Shrimp Empanadas

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Prep Time: minutes
Cook Time: minutes
Yields: empanadas
Difficulty:

Ingredients

  • For the Dough
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 4-oz stick butter
  • 2/3 cup water (add more if needed)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • For the Filling
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound shrimp freshly washed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Difficulty:
If you enjoy portable snacks or are looking for a tasty treat for lunch, give these shrimp empanadas a try!

These shrimp empanadas are a delicious portable snack, appetizer or party food. If you've never had them before, empanadas are a type of turnover that can be found all over Latin America. They're one of those foods that are budget-friendly, incredibly versatile (you can make savory or sweet empanadas), and transportable... in other words, the perfect snack! And if you've never made them before, follow this step-by-step video and you can't go wrong.

There isn't just one way to make an empanada. In fact, there are many variations to the recipe, depending on the country. For example, they're typically baked in Argentina and Uruguay, but fried in Colombia and Venezuela. The type of dough also varies by country and often within different regions in the same country. In Colombia and Venezuela, empanadas are made with corn flour, while in many Caribbean countries they're made with yuca or plantain, while Argentineans and Uruguayans use wheat flour. We even have a recipe for empanada dough infused with beer!

And don't get me started on the filling! Empanadas are made with beef, chicken, pork, seafood, sweet fillings and more. For these shrimp empanadas, I'm keeping it simple, with an easy filling that comes together in just a few minutes. The trick to making empanadas is not to overdo it when adding the filling. If you use too much, the empanadas can break apart when cooking, and nobody wants a deconstructed empanada!

 

Directions

For the Empanada Dough
  1. Mix the flour, salt, butter and baking powder in a food processor.
  2. Add the water slowly and pulse until clumps of dough start to form.
  3. Knead the dough gently, forming a ball. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and let rest for about an hour.
For the Shrimp Filling
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook until all of the shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and set aside.
To Make the Empanadas
  1. Once the dough is ready, form it into small balls (about 2 ounces each). Use a tortilla press or a rolling pin to roll them out (they don't need to be perfectly round).
  2. Use a spoon to place the shrimp filling in the center of each empanada disc. Do not fill all the way to the edges to avoid your empanadas breaking apart when you cook them.
  3. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges with your thumb, then use your fingers to gently twist the edges of each empanada. You can also use a fork to seal them.
  4. In a deep frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry the empanadas until golden on each side. Remove and place them on paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  5. Serve warm.

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