Kulinarya: Empanada ( with Cheesy Tuna Filling)

How time flies..it feels like I just posted the leche flan for Kulinarya for February and now March’s almost over which means another delicious Filipino food in spotlight.  This month’s theme is empanada..

I have never made empanada ever and did noteven attempted it for some reasons: first, it’s easier to buy it from a bakeshop whenever I, or anyone in my family gets a craving for it, second,  I don’t like deep-frying because I have this dilemma about used oil: should I keep it and re-use it or just throw it away?  I used to re-use  used oil for sauteeing and pan-frying, I got this practice from my mom, she does it all the time since I was little BUT  I have read in an article how consumption of used oil can lead to all sorts of diseases like cancer which is scary so I immediately stopped using it but I still feel guilty throwing it (used oil) away, hence I avoided deep-frying as much as possible.  Lastly,  I am not that good with pastry making, I can make apple pie and mini tarts but that’s it;  but I’m not giving up on pastry-making, I know I can get better with practice..that’s why I’m happy with this month’s Kulinarya theme.

Empanada is a deep-fried stuffed pastry, usually filled meat or chicken or seafood and sometimes sweet fillings; it is Spanish/Portuguese in origin.  This food is also popular in many Latin countries and there are many versions of the dough as well as different kinds of filling. In the Philippines, the province of Ilocos is known for its delicious orange-colored empanadas where it is sold as street food. 

The empanada I know and grew up with is filled with picadillo (sans the sauce) – sauteed ground beef/pork with green peas,diced potatoes and carrots.  For Kulinarya, I decided to make a slightly different filling, in the spirit of Lenten Season, I made a spicy tuna and cheese empanada, my family loved it and wants me to make these again..


cheesy tuna filling


it helps when you have a plastic mat for rolling the dough, or you can use parchment paper


looking good now..I used a pizza roller to cut off excess dough


..ahahaha..my very first empanad!  I forgot to brush water on the sides before crimping it; tip: do not use tongs the pastry is too delicate when hot, use a slotted spoon instead..


my cheesy, spicy tuna empanada..yum! 🙂


Empanada Dough:
yield: Makes enough for 12 pastries
recipe from Epicurious

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.


1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, minced
1 can (6 oz) hot and spicy tuna, drained
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 medium potaotes, boiled and diced
1/2 cup cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Spanish Paprika
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil for sauteeing ( I used EVOO)

In a pan, heat about 2 teaspoons EVOO, saute onion until transslucent, add tomatoes, cook until soft, add drained tuna flakes; add paprika,potatoes, peas. Cook until peas are tender, turn off heat and add cheese. Taste it and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Cool before filling the dough.

Place the filling by the spoonful into your prepared empanada dough, fold the dough and filling into a half circle shape, brush edges with water or eggwash and crimp the edges with a fork.  Do not overfill the empanadas. Fry the filled empanadas at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels. Cool slightly before serving.

Aternately, you can bake the empanadas in a preheated 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes. They should be lightly golden. 

Please visit my Kulinarya friends and their delicious versions of empanada

Kath of ACupcakeorTwo.com
Trissa of Trissalicious.com
Trisha of Sugarlace.com
Olive of http://www.LatestRecipes.net
Caroline of WhenAdoboMetFeijoada.Blogspot.com /
Peach of ThePeachKitchen.com
Cusinera of BusogSarap.com
Asha of ForkspoonnKnife.Blogspot.com
Malou of ImpromptuDiva.com
Cherrie of SweetCherriePie.blogspot.com

UPDATE:  oops…we have some new members and I didn’t even know about it..my bad ( I haven’t checked my email for a looong time).Here they are: 

Acdee of Acdee.blogspot.com
Valerie of ACanadianFoodie.com
Bel of FoodGeeks.webs.com
Divina of Sense-Serendipity.blogspot.com


Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

If you are interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!

♥Thanks for reading and have a nice day!!♥

16 Responses to "Kulinarya: Empanada ( with Cheesy Tuna Filling)"

  1. The Little Teochew   March 25, 2010 at 2:55 am

    Tuna and cheese? TUNA AND CHEESE?! Yummmmmy!!!

  2. ♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸   March 23, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I love the idea that you used tuna. YEs you’re right it’s pefect timing for the lenten season.

    It was my first time to make empanadas too just like you and the rest of the KCC but isn’t it fun to try something that we normally just buy? Til next KCC event! See you around!

  3. ac   March 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

    my oh my…cheese..tuna..i am loving this filling…and i can see you love hot and spicy food…kasi hot and spicy tuna plus paprika..oh geezz…i really love this combi…i can die drooling now..mmm..

    Cheers to Pinoy Food! =)

  4. Katherine   March 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Cheesy Tuna yum yum. time does fly past when you are having fun ehehehe. Like your take on Empanadas. They look delicious.

  5. Stella   March 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Sounds like a spicy tuna melt inside delicious empanada dough-yum Olive!

  6. Trisha   March 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    One of the things that I wasn’t able to achieve was that crackly outer exterior you only get when frying something… and that’s what I missed with my empanada! Yours look amazing and I love your lenten season appeal!

  7. justcooknyc   March 22, 2010 at 10:52 am

    this sounds really good. i don’t think we can get canned hot & spicy tuna around here though. i’ve never heard of that

  8. Patty   March 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Wow! You empanadas look crazy delicoius! The dough looks super crisp on the outside and flaky on the inside. And the tuna filling??? I would never have thought about putting tuna in an empanada, but I love tuna and I love empanada’s, so I am most definitely going to give this a try! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  9. Trissa   March 22, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Totally loving the idea of tuna and cheese filling for empanada! I’ll have to try this for Good Friday! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Cherrie   March 22, 2010 at 2:45 am

    I love the tuna and cheese filling in your empanadas. Looks so yummy

  11. Amy @ cookbookmaniac   March 22, 2010 at 1:08 am

    You know… I have never eaten an empanada… I think your pictures and recipe might do the trick. They look so delicious!

  12. Caroline   March 22, 2010 at 1:06 am

    It seems like alot of us KCC gals never made empanadas from scratch before. I am glad we tackled empanadas & now I want to make more! I like tuna so your filling is something I would definitely try.

  13. Jeannie   March 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    This is very similar to our local curry puffs. Looks good:)

  14. Barbara Bakes   March 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    I love the blistered, golden brown crust. I’ve sure they were fabulous!

  15. cusinera   March 21, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    olive, that looks really delicious…haven’t tried tuna filling yet, i love tuna =)

  16. MaryMoh   March 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Looks like the Malaysian crry puffs. Your filling looks very delicious. I can have this any time. Soooo good with a cup of tea.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.