Cooking Skills : What Substitute for Masa Harina

Food purists will tell you that when a recipe requires masa harina — a sort of ground corn flour — there are no replacements. But if you are halfway through preparing a dish with no opportunity to run into the shop, then a substitution is essential; even if it is not ideal. A standard ingredient for corn tortillas, tamales and soups, masa harina is a nice, powdery ground corn meal merchandise. It is earth from hominy, which is corn that’s boiled in water and lye or lime calcium hydroxide — to remove the kernel in the hull.

Fresh Masa

New masa is a corn soup that is used to create masa harina. The bread is dried out and earth to create masa harina corn syrup. Dried corn kernels are boiled in water with lime that divides the corn kernel to hominy, which makes the corn a lot easier to digest. New masa, although sometimes tough to discover, is really better than masa harina for making tamales and tortillas. Use rough masa for making tamales and smooth-ground masa for producing corn tortillas. Masa harina has to be rehydrated to create a dough, but refreshing masa is currently a dough so that you just roll it out and cook.


White and Yellow cornmeal are from the baking aisle of any supermarket. While conventional Mexican foods recipes demand for masa harina to create authentic foods, like corn tortillas, it is possible to use also plain cornmeal instead. While cornmeal changes in feel, even nice cornmeal is more compared to fine-ground masa harina, therefore it has to be blended with all-purpose flour to make a last feel like the smooth masa harina feel in corn tortillas. Unlike new masa, ground cornmeal is not boiled with lime, and that means that you may add a squeeze into your own dough if you would like.

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Masa harina can be added as a thickening agent for soups, such as chicken tortilla soup and soup. Even the masa harina is blended with cold water to make a slurry and stirred into the soup at which it simmers and gradually thickens. If you are from masa harina along with your soup is too thin, use cornstarch, including 1 tbsp at a time, to attain the desired consistency. Much like masa harina, cornstarch is removed in the middle of the kernel instead of the entire corn kernel. Mix the cornstarch with approximately 1 cup of cold water before adding to the soup to prevent lumps. Cornstarch is a lot nicer than masa harina — it is frequently utilized in baby powder — therefore that your soup will not get exactly the exact same subtle gritty feel it might with masa harina, but you will not have any trouble thickening the batter. Corn flour works equally, but it’s processed by the entire corn kernel.


A basic food in each Southerner’s pantry, grits are made from hominy, the same as masa and masa harina, so they are also treated with lime. In lots of ways, grits would be the nearest substitution to masa harina besides new masa, but they are much coarser than the coarse-ground masa employed for tamales. While they are not an ideal substitution, in the event that you merely have grits available, you can whirl them around in a food processor or even a mortar and pestle for them closer to the feel of masa harina. Otherwise, cook the grits to a mush and mash the mushed grits to create masa dough.

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