Wulf's Kitchen: Laughing Bird Shrimp Empanada
Empanadas are a staple food throughout Latin America with variations unique to each country. Keneddy Lavour, co-founder of The Nada Cart, draws on his Dominican upbringing in this fried empanada. He combines our Laughing Bird Organic Shrimp with mango, coconut milk, and lemongrass for a savory hand pie packed full of Caribbean flavors. Add a side salad, and you will have the perfect, refreshing summer meal.
Making empanadas at home does not need to be a stressful endeavor. You can buy empanada wrappers in the freezer section of most grocery stores or at your local Latin market. Plus, you don’t even need a deep fryer to fry at home. All you need is a pan that can hold about 2 inches of oil, a candy thermometer, and a neutral oil like canola.
Recipe by Keneddy Lavour and Stephanie Carteiro of The Nada Cart. You can follow The Nada Cart on Instagram.
Watch a video of making these empandas in the Wulf's test kitchen on the culinary streaming platform Kittch.
- 1 pound peeled tail-off Laughing Bird Organic Shrimp from CleanFish
- ¼ pound (1 stick) butter, separated in half
- 1 cup potatoes, cut into ½ inch dice
- Salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemongrass, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Fresno pepper, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons coconut milk
- ½ cup mango, cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 6-8 empanada wrappers, depending on size
- Canola oil, for frying, enough to fill your pan 2 inches high
- 1 egg, for egg wash
Melt half of the butter (4 tablespoons) in a sauté pan over low heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until semi-tender. Season with a pinch of salt. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, garlic, Fresno pepper, and lemongrass to the pan. Cook for a couple minutes to release the flavors. Keeping the heat on low, add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Add coconut milk and cook for another couple minutes. Season with salt to taste. Stir in mango, parsley, and potatoes. Remove filling from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, chop shrimp into bite-size pieces before returning them to the filling.
Take an empanada wrapper and place it on a flat surface. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to place about 2 ounces of filling on the center of the disc. Add less filling if using smaller wrappers. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash about ¾ of the way around the edge of the disc. This will help fuse the dough together and keep the filling inside.
Fold the disc in half forming a half moon or circle, making sure the edges are aligned. Gently press the dough together from the middle to the side until it is completely sealed. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers, setting the empanadas on a plate until ready to fry.
Fill a deep sided sauté pan with about 2 inches of canola oil and heat oil to 350° F. You will want to use a candy thermometer that can sit in the pot to monitor the temperature of your oil throughout the process. Add 2-3 empanadas to the pan at a time. Overcrowding the pan will cause the oil temperature to drop. Fry each empanada for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove empanadas from the oil and set on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any excess oil before serving.