Fish Empanada

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Empanada or patties as we call them at home, are a party food that I grew up with. It is one of the few things that I started making myself as a little girl, just by following my Mom’s directions. However, I have, over-time, done a few changes to the original recipe just to make it a bit more healthier.

The dough is no different to the original recipe. I have added green peas and chick peas to the fish mixture and also some garam-masala. you can opt that with curry-powder. Usually these patties are deep fried, but I like to bake them instead.


I use canned salmon, caned tuna when I’m in a hurry. But fresh fish is the best if you can be organized. If you are using fresh fish, you will have to steam the fish and remove bones. Any meaty fish works and if you are not a fish person, well, then chicken would be fine too. Make sure to cook chicken beforehand, util tender. having said all this, I personally prefer the version with canned Mackerel as it brings back the memories from childhood.

Patties are served as a finger food in parties but I like to make these for dinner too. You can make a big batch and freeze them for later. You can thaw them for a few minutes and bake straight away.

fish empanada

It is important to egg wash these patties before baking to achieve that nice golden color.


Mix the dough in a mixer/processor until everything comes together. Then take it out on to a floured surface.


Knead the dough by hand to form a nice smooth ball. Do not try to achieve this in the machine, it it too stiff and rubbery. Place this in a closed container and refrigerate for about an hour (or more) The gluten need to relax


Once ready, divide the dough into golf ball size potions and set aside for 10 minutes to relax. Cover the dough at all times to prevent a skin forming.


Take a dough ball, flatten it on a lightly dusted surface. Use your fingers and press outwards, lightly. If it springs back, the dough need to rest 5-10 minutes more.


Place a spoonful of the mixture in the center, keeping edges clean. Apply some water around the rim and fold in to two to make a pastie shape.


Press the edges firmly, and then use a fork to crimp and seal tightly


Place the empanadas on a lined baking tray, egg wash and bake.

200 C for about 20 – 30 minutes or until golden brown all around. Rotate trays closer to the end for a even baking.


Once baked, remove from the oven and serve warm with a dipping sauce.

You can deep fry these to get a crispier outer shell. Be sure to drain excess oil if you do so. The amount of spices mentioned in the recipe are just a guide. I always adjust flavor after tasting and never measure spices when making fillings like these. Also, be creative and add your favorite veggies to the mixture and see how it goes.

Lets get to work!

Fish empanada
Fish Empanada

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