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Old 10-19-2004, 04:09 AM   #1
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Substitution masa harina?

Substitution masa harina?

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Old 10-19-2004, 10:37 PM   #2
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It really depends on what you are making. If you're rolling tamales, nothing will substitute. For many things, you can use fresh corn tortillas. For others, you can crumble corn chips, such as Doritoes brand. Masa Harina is made by cooking corn flour with lime juice, drying, and crushing into flour. It has a unique flavor that can't be duplicated by other corn or grain products.

Hope that helps.

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Old 10-20-2004, 10:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
Masa Harina is made by cooking corn flour with lime juice, drying, and crushing into flour.
Not quite. The 'lime' used to make fresh masa isn't juiced from the fruit of the same name. 'Lime' in this instance is a caustic mineral used in making cement, also referred to as calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime). When the dried field corn is soaked in a lime solution, the tough outer hulls soften and can be removed by hand. The kernels are then rinsed and boiled. The end product of this process is called nixtamal. Nixtamal is ground into masa.

Chinachef, could you post the recipe in which you're trying to substitute for masa?
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:57 PM   #4
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Thank you Scott123. I misunderstood the reference I got my ino from. Interestingly enough, hominy is treated with lye to soften the hull and make the kernals palatable. And hominy shares some flavor characteristics with Masa Harina. Again, thanks for the correction. I guess I am proved mortal once again. I can err (just look at all my typos(heavy sigh))

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Old 10-21-2004, 04:05 AM   #5
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Hominy and lye? Interesting, I didn't know that. I guess that makes sense since lye and lime are both alkaloids.
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:27 PM   #6
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"One of the first food gifts the American Indians gave to the colonists, hominy is dried white or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. This process is done either mechanically or chemically by soaking the corn in slaked lime or lye."

If I remember right .... the Native Americans used wood ash from the cooking fires for this. I'll try to get my son to look in my old Foxfire books (that he has on permanent loan)
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:31 PM   #7
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I'll try to get my son to look in my old Foxfire books (that he has on permanent loan)
The sacrifices we make for our children!!!

I look forward to reading the results of your search, Michael.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:25 AM   #8
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If I remember right .... the Native Americans used wood ash from the cooking fires for this.
I'm sure you're right. Wood ash has been the cooking akaloid of choice for countless primitive cultures across the globe.
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Old 11-09-2004, 06:50 PM   #9
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I don't know what "masa harina" is but from the rest of replies, I assume it is corn flower dough. There are several products that are used to make "masa" or corn dough on this side of the planet (Mexico and Central America). "Maseca" is one, the other one is "Torti-ya". It looks like regular flower, you just need to ad water and sometimes (if you like) margarine, butter, pig's fat (this one is very popular for making tamales), vegetable oil or whatever other sort of fat . There is a web site that offers this products, I don't know if they will ship them to China, but hey, it won't hurt to check it out... at least you can see what the products look like :)
Here's that link http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bi...rch?mex-grocer
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Old 11-10-2004, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magia
I don't know what "masa harina" is but from the rest of replies, I assume it is corn flower dough.
Close Magia - masa harina is just corn (white or yellow) ground to a very fine texture into a flour (masa = corn, harnia = flour).
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magia
I don't know what "masa harina" is but from the rest of replies, I assume it is corn flower dough.
Close Magia - masa harina is just corn (white or yellow) ground to a very fine texture into a flour (masa = corn, harnia = flour).
Thanks Michael . I just wasn't too sure about "Masa Harina" as I had never seen that brand (?) before. Being a native Spanish speaker, I figured that "masa harina" meant "flour dough" or something along those lines, as harina = flour and masa = dough (not corn...) :D
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Old 11-17-2004, 06:23 PM   #12
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I use it in chili. Nothing else works.
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Old 12-07-2004, 09:53 PM   #13
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minor correction: masa harina is corn that has been treated wih lime, much like hominy - before being dried and ground into a flour. The masa harina I buy has always had a distinct yellow cast to it, suggesting it is made from yellow field corn.

(I haven't tried it, but perhaps if one dried canned hominy and then ground it to a flour consistency in a blender.................?????????)

Incidentally, if you have a good Mexican restaurant in your area, but no masa harina in your local stores, you might find the restarant will sell the prepared masa (dough).
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:03 PM   #14
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Masa doesn not mean corn, nor is it a brand. Masa means "dough" in Spanish. Back in the day Native Mexicans prepared corn by soaking it in lime (Calcium hydroxide, a pickling agent) and rubbing it to remove the skins. It was then ground up to create a dough. The prepared corn was called "Nixtamal." You can make it at home. Here's how:
http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/tort...t/nixtamal.htm

At this point you can dry the nixtamal and grind it when it is dried creating a flour out of the previous dough. So "Masa Harina" translates into "Dough Flour" since it is a flour made from a previous dough.

Learn more about corn here:
http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/intr...ood/a/corn.htm

Hope that clears things up.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:44 PM   #15
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Interestingly enough, no one ever answered the original question that started this thread. There was an immediate derailment to what masa harina was and things never got back on track.

Since the question goes back to October 2004, I'm hoping the need was not a pressing one.

Sometimes, you don't need to know how to build a clock, you just want to know what time it is.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Interestingly enough, no one ever answered the original question that started this thread. There was an immediate derailment to what masa harina was and things never got back on track.

Since the question goes back to October 2004, I'm hoping the need was not a pressing one.

Sometimes, you don't need to know how to build a clock, you just want to know what time it is.
The original poster never stated why he/she wished a substitute for masa harina. I presume that they were not able to find a product called masa harina on their store shelf. Here in California Walmart has masa harina in it's regular Walmart stores (the one's without the dedicated grocery).

Given the widespread distribution of latin immigrants to the U.S. it is probably a safe bet that there is a source of masa harina and other latin foods in nearly every U.S. state if the poster knows what and where to look for it.

Corn flower and corn meal, in that order, would be substitutes, albiet not equal substitutes, in the complete absence of masa harina.

NOTE: I just noticed that the original poster is located in China and in that context the nature of the question is clearer.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:30 PM   #17
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true, china is not a big grower of maise, nor is it likely to import much. Would a supermarket in China have a "Goya aisle" like we do here on the east coast??

Lot's of foods are lye processed...most cerials, pretzels, etc. cocoa.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:46 PM   #18
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Michael, you are right about using wood ash for making hominy. That is what my grandmother used when she was making hominy herself. She did not always have a way to get the lye or lime out in the country.
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:20 PM   #19
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Corn meal would not at all work in place of masa. Corn flour may work for tortillas, but not for tamales.

There is no substitute for masa harina unless you use actual ground nixtamal which is what masa harina is made from.

I would imagine you could order masa harina online and have it shipped to China. The shipping may be alot, but it is possible.
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