I have been sorting out the new shelves. All the books and magazines that have travelled Greece, UK, Norway, back to UK to Greece and some of them were even on the other side of Atlantic are finally home.

I take few magazines at night to bed and go thru them and with post it notes, I marked which one caught my fancy.
There are many of them, new cuisine, fusion, classic, something worth trying.

One of them is Argentinian empanada.

Because I grew up eating empanada too, but in the Philippines the filling is mince meat, with carrots, peas even with cheese.But I never even made one of the Filipino version because I find it so intimidating.

So maybe it is about time to face that fear and this one on the Brit magazine Food & Travel Aug/Sept 2005, has tuna for filling.
The empanadilla – which means literally ‘dough-wrapped’ – is Spanish version of the Cornish pasty.
Another British food I love!

The name comes from the Spanish verb, empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanadas were originally from Galicia, Spain (oh the Spanish influence of Filipino cuisine) and the Galician empanada is normally filled with cod fish or chicken.
Spanish immigrants have brought empanada to Latin America and to my country as well.

Empanada varies from one country to another.

As I mentioned ours is with minced meat, raisins, carrots even with cheese.
Chilean empanadas contains more onions, all onion filling is called pequenes.
Peruvian eat theirs with lime juice.
Bolivian empanadas are called, salteñas. Made with beef or chicken, Salteñas usually contain potatoes, peas and carrot.
Mexican empanadas are most commonly a desert or breakfast item and tend to contain a variety of sweetened fillings; these include pumpkin, sweet potato, and cream
In Venezuela it’s ground beef and cheese or seafood at the coastal areas.
Brazilian use palm heart.

Am sure there are endless ways of filling up empanada.. but this one I made is with a good quality tuna.


190ml cold water
25g butter
2tbsp olive oil
225g plain flour
1 large egg beaten
1/4 tsp salt
olive oil for frying

225g jar Albacore or high quality tuna in extra virgin olive oil
1 large onions finely chopped
2 coves garlic finely chopped
1 red pepper deseeded and finely chopped
1 large tomato skinned, deseeded and finely chopped
salt and pepper

2 small red onions finely chopped
juice of half lemon
2 ripe tomato deseeded and chopped
8 black olives sliced length ways from their stones
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1) Put water, butter, oil and salt into medium saucepan and bring to boil
2) Tip in all but a handful of flour and beat with wooden spoon.
3) Beat the egg into mixture until well amalgamated and quite firm.
4) Tip into floured work surface and knead remaining flour to form a soft pliable dough.
5) Cut into 16 evenly size pieces, put in a bowl and cover
6) Chill in the fridge while the filling is being made.

1) Drain tuna over a frying pan to catch the oil, put tuna aside.
2)Fry the onion, garlic and red pepper in tuna oil over a gentle heat.
3) Add tomato and fry for 4 mins.
4) Season and tip into a cold bowl.
5) When mixture is cold, add the tuna.


1) Roll out the dough balls into 13cm circles.
2) Brush half of the circumference with a little beaten egg.
3) Put some filling on one half of the circle and fold over the other half to form a semi circle.
4) Seal the edge firmly and mark with the tines of a fork.
5) Chill while others are made.
6) Heat oil and fry the empanadillas, until puffed and golden.
7) Drain on kitchen paper.


1) Mix the onion with lemon juice leave it for 5 mins.
2) Drain off the juice before adding the remaining ingredients.

Since this is my first time doing empanadas, the hardest part was the fluttering of the edges. Celia Kusinera said its a matter of practise and patience. Oh dear my first ones some of the filling spilled out, once fried I ate them.
So I stopped frying and carefully spent time sealing them properly.

Also I suggest make the salsa ahead because it was so tempting to eat them as soon they come out.

While looking at these beautiful empanadillas, I suddenly had this pang of guilt that I did well with an Argentinian one and never even tried the Filipino version. Soon and I already have Celia’s recipe.

Fantastic for snacks or amuse bouche. Salsa as my friend said had a Mediterranean flavour. I actually love the filling, maybe I should try the Filipino recipe soon.