Ninang Tatie’s Special Empanada


This recipe is from my Ninang Tatie. Years ago, when we were still living in Manila, she came over and visited us at our condo in Salcedo Village. She came with her youngest son Noel (who is currently serving in the US Navy) and they made Pecan Tart and Empanada. I saw (not really watched) her made these delicious snacks but forgot what the ingredients were. Years later in San Diego, I was craving for these Empanadas and asked Noel for the recipe. Noel was then stationed in San Diego. He called me back and gave me the ingredients over the phone. The instructions listed here on how to make them are purely from memory so try at your own risk.

Empanada Crust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 stick butter or 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbs sugar

This recipe makes 24 empanadas.


  • bbq chicken or pork or beef, shredded or
  • use any leftover goodies you have. Be creative and adventurous!

To make crust:

1. Melt butter and sugar.

2. In a bowl, alternately mix flour, water and melted butter mixture. Use your hands (it will be a little hot so be careful) until just blended. Be careful not to overmix or crust will be to crumbly. Dough will be soft (not wet) and a little ‘buttery’.

To assemble:

1. Pull a ball of dough the size of half a tennis ball. It is up to you how big or small you want your empanadas to be. Roll into a ball and then flatten into a circle. (I like to stretch the dough like a mini pizza instead of rolling into a ball and flattening.)

2. Place a tablespoon or teaspoon (don’t put too much or crust will split open when fried) filling in the center and then fold over in half, covering the filling. Seal the edges by pinching or pressing with a fork. Set aside.

3. Fry in hot oil until light brown. Or you can bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until brown.

Fried empanada is hard and crunchy while baked ones tend to be soft and mushy. These empanadas freeze well and easily cooked in microwave for 1 minute when ready to eat. I think they taste much better after several days!

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