I made posole for dinner a few weeks ago, and wanted to make it with dry hominy, a large kernel corn. After searching my local grocery without finding it, I asked for help, which didn’t work out at all. It turned into a comedy of miscommunication with me first stating what I was seeking, then spelling it, followed by guided pronunciation, physical description, then finally locating a can of it and holding it up like a television product demonstrator saying, “It’s this, only dry and in a bag. Like buying dry beans instead of canned.”
For all my work, I received blank stares and went home empty-handed.
So what is dry hominy, exactly, and how do we cook it? Hominy, aka mote, is large kernel corn (maize) that has been treated with an alkaline solution to loosen the hulls and soften the corn, an ancient process that goes back to around 1500 B.C. Then it can be cooked whole in soups, or dried and ground into meal (masa) which can be used to make tortillas, arepas, and tamales.
The dry hominy keeps well in the pantry just like dry beans do, and you prepare them pretty much the same way. To cook dry hominy, rinse the hominy clean, soak it overnight, and finish cooking the next day. Canned is pretty convenient, but if you can find the dry hominy, I think the flavor and texture is better. Look for it in grocery stores with well-stocked international sections or international grocery stores. Also, make sure that you look for mote pelado (aka nixtamal), the corn that has been processed to remove the outer hull. If the corn has not been processed, the kernels will not pop. You can read more about it at the Anson Mills website (how to make Fresh Whole Hominy).
[Updated December 2016.]
How to Cook Dry Hominy
- 3-quart heavy bottom pot with lid
- 1 cup dry hominy (mote pelado or nixtamal) (rinsed)
- Put the rinsed hominy in a 3-quart pot with lid and cover with water about 2 to 3 inches over the hominy. Cover and allow to rest overnight. Before cooking, drain well and add fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Drain well and use in your favorite recipe.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
Sounds like a perfect candidate for the pressure cooker. I've never tried it, but now I'll begin the search for dry hominy.
You're right Lydia, it would probably work well in the pressure cooker. Now I have to test it!
Linda Jamison says
FOOD & WINE has a wonderful recipe MEXICAN CHICKEN POZOLE VERDE. It uses 3-15 oz cans hominy...I use about 1-1/4 cup dried and use electric pressure cooker. I prefer boneless chicken thighs or you can sub lean pork (cubed). Delicious! Top with Monterrey Jack cheese, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, any combo. Linda in Texas
The realy common topping is shredded cabbage or lettuce. Lime wedges onion and thinly sliced raddish are pretty standard ,too Sour ceam is a substitute for Mexican crema, a less tangy product that is closer to creme fresh. A crumbly chese like cotija or queso fresco and fried taco strips or chips are sometimes used. The toppings are as big a deal as the soup.
Sarah Fetter says
Shopper's Food Stores handle it here in Maryland.
April j says
Please please help. I need answers. I bought this 25lb bag of white posolie from my local store called winco. I was just wandering if you can help to find out if it has the mote pelado (aka nixtamal). Idk how to post the picture. But it's from Columbia bean & produce.
Hi April. If the kernels look like the top photo - large and flat - then it has been nixtamalized. Further information from The Spruce Eats. I hope this helps!
If nixtamaled the package will likely list ingredients as something like, “corn (or hominy) and lime or corn ‘treated with lime’; the lime/cal-lime (mineral, not fruit) is what nixtamalization is all about.
Thanks for this. I just ordered some dried blue hominy and chicos from my home state of NM and this will be my first time using dried hominy instead of canned.
I bought some dried hominy corn today from the bulk section of my Winco store. I'm trying to find out if it is indeed nixtamalized, like dried posole corn? I'm thinking yes, but I'm not really sure. Can I assume that all dried hominy has been treated with lime/lye?
April j says
Please tell me that you got an answer to your question. I just recently bought dried posole from winco too. And wandered if it was nixtamalizated.
Sharon McKissick says
My recipe using dried hominy:
1 1/2 cups dried hominy
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
7 cups water
1/2 cup cream or milk- if needed to add creaminess
Place all but cream/milk in a crockpot, and cook on low for 9 hours. With a little more salt and pepper, it is good just like that, or you can add the cream, cheese, sausage, etc. when finished cooking.
Milk and butter seem like good pals for hominy, but I would have never thought of it. Cheese, sausage, and maybe some roasted green chile or other spicy goodness seems natural. Visiting Santa Fe tomorrow. Will be picking up some blue corn posole (dried or frozen) to bring home.
How can I make masa from drues hominy ? The one you are recommending
Wonderful article, thank you. New Mexico posole depends on hominy and you certainly do it justice. I wish I could tell you how very, very important it is on a symbolic level, especially at Christmas, as posole is a holiday dish.
I bought dried hominy for the first time this year, I have been cooking it for 6 hours now and the kernels still have not popped. This is very frustrating!!! I'm from New Mexico where I could get bueno hominy easily but not available in CA. I did soak it over night as well, is there something I'm missing?
Hi DeAnn. I have done some more research on this topic, and the most likely reason for the kernels not popping is that the dried corn might not have been prepared, or nixtamalized. The hominy I use is called "mote pelado" and has been precooked with cooking lime to remove the outer peel. Plain water soaking and boiling won't remove the tough outer skin. So check the brand of hominy to make sure that it is "mote pelado." I hope this helps, and I will specify mote pelado in the recipe.
Andrea, you have to remove the little kernel tips (the part where they were attached to the cob) before cooking it for them to pop. It's time consuming to snap all the little tips off, but it's required if you want them to pop.
Sorry, I meant to direct my comment to DeAnn, not Andrea.
DeAnn, I am not sure where you live in California, there is a wonderful heirloom bean store in Napa, CA, named Rancho Gordo. They carry authentic, heirloom beans and have a wide variety to choose from as well as offer recipes on how to prepare. Check out their website, they also offer mail order. I live in Denver, but am from Napa and stock up whenever I am home visiting family.
carol Marascia. says
flake hominy looks like white corn flakes, and is meant to be use as a breakfast cereal. put in a cast iron skillet with butter and water , cover,till cooked like grits. I was raised on it in KY, and we bought it at a feed store in 25 lb bags.or at the AMISH farms, But i have tried several farms and some dont remember it . some older one do but dont know where to buy it
David Colman says
You gotta love anything that comes in a 25-lb bag!
naseem cassim says
Hi: does anyone know where I can buy the Bueno hominy or mote pelado in Toronto.
Thank you, Nesbit
Teresa Holt says
My grandmother used lye to remove the outer part, couldn't wait until it finished cooking.
John C says
I have been using Goya mote pelado to make pozole for a number of years. The trick to get it to blossom or "pop" is to pinch off the little nib at the end of each kernel after the first cooking - when the corn is nice and soft. I then boil it for another 45 minutes or so and then add it to the pozole broth. It works very well. It is a pain pinching those nibs off of dozens of kernels but it works like a charm and the results are awesome.
Mary Anne Krohn says
There is a brand called Fernandez Chili Co. located in Alamosa, Colorado, near the New Mexico border. Google them to get their phone number, as they do not have a good website. They package locally grown white corn pozole or hominy. They also produce an amazing mild red chile. I spent a very frustrating 2 hours checking websites and calling stores in the area to find the pozole. I finally spoke with a store manager at a Kroger store near me and he knew exactly what I was looking for and where to find it.....in the SPICE isle, for pete's sake. He said that they normally carry it through the holidays and Cinco de Mayo, but suggested I call the company and order it to stock up. Will do!
Hi all. Amazon carries this! Thanks for the directions on how to cook it. It does a quick cook like beans too. Heat in lots of water on the stove. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, and let sit 2 hours. Drain and rinse and cook like above, boil then simmer until tender al-dente. Taste is with it!
so, this article talks about the search for dry hominy but never spoke of a source. is there an online source that sells dried hominy (inexpensively)?
You can order it online from Amazon and other retailers. It will probably be less expensive if you can find it at a local grocery store, especially an international market.
Karl Hill says
Anson Mills in South Carolina, Rancho Gordo in California, and Barton Springs Mill in Texas. All have good web sites. If you want to nixtamalize dried corn yourself, Anson Mills has an excellent yellow hominy corn. I’m cooking some as I write this. Mexican grocery stores typically carry dried posole. If it is posole/hominy, it has been nixtamalized. Otherwise it is simply dried corn.
darcy twarog says
Thanks for this, especially for the equivalency to canned hominy. Very helpful!
David Colman says
An easier way to cook with dried hominy is to use a cracked hominy product like Goya's — not that I condone using Amazon for anything!
Love Posole! I actually buy a kit from Fresh Chile Company on new mexico. Comes with dried hominy, a jar of sun dried red hatch Chile sauce, and Posole seasoning. Add pork shoulder, 9nion, garlicky etc. Very good!
I found a pozole recipe that calls for 1.25 pounds of canned hominy, but couldn't find the canned hominy at the store. What would be the equivalent of that with dried hominy? Thank you!