Empanaditas with pancit guisado

Try Allegra McEvedys street food dishes of pastry pockets stuffed with spiced pork, squash and potatoes dished up with stir fried noodles with prawns and bacon
By Allegra McEvedy
Empanaditas with pancit guisado
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4+ makes about 30 empanaditas
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the empanaditas dough

  • 600 g plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 370 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 200 ml iced water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the empanaditas filling

  • 50 g glass noodles
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil, or similar light oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 300 g minced pork
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 big pinches ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar, plus extra splash at the end
  • handful raisins
  • 1 medium potato, about 180g, peeled and diced into 2cm pieces
  • 280 g squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into rough 2cm pieces
  • big handful coriander, finely chopped

For the pancit guisado

  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 3 rashers streaky unsmoked bacon, about 50g, chopped
  • 150 g glass noodles
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1/4 small white cabbage, 300g, sliced
  • 120 g French beans, cut into 2cm lengths
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bird's eye chilli, sliced, optional
  • 120 g prawns, peeled, any size, de-veined if necessary
  • 1 carrot, grated

To serve

  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • limes


1. For the empanadita dough: using a food processor, add the flour, baking powder, sugar and a teaspoon of salt in the bowl, and pulse it as you drop in the butter very quickly (only a minute total spinning time), but one cube at a time.

2. Mix together the egg and iced water, and tip them in to make a soft dough: again, do this very quickly (30 seconds).

3. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm (the pastry will feel soft) and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4. When chilled, cut the pastry in half, and leave one half in the fridge whilst you roll the other half out (the pastry is very buttery so it shouldnt get too warm).

5. Flour a work surface well, roll and cut the pastry to a thickness of 0.5cm, using a 10cm cutter. Roll in one direction only, so that you have ovals.

6. For the empanadita filling: pour boiling water over the glass noodles and let them soak for 23 minutes; then drain and run under the cold tap.

7. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions. After a minute add the pork mince and fry, breaking it up as it cooks.

8. Stir in the garlic, cumin and some salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes, stirring from time to time.

9. Add the vinegar, raisins, potatoes and squash and stir well to combine.

10. Turn the heat up to high, then pour on 250ml water, pushing down the vegetables so that the liquid covers them. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid.

11. After 15-20 minutes, take off the lid and stir to check all the liquid has reduced and the vegetables are starting to break down.

12. Turn off the heat, mash together and transfer to a mixing bowl. Once cooled, stir in the coriander, adding a good splash of vinegar and salt, to taste. Finally stir through the glass noodles.

13. Brush the little ovals with water, put a little pile of filling in the centre of the dough, fold it over and seal with your fingers first, and then by pushing down with the end of a forks tines.

14. To cook the empanaditas deep-fry in batches in a saucepan of hot oil (the oil should be at least 4 cm deep, and the pan a minimum of 10 cm deep) for around 4-6 minutes, or until deep golden brown, turning halfway through.

15. They can be baked (oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 15-20 mins). Brush them with a little beaten egg and water.

16. Rest them on kitchen paper for a minute and then season with salt before serving.

17. For the pancit guisado: bring the stock to the boil and drop in the bacon. Put a lid on, bring back to the boil and then take it out again with a slotted spoon.

18. Put the noodles in a bowl, pour the hot stock over them to re-hydrate, turning them now and then so that all the noodles soften.

19. Heat the oil in a wok or large, wide pan, then once its hot, add the bacon and toss for a few minutes until it starts to brown.

20. Scatter in the cabbage and beans, stirring for another minute before adding the garlic and chilli.

21. Toss all ingredients well, then add the noodles plus any remaining stock, prawns and carrot. Put a lid on for about 3 minutes.

22. Take the lid off and keep stirring until any liquid has almost evaporated. Take off the heat and finish with a good squeeze of lime juice and soy to taste.

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