The simple Ecuadoran humita has ancient roots, and it’s lasted all these years because it’s deliciously simple. Like a tamale made with fresh corn, the humita is a batter of fresh corn, masa, and cheese that gets wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. This recipe comes from Chef Jose Garces of Amada restaurant in Philadelphia.

What to buy: White corn flour and corn husks can be found in the international aisle of most grocery stores or at Latin markets.

Queso fresco is a mild white cheese that doesn’t melt when heated. It can be found in the refrigerated cheese case of most grocery stores or at specialty cheese shops or Latin markets. If you can’t locate it, go ahead and substitute feta or ricotta cheese.

This recipe was featured as part of our Suckling Pig for the Holidays menu.

  • Yield: 15 servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Total: 1 hr 15 mins 
  • Active: 25 mins

Ingredients (9)

  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 ears)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup instant white corn flour
  • 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 2 cups)
  • 15 corn husks, soaked then drained and dried of excess water


  1. Place a steamer in a large pot and fill the pot with enough water to reach the bottom of the steamer. Over low heat, bring the water to a simmer.
  2. Combine corn kernels, butter, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until smooth, about 30 to 40 seconds.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add stock, corn flour, and queso fresco and mix with a spoon until thickened and no dry spots remain, about 30 strokes.
  4. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the corn mixture into the middle of each husk. Fold the bottom of the husk up and each side in, then fold the top over to seal.
  5. Place humitas seam side down in the steamer, layering on top of one another. Cover and steam until filling is set and no longer raw tasting, about 30 to 40 minutes.