More recipes in the next couple of posts! For more information, log on to or e-mail