Well, I have made empanadas the usual way using traditional flat pastry or puff pastry, but this time I thought to try using a spring roll dough in order to maximize the filling to carrier ratio.

Recently, I have become intrigued by the uses of a product called TYJ Spring Roll Wrappers. No this is not a commercial for the product – Menlo makes similar wrappers and I have some on hand to try next.

NOTE: These are NOT egg roll wrappers or rice paper wrappers!

These are exceedingly thin, very strong and resilient, wheat flour sheets which, after filling, can be oven-baked, fried or deep-fat fried. For oven-baking I have found that using an egg wash is the best way to achieve a golden-brown color. You can use oil, but the rolls feel and taste greasy.

Here are some pictures of my empanadas in spring rolls showing the

traditional roll fold, a log roll, a samosa fold, and a crab Rangoon-style fold.

The glossy appearance results from the egg wash, not from oil.


My Recipe for the Filling using Pork

Cooking oil (olive, sesame, vegetable, avocado) as needed
Minced or ground pork (I minced my own using a food processer) 28 oz
Celery – chopped 8 oz
Mixed frozen peppers (red, green, yellow) – chopped 8 oz
Frozen peas and carrots mix 8 oz
Medium size Onion – chopped 1
Medium size yellow potatoes – pre-boiled and chopped 2
Raisins – golden, plumped up in water for several hours or overnight 8 oz
Chicken broth 14 oz
Tomato paste 2 Tbsp
Garlic – fresh minced 2 Tbsp
Cumin – ground 2 Tbsp
Paprika – ground 1 Tbsp
Oregano – dried 1 Tbsp
Cayenne pepper – dried ½ tsp
Sugar 2 tsp
White wine for de-glazing 1/3 cup
Olives – green, pitted or pimento stuffed – chopped (Optional) 2/3 cup
  1. Brown the pork in a large pot and then add chicken broth to deglaze the pot and set aside.
  2. In a separate deep pan fry the onion and garlic (5 minutes), add the celery and pepper mix (5 minutes more), and then the potatoes (5 minutes more).
  3. Mix in the tomato paste, spices and sugar and then transfer to the large pot holding the browned pork. Use a little white wine to de-glaze the frying pan and add to large pot.
  4. The large pot with everything added will be quite liquid! Set the pot on medium-high heat and bring to a boil with stirring, then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for as long as it takes to reduce the liquid (1 – 2 hours or longer).
  5. Allow the mixture to cool completely before filling into pastry wraps. I leave mine overnight on the counter covered.
  6. When completely cooled, stir thoroughly to distribute any remaining moisture, and then start filling.
  7. Bake at 375 deg F for 30 – 35 minutes, turning over and washing underside at 20 – 25 minutes.

Note: The TYJ Spring Roll wrappers are very expensive on Amazon ($ 45.00) – I do not know why.

Find your local Asian market!

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