Creole Shrimp Empanadas as served at Orozco's Restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as seen on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, season 35.
Recipe courtesy of Orozco's Restaurant

Shrimp Empanadas

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 9 hr 40 min (includes freezing and cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 empanadas


Salsa Criolla:



Special equipment:
a deep-fryer or deep-fry thermometer
  1. For the salsa criolla: In a pan on medium-high heat, add the butter, the cubanelle pepper, tomatoes and onion. Cook the veggies for about 5 minutes. Add the Sazón, adobo, chicken base, oregano, coriander leaves, cooking wine, garlic and 4 cups water; bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with 1 cup of water and stir. Add the flour mixture to the pan little by little until the desired thickness of sauce is reached.
  2. For the empanadas: Chop the shrimp into medium pieces. In a pan over medium-high heat, add the butter, shrimp and 4 ounces salsa criolla. Stir. Cook until the shrimp is pink and fully cooked, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  3. To the middle of a round of dough, add about a tablespoon of the shrimp mixture, 1 to 2 teaspoons grated cheese, and add several pieces of colored julienne bell peppers. Close and fold the round dough in half like a crescent. Press the edges together to seal and remove any air pockets. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch and twist along the edge of the dough to create a braided sealed edge. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Place the empanadas on a plate lined with wax paper and freeze until the next day. (This will help unify the temperature of the empanada and help seal it before frying.)
  4. In a fryer or deep pan, add enough vegetable oil to for the empanadas to float. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.
  5. Add the empanadas to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the empanadas to a rack or paper towel to allow excess oil to drain. Empanadas can be served on a cutting board or plate. Cut in half and enjoy!