Breakfast Tamal Collards

This is the filling I devised for the Breakfast Tamales. There's nothing particularly special about it, and it's similar to Seared Greens. This is by design — feel free to experiment with the flavorings and type of greens to create a filling that satisfies you.


  • 4 strips bacon
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bunches collard greens
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce or tamari
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch cilantro tenders (the tender parts of the stems a couple inches from the bottom and up to the start of the leaves)
  • A handful cilantro leaves


  1. Slice the bacon into ¼-inch chunks. Stem the collards and slice into thin ribbons. Wash very well and then spin dry thoroughly. Press or finely mince the garlic cloves into a small bowl. Starting from a couple inches above the ends of the cilantro steams, finely mince the tender stems (aka cilantro tenders) up to the bottommost leaves. Roughly slice a handful of leaves.
  2. In a large pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and it is crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon and add a tablespoon olive oil to the pan.
  3. Add the collard greens, cover and cook until wilted down and manageable. Add a big pinch of pepper and a pinch of salt and mix well.
  4. Combine the pressed/minced garlic with a tablespoon of oil then add to the pan. Cook until the garlic is fragrant then add the fish sauce and cook, stirring, until the fish sauce is no longer fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the cilantro tenders then cook a minute more. Remove from heat and add the bacon and a the cilantro leaves.