A plate of tamales, tomatoes, and chiles.
Use Parchment Paper To Make Tamales If Corn Husks Aren't Available
While corn husks are one of the tamale’s most recognizable traits, you may not have any available to make the dish. Luckily, parchment paper makes the perfect alternative.
Like corn husks, parchment paper offers a thin, malleable material that can keep your fillings and masa dough tightly bound as they steam and solidify into shape.
Simply pack the paper with your ingredients and steam them. While it won't impart the same subtle flavor of corn husks, it will still get the job done.
Other benefits of using parchment paper include requiring less prep work and less cleanup afterward. It can also be cut or torn into the sizes of strips you want to fill.