Empanadas are a popular type of savory pastry enjoyed in many countries around the world, including the Philippines. The word “empanada” comes from the Spanish word “empanar,” which means to wrap or coat in bread. The dish has its roots in Spain, where it was first made and then brought to other countries through colonization and trade. In the Philippines, empanadas have become a staple snack food enjoyed by people of all ages.
History of Empanadas in the Philippines
Empanadas have been enjoyed in the Philippines for centuries, dating back to the Spanish colonial period. The Spaniards introduced the dish to the Filipinos, who then adapted it to their own taste by adding local ingredients and flavors. Over time, empanadas became a popular snack food in the Philippines, with many Filipinos making their own versions of the dish. Today, there are many variations of empanadas in the Philippines, each with its own unique filling and cooking method.
Variations of Empanadas in the Philippines
Empanadas in the Philippines come in many different forms, with each region having its own unique take on the dish. In the Ilocos region, Vigan empanadas are typically filled with a mixture of shredded green papaya, bean sprouts, and ground pork, and are deep-fried until crispy. It is typically served with a vinegar dipping sauce. In other parts of the country, empanadas are filled with beef, chicken, fish, or vegetables, and are cooked using different methods, such as baking or pan-frying.
Tips for Making Delicious Empanadas
Making empanadas may seem like a daunting task, but with a little practice and patience, anyone can make delicious empanadas at home. Here are some tips to help you make perfect empanadas:
- Use the right dough: The dough is an essential component of the empanada, and the right dough will make all the difference in the texture and taste of the pastry. The dough should be firm enough to hold the filling but still be tender and flaky.
- Chill the dough: After making the dough, chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using it. This will make it easier to work with and will prevent it from becoming too sticky.
- Use quality ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the filling to ensure that your empanadas taste delicious. Fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices will give your empanadas a burst of flavor.
- Seal the edges: Make sure to seal the edges of the empanadas tightly to prevent the filling from leaking out during cooking. Use a fork to crimp the edges or fold and twist them to create a decorative edge.
- Cook at the right temperature: Empanadas can be cooked in a variety of ways, including frying, baking, and pan-frying. Choose the method that works best for you, and make sure to cook the empanadas at the right temperature to ensure they cook evenly and are crispy on the outside.
Empanadas are a delicious and versatile snack food that has become a staple in many countries around the world, including the Philippines. With a little practice and patience, anyone can make delicious empanadas at home using fresh, high-quality ingredients and the right cooking techniques. Whether you prefer your empanadas baked, fried, or pan-fried, there is a variation of this dish that is sure to please your taste buds.
NOTES ON THE INGREDIENTS:
This is the main protein source for the empanada filling. When purchasing ground pork, make sure to choose lean ground pork to reduce the amount of excess fat in the filling. You can also use other ground meats such as beef, chicken, or turkey if preferred.
The vegetables used in this recipe include potatoes, carrots, peas, and bell peppers. These vegetables add texture, flavor, and nutrients to the filling. Make sure to chop the vegetables into small, uniform pieces to ensure they cook evenly and blend well with the ground pork.
This ingredient is commonly used in Filipino-style empanadas to add a touch of sweetness to the filling. The raisins also provide a chewy texture that contrasts with the softness of the ground pork and vegetables.
This is a common seasoning used in Filipino cooking and can be found in most Asian grocery stores. It is typically made from a blend of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices. If granulated seasoning is not available, you can use a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
The dough used to wrap the filling is typically made from a combination of all-purpose flour, water, and oil. For a flakier texture, you can use a combination of all-purpose flour and shortening or lard. Some recipes also include eggs or baking powder to add more texture and lift to the dough. In this recipe, turmeric is added to give the dough its distinct yellow-orange color.
How To Make Pork Empanada
For the pastry:
- 6 cups All-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. fine salt
- 6 Tbsp. shortening or butter
- 1 cup cold water
- cooking oil for frying
For the filling:
- 4 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 white onions minced
- 1 kilo ground pork
- 2 tsp. ganulated seasoning e.g. Magic Sarap
- 1/2 tsp. fine salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground blackpepper
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup green peas
- 2 medium size potatoes cut into small cubes
- 1 pc carrot cut into small cubes
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tsp. sugar
To make the pork filling:
- In a large skillet, heat oil and saute garlic and onions until onions are cooked.
- Add in ground pork and stir cook for a few minutes.
- Then add salt, pepper and granulated seasoning.
- Stir cook for 1 minute then add potatoes, carrots and water.
- Simmer for at least 5 minutes and stir cook to prevent the meat from sticking on the pan and to cook it evenly.
- Add in the raisins, peas, bell peppers and sugar and adjust the seasonings.
- Cook for 2 minutes more or until the liquid has almost evaporated. Set aside to cool.
To make the pastry dough:
- Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients using a wire whisk.
- Add in the pieces of butter to the dry ingredients and mix them until the butter is well mixed with the flour mixture.
- Add in the water and knead until the mixture turns into a smooth dough.
- Grab about 4 tablespoon of dough and form it into a ball. Do the same for the rest of the dough.
- Put in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. In the meantime prepare a clean surface, like a chopping board, and dust with flour.
- Get a piece of dough and press it on the surface of the chopping board until it become flat.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten it further until thickness become at least half a centimeter thick.
- Place 4 tablespoon of filling on the center of the flattened dough.
- Fold the dough and seal the round edges by crimping or folding it.
- You can also seal the edges by pressing a fork. Do the same for the rest of the dough and filling.
- In a deep frying pan, heat oil about 3 cups and deep fry the empanadas for 3 to 5 minutes or until the empanadas turns golden brown.
- Place the empanadas in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain excess oil, Then transfer to a plate and serve.