Empanadas are beloved in many countries, including the Philippines, where they are savory hand pies filled with flavorful meat and vegetables. The flaky and buttery shell is made using wheat or rice flour, making them extra delicious.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Filipino empanadas.
Filipino empanadas are savory hand pies filled with a delicious combination of meat, vegetables, and sometimes cheese.
One of the most notable differences is their often sweeter filling, which sets them apart from other versions.
Additionally, some regions in the Philippines use rice flour for their dough, resulting in a more crumbly or delicate crust.
Empanadas are typically served as delicious hand-held pastries, perfect for a quick and satisfying snack (merienda) or as appetizers.
They can be enjoyed on their own, or for a more substantial and satisfying meal, you can pair them with stir-fried noodles like Pancit Canton and Pancit Bihon.
The possibilities are endless, so feel free to get creative and enjoy them in whichever way suits your taste buds best!
Empanadas are believed to have originated in Spain. However, these hand-held treats have become immensely popular in various regions, including Southern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Philippines.
Today, these pastries have evolved into a delicious food enjoyed around the world, with each culture adding its own unique flavors and fillings.
Filipino empanadas are filled with precooked chicken or beef, along with a medley of vegetables. Raisins are often added to infuse a hint of sweetness.
The flaky dough is made using either wheat flour or rice flour. These hand pies are traditionally deep-fried, but they can also be baked or air-fried, depending on individual preferences.
Baked empanadas are a healthier choice, as they contain less grease, but they can sometimes be a bit dry. Fried empanadas offer a more moist and flavorful experience, but they are not as healthy due to the added oil.
The decision ultimately depends on your preference and taste. If you're looking for a healthier option, go for baked empanadas; if you crave a more indulgent treat, go for the fried ones.
Yes. You can find empanada dough at most grocery stores, typically in the form of pie crust dough. Alternatively, you can use pizza dough, croissant dough, or puff pastry as substitutes.
However, for an authentic Filipino empanada experience, making them from scratch is the way to go.
Absolutely! Whether they are cooked or uncooked, chicken empanadas can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw them before frying, baking, or reheating for the best results.
To keep them crispy, fry or bake them until golden brown and drain any excess oil. Allow them to cool uncovered and ensure that the filling is not overly moist.
For reheating, use a toaster oven, air fryer, or convection oven to make them crispy again. By following these steps, you'll savor the perfect crispy empanadas every time!
Absolutely! Empanadas can be made ahead of time. It's a convenient and delicious way to enjoy them at your convenience.
Assemble them and refrigerate for up to 2 days before frying. If you prefer to store them for an extended period, freezing them is a great option.
When deep-frying, it is best to use a mild or neutral oil with a high smoke point. Some examples are avocado, olive, canola, or vegetable oil. They can withstand high temperatures without burning and won't overpower the flavors of the empanadas.
Empanada dough can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you don't plan to use it within that time, freezing is a great option to extend its shelf life for up to 3 months.
The length of time empanadas can be safely left at room temperature varies depending on the filling. If they have meat or dairy fillings, it's recommended not to leave them out for more than 2 hours.
However, fillings such as potatoes may have a somewhat longer shelf life at room temperature. It's important to use your discretion and take into account factors like humidity and the risk of potential contamination.
If you are not going to consume them immediately, it's best to refrigerate and reheat them later.
An egg wash is a mixture of raw egg and milk or water. It is an extra step that improves the color of the empanadas and seals their edges. Some find it unnecessary and prefer the taste and texture of the dough without it.
Empanada dough can become sticky if it is too wet. Adding too much water can change the fat-to-flour ratio and lead to excessive gluten development.
To prevent stickiness, it's best to add water gradually to the dough or add a small amount of flour if needed. This will help achieve the right consistency for your empanada dough.
Overworking the pastry dough will cause gluten to develop, making it dense, stiff, and difficult to roll. It may also shrink during cooking, becoming tough and gummy instead of tender and flaky.
To achieve a light and delicate pastry, it's important to handle the dough gently and avoid over-kneading it. If rice flour is used, gluten development won't be an issue because it lacks the gluten found in wheat flour.
Too much water in your dough can lead to several issues. Water helps develop gluten, which results in a chewy and tough crust.
The excess water can make the dough sticky, requiring you to add more flour to balance it out and adjust the fat-to-flour ratio.
To avoid these problems, it's crucial to gradually add the right amount of water for a perfectly flaky and tender crust.
Adding too much liquid or overworking the dough leads to excessive gluten formation. This can cause the crust to become chewy and tough instead of light and tender.
To avoid this issue, use the correct amount of liquid and handle the dough gently to maintain its desired texture.
If the dough crumbles or breaks while rolling, it's likely too dry. To remedy this, sprinkle some cold water and gently incorporate it into the dough using your hands until it reaches a more workable consistency.
Additionally, if you rolled out the dough while it was too cold and the butter solidified, it could cause the pastry to fall apart. To prevent this, let the dough rest slightly at room temperature before rolling it out.
These adjustments should help you achieve a smoother rolling process and better results with your pastry.
Vinegar enhances tenderness and flakiness, inhibits gluten formation, and imparts a subtle tangy flavor. It also eases handling and acts as "insurance" if the dough is overworked.
This addition is a technique used by bakers to create well-textured pastries, though not all pastry recipes require vinegar.
Chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes relaxes the gluten, resulting in a softer and flakier crust. It also solidifies the fat in the dough, which helps prevent shrinkage during baking.
Overall, chilling the pastry dough enhances the quality and consistency of the final baked goods.
Empanadas are crowd-pleasing appetizers that are delicious and easy to prepare. These little pies are perfect for any occasion. And the best part? Once you learn how to make them, they’re practically foolproof!
If you’re looking to try it, I have the perfect Chicken Empanada recipe for you.