Corn Tortilla Recipe

Making corn tortillas in many ways is easier than homemade flour tortillas. The traditional corn tortilla recipe is only three ingredients: masa harina, salt, and water. Masa harina is a dry flour made from masa, which is a dough made from dried corn that’s been treated with a strong alkalizing compound (usually lime — calcium hydroxide, not the citrus fruit) that removes the outer husk of the corn, leaving the meaty center kernel which is then ground up into the masa (a.k.a. masa preparada, or “fresh masa”) that’s used to make tamales, corn tortillas, gorditas, pupusas, huaraches, and a multitude of other Mexican and Central/South American recipes. Masa harina is just dehydrated masa. The word “masa” means “dough” and “harina” means “flour”. Maseca is a very popular brand of masa harina.


While it might seem daunting to make tortillas at home, I assure you, it’s really very simple (especially if you have a tortilla press, but in a pinch, some plastic wrap and a heavy pot will do). Since corn is naturally gluten-free, there is not resting of the dough required like there is with flour tortillas and it’s impossible to overwork the dough. Fresh corn tortillas are chewy, tender, slightly elastic, rich with corn flavor, and make MUCH better tacos than store-bought corn tortillas that invariably crack and crumble unless reheated just right.

These tortillas can be stored for a few hours in the oven if stacked and wrapped in a clean cloth, then either wrapped tightly in foil or placed in a ceramic or otherwise heat-proof tortilla warmer, and placed in a 150-200 F oven. To store leftover tortillas, keep tightly wrapped at room temperature for upp to a day, then refrigerated for up to 2 days. Dampen them slightly with a sprinkle of water from your fingertips before reheating in the oven (wrapped in foil) or microwave (covered in a damp towel).

This recipe make 8 tortillas, but can easily be doubled.


Corn Tortilla Recipe

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  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-8 1x


  • 1 cup (4 ounces by weight) masa harina
  • 2/3 cup warm water (approximate)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)


  1. Line a press with plastic wrap and preheat a dry heavy skillet or comal (griddle) over medium heat.
  2. Combine the masa harina and salt in a bowl.
  3. Stir in about 1/2 cup water. Add water in small amounts while mixing with your hands until a soft dough is formed. You should be able to squeeze the dough with your hands to make a ball, but it should not stick to your hands. If it’s too dry, add a few drops more water, if too wet (sticky) add a little mire dry flour.
  4. Once it’s at a good consistency, roll into 8 golf ball-sized balls.
  5. Once skillet is hot enough that a few drops of water sizzle, begin pressing the balls out into tortillas.
  6. Cook one or two at a time on the hot skillet, one minute on the first side, then 30-60 seconds longer on the other side.
  7. Wrap in a clean cloth to keep warm and absorb condensation while you cook all the tortillas.

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corn tortilla recipe

Homemade corn tortillas are great for making crispy beef tacos!



  1. larry kimball on April 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Hey Hilah, great recipe! I make tacos about once a week for supper, and we always use factory made corn and flour tortillas. But I remember our trips to Mexico where the corn tortillas had corn flavor that literally jumped right out at you! I have some “Maseca Instant Corn Masa Mix For Delicious Tamales,” but I understand this is not intended for making tortillas – am I right?

    • Hilah on April 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Larry!
      I’ve never bought or used the flour specifically for tamales and I can’t find out through their site what would make it different than the regular instant masa “for tortillas, tamales, etc”. Anything different on the ingredients? The ingredients on the one I have just says corn and lime.

      • The Other Randy on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        The difference between the “regular” instant masa and masa for tamales lies not in the ingredients but rather in how they are ground. Regular is ground finely for a smooth texture which is what you want for tortillas. Masa for tamales has a coarser ground so as to better absorb the lard and broth.

  2. Kim on April 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Great Video! I’ve had leftover masa (instant) since making tamales and now I know what to do with it 🙂

    p.s. Banjo is getting big!

    • Hilah on April 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks, Kim! Hope you have fun with them. And yes, he is over 35 pounds now!

  3. Great Stone Face on April 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I have the same tortilla press as you! We saw it in a kitchen supply store here in Virginia and I told Marsha I had to have it. I used it to make Deep Prep’s tortilla chip recipe for our euchre group. (Yes, I’ve cheated with other cooking shows.) Now, I’ll use it to make corn tortillas your way! (I’ve got to use up that masa.)

    • Hilah on April 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      I got that press at a Mexican grocery. Very cheap! You can also use the masa to make tamales! 🙂

  4. Oh! Dis Spoon! on April 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    So glad to see the little kitchen gnome dude is back on the wall, stage left. I make these frequently using a clean piece of vapour barrier and my granny’s roly pin. They get super thin but not very round. I will sometimes make homemade taco ships. Thank you, so much, for being you! Say ‘Hi’ to Mr. Cooking for us, <3

    • Hilah on April 3, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Heehee! My brother brought me that little guy back from Russia. Supposed to be a good luck symbol. Something about the beer and the fish he is holding. 🙂 I wonder if you could try a combo method and press the balls out first with a pot to get them round, then roll them further to get them thin? Thanks for writing!

  5. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables on April 3, 2013 at 7:07 am

    You make it look so easy! 🙂 I’m definitely going to have to give these a try!

    • Hilah on April 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Hi Liz! I hope you do! Love your site. 🙂

  6. Aesha on April 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Hi Hilah! These look tasty, but I only have corn flour on hand, can I use that instead of the masa harina? And if not, do you know of any recipes I can use this flour for? Thanks so much!

    • Hilah on April 4, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Hi Aesha!
      Sorry, but there is no substitute for the masa harina. Are you in the US? If so, then the corn flour you probably have is corn meal that is used to make cornbread. If you’re in the UK, your “corn flour” is what we call “corn starch” and is only useful for thickening sauces and gravy.
      Hope that helps!

  7. Chris on April 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I am totally addicted to corn tortillas after living in Honduras last year. I learned to make them the same way while there, but with one exception.

    Put your tortilla in the skillet in the usual manner. Cook for 1 min, more or less. Flip, and cook another say, 30 sec or so. Here is the crucial difference: flip AGAIN, and immediately start pressing down here and there on the tortilla with a wadded up clean towel. The tortilla will puff up dramatically every place you pressed with the towel.
    Remove from the heat when you are sufficiently impressed with your tortilla-puffing skills (or just a few more seconds, which ever comes first), and wrap in a dishcloth as you describe in your video.

    Love your videos!

    • Hilah on April 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Chris! It’s been a while. Hope you’ve been well!
      I’m definitely trying your technique next time, which will be soon. These are so easy and fast, there’s no need to buy them.

  8. Matt on July 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    If you plan to make tortillas chips do you cook in the skillet then fry or do you put the tortilla chips straight into the grease

    • Hilah on July 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Hey Matt!
      You would need to cook them first on the skillet, then cool, cut and fry. If you fried without cooking first, there would be too much liquid in them and they would puff up like puffy tacos!

  9. The Other Randy on September 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Oh, wow!!! As soon as I finished watching this episode, I knew that it would prove to be a real game changer for me. Years ago I bought a tortilla press, but my first attempts really sucked, so I stuck with store-bought brands like El Lago and El Milagro. But then HEB stopped selling any brand of corn tortillas other than their own, which have to be the worst ever. They are really sucktastic. It was time to get out the tortilla press and try again.

    So I did some research on that icon of reliable information, The Internet, and came up with what I thought were 4 essential details in making good corn tortillas. The results were decent, but 2 of the “essentials” were letting the dough rest for 30 minutes after kneading and then cooking them on two grills set at two different temperatures. For me, that just wasn’t worth the trouble. So for the last couple of years I’ve made an occasional trip way out of my way to buy El Milagro tortillas which only come 30 to a package and spoil after a few days in the refrigerator. I’ve become very much against wasting any amount of food, so the trips for tortillas became less and less frequent. You can imagine how excited I was after watching this episode to realize that both of those 2 “essentials” are total BS.

    As luck would have it, I always have instant masa on hand (to thicken chili) so within minutes of watching this episode, I was heating up a skillet and flipping tortillas. I couldn’t wait to try them as a snack (slathered with butter).

    Thanks so much for demonstrating such a quick and simple way to make great corn tortillas (and that one need not make at least a dozen at a time). Unless I decide to throw a party and need to make huge quantities of tortilla chips, I doubt that I’ll ever buy corn tortillas again and I certainly won’t think twice about making them whenever I have a craving for tacos or enchiladas. It takes less time to make them than going to the grocery store.

    • Hilah on September 11, 2013 at 9:13 am

      So glad to hear that I was able to help dispel tortilla myths! And double-happy that they worked out for you. I have heard about the resting step, too (never heard of two different grill temps and that just sounds extraordinarily over-complicated) but haven’t seen any noticeable difference myself when I’ve let it rest and when I’ve not. I wonder sometimes if people are thinking about flour tortillas when they say that. Without any gluten, though, I just don’t seen the point.
      Thanks for writing, Randy!

    • The Other Randy on September 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Well, so much for thinking I was now a corn tortilla master. Yeah, I was able to make really delicious corn tortillas that totally blow away store-bought ones. But the next batch of homemade tortillas was intended for…well, duh: Hilah’s crispy beef tacos!!! (couldn’t wait for Taco Night Saturday). Didn’t work so well (totally my fault). The Hilah Genius Method of making taco shells in the oven requires that the tortillas be around 6″ in diameter. Your’s truly’s ranged anywhere from 4.75 to 5.25 inches. At that size, the result is shells that are better suited to making tostadas than tacos because the laws of physics prohibits the sides from drooping enough to form the necessary u-shape. So, I decided I needed take the time to make as many batches of tortillas as it took to get the sizing thing down. As I was making the 6 batches it took to get there (I made tacos and a ton of tortilla chips with the results), I came across several discoveries I’ll pass along as tips…

      • The Other Randy on September 11, 2013 at 10:59 am

        Knowing it was going to take several batches, I decided to see if mixing and kneeding the dough was possible with a food processor. It’s more than possible, it’s the only way to go (if you’ve got a food processor). I now make every type of dough (pizza, cracker, pie, yeast bread, flatbread, but not pâté à choux) with a processor ever since I watched Julia Child use one to make French baguettes. It eliminates the need for manual kneading and going through the trial and error of getting the amount of water right. Having a measuring cup with a cup and a half or so of warm water ready to the side, put the instant masa and the salt into the processor and let it run for a few seconds to mix the dry ingredients. Then start pouring the water into the feed tube in a moderate stream (between a quarter inch and a half an inch wide). Once most (but not all) of the dough has formed a large ball bouncing on top of the processor blade, stop pouring the water. Let the ball of dough bounce around for another few seconds. Shut off the processor and you’re done. The entire procedure takes less than two minutes to create a dough with the perfect amount of water and no need for further kneading.

      • The Other Randy on September 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

        Hilah is so right about weighing dry ingredients (I even weigh the beans AND the water when I make coffee). If you bake on any sort of a regular basis, buying a digital scale that switches between ounces/pounds and grams/kilograms and that has a tare or “zero” button is one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen. Anyhow, with the goal of not wasting food, I wanted to know how exactly much instant masa it takes to make one single tortilla so that I can make exactly the number of tortillas I need. The answer is 25 grams per tortilla (as it turned out, the food processor method only works for making 4 or more tortillas).

        • Hilah on September 12, 2013 at 10:16 pm

          Thanks, Randy! This leads me to a question I got from a reader a while back, which is if one were to make enchiladas with homemade tortillas (I’ve never done it! Shame!) would one need to cook the tortillas on a griddle first? My gut reaction was “yes” but thinking now about making crispy tacos, did you griddle them before baking into shells, or just raw dough into the oven?

          • The Other Randy on September 13, 2013 at 9:18 am

            My gut feeling is that putting raw dough on the oven rack wouldn’t work. At the very least, the texture would probably not be right because I doubt if the tortillas would separate into 2 layers and puff up on their own. So, yes, I griddle mine (but freshly-made corn tortillas that have steamed themselves in a tortilla warmer after being griddled are soft enough that they don’t need microwaving to be softened up for making tacos or enchiladas). BTW, I now make a couple more tortillas than I need for tacos on Saturday night so that I have enough for making migas, chilaquiles or huevos rancheros Sunday morning!

      • The Other Randy on September 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

        Some people are really good at pinching off uniform amounts from a big mass of dough. But not me. That (along with Martin Yan knife skills and juggling cocktail mixing tins) is not among my talents. My method is to roll the dough into a unform cylinder whose length in inches is equal to the number of tortillas desired and then using a knife to cut 1 inch thick discs.

        • Great Stone Face on September 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

          Alternatively, you could weigh the dough for an appropriately-sized tortilla, then weigh out the rest to match that weight. That’s how I make uniformly-sized burgers.

        • Hilah on September 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm

          That’s a great tip, Randy!

      • The Other Randy on September 11, 2013 at 11:12 am

        For the sake of reusablity, some people recommend cutting up ziplock bags to place on the tortilla press. I feel that that’s a waste of time and a ziplock bag. Just using 2 quart-sized bags as is works fine. When you’re done making tortillas, rinse off the bags and either store them with the press or use them for something else. Since I occasionally run out of ziplock bags, it’s nice to know I’ve got two stashed away.

        • Hilah on September 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm

          Thank you! You know I hate to waste Ziplock bags and I see nothing wrong with washing and reusing them.

      • The Other Randy on September 11, 2013 at 11:13 am

        I’ll also echo a couple of points that Chris has already pointed out:
        1) It’s best to not start off by cooking the first side of a tortilla for its full cooking time before flipping. If you do, it means that the second side is going to be stiffer (almost crispy) than the first. Cooking the first side for only half of its cooking time, flipping and cooking the second side for it’s entire cooking time and then flipping again to cook the first side for the rest of its cooking time insures that both sides will have a nice soft texture.

        2) It’s also essential to pat each tortilla with the bottom of a spatula to insure that it puffs up. I do it after the second flip.

  10. Great Stone Face on October 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Experimental snack time! I started with your basic tortilla recipe, cut it down to make only two tortillas for a snack. <a href="Experimental snack time! I started with your basic tortilla recipe, cut it down to make only two tortillas for a snack. Then, I made it Asian.

    • Hilah on October 5, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Awesome!!! I have some furikake I bought on a whim – still haven’t opened it. You just put it on anything? And it’s good? I like seaweed and sesame so I think I’ll like it. For some reason, it’s intimidating.

  11. Great Stone Face on October 5, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I like to put it on rice, of course. The train of thought went — (1) I wanted to make a snack. I measured out enough masa and water for a couple of tortillas using your method. (2) I got interested in tortilla flavorings watching Deep Prep. He put cilantro in his corn tortilla chips. (3) I didn’t have cilantro. I have wakame (dried seaweed) for putting into soup, but that would have been overpowering. I found a simple furikake (seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar) on the shelf and figured it might be interesting.

    The flavoring was subtle, and it added just enough salt and sweetness to make the tortillas tastier. It would be a great tortilla to have in seafood recipes, since it tastes of the sea. I put some sriracha on it to eat as a condiment. It might be fun to put some in the dough sometime. That’s the beauty of cooking from scratch, and/or not being absolutely wedded to a recipe. As Jay del Corro says, “Take this recipe and make your own.”

  12. Andrew on December 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I have looked at a few recipes for tortillas and for some reason everyone “eye balls” the size of the dough ball for each tortilla. I have the 6.5 inch press and would like to know how many grams of dough I should use. I am really bad at estimating “walnut or golf ball etc”. Does anyone use a digital scale ?

    • Hilah on December 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Andrew,
      I’ve never weighed the dough balls but if it helps, I use about 3 tablespoons of dough per corn tortilla.

    • ngoc anh on January 1, 2015 at 11:54 pm

      Hi Hilah
      can i ask you make tacos ?

  13. Dave L. on January 20, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    My grandmother returned from Texas in 1965 with a tortilla press. Previously I used store shells, and deep fried them. She said the Mexican lady used wax paper on the press. I used Handi-wrap. Saran wrap is too clingy and hard to use. We have made tortilla shells since 1965 with Masa Harina, (not instant masa)j I would guess I have made several thousand shells for the family. We deep fry ours, then let them stand sideways in a rack in a pan until finished cooking. The oil has to be HOT when starting or the shells are tough. I use 1 1/2 C masa, 1/2 c white four, 1 1/4 c warm water, and I never get the same batch twice. Add masa when to moist, add water when to dry. I never measure the ball size, but can tell with years of doing, how much to use. We like them browned, and bubbly for a better word, as they are tender, with some being more crisp and breaking, but still yummy to eat with your favorite filling. We say, meat, cheese first, diced chilis, diced onions, tomato, lettuce, cilantro, lime, and sometimes sour cream to make a real mess. When eating tacos, it is just like fried chicken or lamb chops in the sheep camp: if you don’t get juice on your face, on your hands and sometimes running down your arms, you aren’t enjoying yourself enough. I press my tortillas thinner than is shown on this video, but everyone choose your own. This is an excellent way to enjoy a good tortilla. Thanks for your site.

    • Dave L. on January 20, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      I need to add that we also top with either a red or green salsa sauce, maybe some green tobasco, and a sprinkle of salt. Any shells which are not consumed as tacos, are soon eaten up by the crowd, right off the drain rack, with a sprinkle of salt, or some grated cheese. We like ground beef, seasoned, drained, and warm in our filling. It is making me hungry right now. A treat anytime you would like to have one….at least once a week. lol

    • Hilah on January 21, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Oh Dave. Whew. The way you describe those tacos is making me want tacos right this second, at 7:30 am. Thank you for sharing your taco shell technique!

  14. Ange the AG on February 10, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Hello Hilah,
    Very happy I found your blog. I have a tortilla-making story to share and then I’ll get on with what I have learned over the years about making corn tortillas from scratch.
    I’m from Southern California and have worked/lived in Antarctica for part of the year, each year, for the last 20 years. The food here is mostly decent (I won’t go into more detail than that) except for their attempts at Mexican and Asian type foods have yet to be desired. Of course, being from SoCal, I like my proper Mexican food. I am spoiled like that. Anyway, the other night my roommate and I decided to use our leftovers from last week’s “Mexican Wednesday” (they always serve pseudo-Mexican fare on Wednesday here) with some of my homemade corn tortillas. Taking leftovers and making them into something else in my dorm room is something I do quite often. After 20 years I’ve built a small stockpile of cooking gadgets and utensils, like a small electric skillet, rice cooker, little microwave, bread maker, and then there’s the deluxe 2-sandwich panini grill, which has been a life-saver on so many occasions. Well, except for this one night when I decided to cook my tortillas using both sides at once instead of flipping them with a spatula like I normally do. So, with a slight sense of foreboding (should have gone with my gut), I made the dough, let it rest for 30 minutes, which actually does make mine a lot more pliable for rolling enchiladas with, and rolled out my 16 tortillas and cooked three at a time on my panini maker. I said to my hungry salivating roommate, “Why have I not thought of this before? It’s just too brilliant! I will get them done in half the time!” I was so proud of myself…for a moment or two. Just take my word – it doesn’t work. They turned out a little tough and chewy, but they were at least edible that first night. I made extras to have with this week’s pseudo-Mexican fare, so now what’s left is less than two days old, I just reheated them slightly in the microwave, and now they’re like shoe leather. At first I was in denial, but I just had to give up. They were kind of tearing my mouth up. All I can think of is my poor roommate the other night… he choked them down quietly, but I could read his face as easily as Baby’s First Book. He was ready to be done with that meal. It was a lot like a hungry puppy chewing on rawhide because there’s nothing else to eat.
    I just read through the previous reader comments and I’m very curious about the furikake-infused tortillas. I will have to give them a try. I have several blends of it in my food stash. I also have just plain black sesame seeds. I make sushi quite a bit, but of course I don’t usually have the fresh ingredients, so I rely on the furikake along with canned tuna, cream cheese, and the occasional cucumber and/or avocado when we do get some fresh veggies flown in every so often.
    Because I was having difficulties with my homemade corn tortillas coming apart/cracking when I rolled enchiladas with them, awhile back I did a little research and found a couple of different people suggested that the dough sit for about 30 minutes before separating and rolling into tortillas to cook. I tried that and it has definitely made a difference. However, I too have never heard of using two different temperatures to cook one tortilla with. I’ve been to a few Mexican restaurants in SoCal that make their own and some even have a viewing area for customers to watch the process and let me tell you, they don’t mess around. They make them so fast that you barely see it happen. Before you can blink twice, there’s a fresh basket full of hot corn tortillas (and yes, I agree they’re even better with butter!) waiting for you at your table. So, I don’t think they are fiddling around with different grills with different temperatures and all that.
    I’m with “The Other Randy” with regards to myself not being good at just pinching off the right amount of dough for uniform tortillas, so for the longest time I would carefully do it the way he did, except that I just would roll a uniform cylinder, divide it in half, then half those, and so on, until I had the magic number of perfectly proportioned dough balls that the recipe was for. Lately though, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and let go of some of my perfectionist OCD habits, and I just grab enough off that when I close my hand around it, I have about ¼” to ½” between fingers and palm. Then I don’t even make a perfect golf ball (*gasp*… Crazy! I KNOW, right?) I just roll it a couple of times, get my pile of dough balls done quickly, lay a damp towel over the bowl, and start pressing and grilling. I either slip a zip-lock baggie over each side of the press, or I wrap each side in saran wrap. In fact, I wrapped it in saran wrap a few months ago and just left it on there for each time I use it; I just wipe it off when I’m done and put it away until next time. It’s held up well.
    How they turn out also has a lot to do with the surface they’re cooked on, and the level of heat. That’s probably why mine turned out horribly last time, because I used a nonstick panini grill that doesn’t quite get as hot as a proper grill or comal. Incidentally, comals are the ultimate way to go for grilling tortillas, or so I’ve heard. One day I will try that, when I’m back home in the real world. Thanks again! I look forward to perusing more of your food blog and seeing the demo videos.

    • Hilah on February 11, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Thanks for writing, Ange! Sounds like your roommate is a good-natured guy 🙂

  15. Michele on April 15, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Thank you For Your Amazing recepie! It really works good! But now that I am back in italy I have few problems: First, it is Impossible to find Masa harina and Second my girlfriend is celiac….so what if I use normal corn flour and, instead of mixing it with wheat flout full of gluten, I use few spoons of cornstarch….it should work right? Otherwise do you have any suggestions? I need Your expertise!:)
    Thank you so much!

    Ciao ciao!:)

    • Hilah on April 17, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Hi Michele,
      I’m sorry there is not a substitute for masa harina to make tortillas. You might be best off trying a flour tortilla recipe and using a gluten-free flour blend instead of wheat flour. I don’t know if my recipe would work that way, but here it is

    • Great Stone Face on April 17, 2015 at 9:41 am

      Try this store. I believe it carries Pan brand masa harina.

      Via Portuense, 96, Roma, Italy
      +39 339 244 1350

  16. Marco on April 15, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for your wonderful recepie! I was wondering….since I cannot find now the masa harina and since I need I recepy gluten free….is it possible to do it with corn flour and a spoon of corn starch…..that gave to the corn flour the “gluten-like” consistency? or do you have any other suggestions?
    I need your expertise! 🙂
    Thank you very much! 🙂


    • Hilah on April 17, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Hi Marco,
      Unfortunately there is no substitute for masa harina. Can you order it online? I’m sure Amazon carries it.

  17. Shari on June 10, 2015 at 12:47 am

    Your blog is a pleasure to read. I live in Modesto, a city in California’s Great Central Valley. This is a pretty diverse area with immigrants from Michoacan, Mexico; several Southeast Asian countries, and a sizable Fijian Indian community. Imagine my surprise and delight when I noticed a bag of corn flour (treated with lime) in my favorite Indian grocery store here. It is unmistakeably masa harina, and it made some good tortillas. The bag is cellophane, so its transparency enables one to clearly see the contents. It is labelled “treated with lime.” So my suggestion to those of you away from the Americas is to check in an Indian or Asian store for corn flour that has been properly treated. The indigenous people knew to prepare the corn in this way so that niacin would be accessible and consumers would be sufficiently nourished. Unfortunately the settlers did not sustain this practice of nixtamalization, so many maize consumers suffered from pellagra for decades until the medical establishment finally figured it out.

    • Hilah on June 10, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Thank you, Shari! I’m sure many people will find that helpful information.

  18. Mostafa Kamal on July 28, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Hi hilah,

    I am Mostafa from Bangladesh. In Bangladesh we didn’t have masa harina to make Tacos. What we can use insteed of masa harina. Please advice.

  19. John on October 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Great recipe! I have never owned a tortilla press, but went ahead and ordered one which should be here within a week.
    I have a question for you Hilah. Our local foodservice has “Maseca tortilla No, 8 white corn flour” on sale, by the 50lb bags.
    Can you tell me if this is a good tortilla flour? Was also hoping to use it for tamales and other things as well, but I am not sure if this ( No 8) is suitable.
    My wife and I really enjoy your website, thank you so much!

    • Hilah on October 7, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Hi John!
      I am not familiar with a “No 8” but as far as I know, all dry masa flour can be used for either tortillas or tamales. The difference is in what you do with the flour, not the flour itself. 50 pounds is a lot of flour, though. You might also be able to find 5 pound bags of Maseca at your regular grocery store in the flour aisle. Hope that helps!

  20. Roy Angus on December 19, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Great recipe. Easy and fun.

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