Spicy Masa

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about


    masa balls.

Appears in

Amor y Tacos

Amor y Tacos

By Deborah Schneider

Published 2010

  • About

Chef Jesús Gonzáles introduced me to this recipe at the Rancho La Puerta resort in Tecate, Mexico. Fresh corn masa is easy to make and use, and it has applications far beyond simple tortillas, in all kinds of stuffed and rolled snacks. Not only that, it is infinitely adaptable to flavors; for example, try adding a pinch of ground ancho chile, or substituting minced green onion tops for the jalapeños, or adding a few sesame seeds to the mix.


  • 2 cups Maseca brand masa harina for tortillas
  • 1½ to 2 cups warm water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced seeded jalapeño
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic


  1. In a bowl, combine the masa harina, cups water, and the salt. Work the masa with your hands to form a soft dough. Work in the jalapeño and garlic.
  2. To test the consistency of the masa, form a small ball and press it flat. If it cracks around the edges, add more water as needed, a little at a time. The dough should be very soft but not wet. Form into balls the size of a golf ball and cover until ready to use. If the dough begins to crack while you are working with it, dip 2 fingers into water and work it into the dough ball; do not pour water directly into the dough.

More Garnishes for Papas Locas

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  • Chopped fresh garlic
  • Cooked Mexican chorizo
  • Hot-smoked fish
  • Roasted serrano chiles
  • Mushrooms with garlic and epazote
  • Anchovies
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Sliced or grilled scallions
  • Rajas