Get ready for this recipe. This is sort of my own fusion creation and I’m really proud of how they turned out. Let me explain what I’ve made here.
So my dad’s family is from Argentina, I mentioned this in my Alfajores post, and empanadas are another common food there. Empanadas are traditionally a turnover with pastry and a beef filling. These days, you can get lots of modern takes on empanadas with all sorts of creative fillings. For this recipe, I wanted to keep the filling pretty classic but I put my twist by using egg roll wrappers instead of pastry. I added a little Chinese flare to my South American heritage to create the empanada egg roll.
I remember going to my grandma’s house when I was younger and she would be in her kitchen making empanadas. It was always a ground beef filling and she would add in chopped olives and hard boiled eggs, so that’s what I did here. I don’t know exactly what seasoning she put in the filling, but I just used some Latin spices – cumin, oregano, paprika – and a little cayenne pepper for a kick.
The beef mixture was delicious on its own because of all the spices, you could just serve it on rice or with a salad if you didn’t want to make egg rolls. I really like the texture from the egg and little extra saltiness from the olives. You could also add some raisins (~1/4 cup) to the filling, if you wanted to add some sweetness. I don’t like raisins so I didn’t include them in my recipe.
A traditional empanada has a flaky pastry dough and is baked in the oven. But here, by using egg roll wrappers and shallow frying them, they got so crispy which I really liked.
If you’re looking to try something, new, definitely try these! I honestly don’t know if anyone has tried making these before. If you wanted to go a step further, you can serve these with a delicious chimichurri sauce (Argentinian pesto).
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tbsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 3/4 cup broth (chicken, veggie, or beef will work)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/4 cup green olives, chopped
- 18 egg roll wrappers
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- In large pan over medium heat, cook ground beef until browned, about 7-8 minutes. Add onions and continue cooking until softened, ~3 minutes.
- Add all spices and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add broth and sugar. Let cook 5 minutes over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Transfer mixture to bowl, cover and let cool in fridge for 30 minutes.
- When mixture is chilled, stir in chopped eggs and olives.
- Place an egg roll wrapper on your counter, with a corner facing you, and spoon ~2 tbsp of the filling into the middle. Using your finger, brush all edges with a little water. Bring the left and right corners together (to the center), then take the corner closest to you and roll it up.
- Pour about 1″ vegetable oil into large frying pan. Let that heat up over medium heat while you make the remaining eggrolls.
- Fry eggrolls in batches (~6 at a time) on all sides until golden brown an crispy, about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towel and continue frying until all rolls are cooked. Serve hot.