Brazilian Shrimp Pies (Empanadas de Camarao)

Brazilian Shrimp Pies (Empanadas de Camarao)

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • For the dough:

  • 3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt

  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) white pepper

  • ½ tsp (2 ml) turmeric

  • 10 Tbs (150 ml) unsalted butter

  • 6 Tbs (90 ml) lard

  • 1 Egg

  • ½ cup (125 ml) water

  • For the filling:

  • 2 tbs (30 ml) butter

  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped

  • ½ tsp (2 ml) ground cardamom

  • ⅛ tsp (0.5 ml) ground cloves

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

  • 1½ cups (375 ml) hearts of palm, drained and chopped

  • 3 Tbs (45 ml) chopped parsley

  • 1 lb (500 g) shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped

  • For the glaze:

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) cold water, milk or cream


Sift flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric into a bowl, add lard and butter and mix until the mixture makes a coarse meal. Add egg and half the water. Continue mixing and adding water until a firm dough is formed. Knead until the dough is smooth, then wrap and chill for 15-30 minutes. In a small skillet, heat butter; add onion and garlic, cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, cardamom, cloves, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. Cook about 8 minutes. Add hearts of palm and cook 5 minutes more, or until liquid has evaporated. Set filling aside and let cool, or refrigerate overnight, well covered. Make glaze by mixing egg yolk and cold water together. Set aside. On a floured board, roll out dough 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and cut 3 to 4 inch (8 to 10 cm) squares. Knead scraps and re roll, repeat making squares until all the dough is used. Put one tablespoon (15 ml) of the filling into the center of each square, put shrimp on top, moisten edges of dough with the glaze and form a triangle. Press edges together with a fork to seal. Place empanadas on a greased baking sheet. Brush with remaining glaze and bake in a preheated 400F (180 C) oven for 25 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly, serve warm. Serves 8 to 12 as an appetizer.


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