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Fresh white corn måsa
...freshly prepared måsa makes the best Chamorro tamåles gisu!



Nothing beats the flavor of freshly made måsa. Dried corn is boiled in powdered lime then soaked overnight, a process called nixtamalization. This process makes it easy to remove the outer husk of the corn kernels, makes it easy to grind the corn, and it enhances the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in the corn. This is also excellent for Chamorro style tamåles gisu, atuli måsa drink and atulen ilotes soup.

I purchase organic white corn from Azurestandard.com.

Makes about 10 cups of wet kernels…which is approximately 13 cups of fresh, ground måsa.



Set 1

6 cups or 2 kilos dried white corn kernels

16 cups or 3.79 Liters water

Set 2

1 tablespoon or 15 grams powdered pickling lime

1 cup or 237 milliliters water

Tools:   large stock pot with cover, colander, large bowl, molinu grinder, metåti and månu, 2 to 3 rimmed baking sheets and napkins (optional)


1. Place the corn in the pot. Add 16 cups of water.

2. Dissolve the 1 tablespoon of lime in 1 cup of water. Add this mixture to the pot of corn.

3. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.

4. Boil the corn for five minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and soak for 20 to 24 hours.

6. Line a couple of baking sheets with napkins or paper towels. You may or may not need this, depending on your molinu. If you use a metate, you don’t need to do this step. Set aside.

7. Clean the corn in batches by placing one-third of the corn in the colander to drain. If you have a very large colander, rinse and clean in the colander. If you don’t have a huge colander, proceed as described below.

8. Transfer the drained corn into a large bowl.

9. Fill the bowl with water, about two inches above the corn.

10. Squeeze and sift the corn between your palms. Drain the water.

11. Repeat numbers 9 and 10 until the corn no longer feels slimy.

12. Transfer corn to colander for a final, good rinse.

13. Pour corn onto napkin-lined baking sheets, again, depending on your molinu. Skip this step if you are just using a metåti.

14. Repeat numbers 7 through 13 with remaining corn until all the nixtamalized corn have been cleaned.

15. At this point, you can vacuum seal the corn and store in the freezer. Or, you may proceed to make måsa.

16. Allow the corn to dry on the napkins for 20 minutes. Remove the napkins. For my particular molinu, it helps to dry the corn a bit in order to grind it through the machine. You may not need to do this for yours.

17. Spread the corn evenly in the baking sheets and to dry the kernels for about five hours.

18. Grind corn kernels in a molinu and/or metåti.

19. Transfer the fresh masa into Ziploc freezer bags and store in fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for several months.

20. Coarse måsa can be used to make Chamorro/Guam-style tamales, atuli drink, and atulen ilotes corn soup. Fine måsa can be used to make atuli drink, atulen ilotes corn soup, Chamorro titiyas, and Mexican style tortillas.

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