School of Tapas: Traditional tuna fish empanadillas
Tipo de receta: Starter
Cocina: Spanish
Raciones: 12
Typical homemade patties filled with a traditional filling of tuna fish, hard-boiled egg and olives
Empanadilla dough
  • 110 g of water, wine or milk (or a mixture of water and milk)
  • 110 g olive oil (or melted lard)
  • 340-350 g of pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Tuna filling
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 handful of green olives cut up in pieces
  • 180 g of tuna fish in oil, drained well *
  • Homemade tomato sauce to bind it all together
  • Plenty of olive oil for frying
  • 1 egg, beaten if you are going to be baking the empanadillas in the oven
  1. Pour the chosen liquid in the bowl of a stand-mixer and add the salt.
  2. Add the flour and mix well with the paddle attachment, until the dough is more or less homogeneous, but not very long to prevent the gluten from developing. It should be a soft dough, but not very sticky. If it sticks too much, add some more flour.
  3. Make a ball, wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least an hour for it to relax.
Tuna stuffing **
  1. Boil the eggs 10 minutes and reserve in cold water.
  2. Cut the olives, put them in a bowl and add the drained and flaked tuna.
  3. Add the peeled and chopped eggs. Finally add the tomato sauce and mix well until you have a more or less homogeneous and juicy filling.
Assembling the empanadillas
  1. Roll the dough thin (not more than 2mm) on the counter. There's no need to flour it because this dough is very fatty and does not stick if you have achieved the right consistency.
  2. Cut circles with a pastry cutter or a large glass, about 12cm. You can also make miniature empanadillas, impossibly cute and also great as tapas or snacks.
  3. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of the circles and close firmly pressing the edges with a fork, the handle of a spoon or picking the edge the Argentine way. You can see how in this video. I also brush the edge with some water, to make sure it sticks thoroughly.
  4. The dough trimmings can be reused, but if you have enough time, make a ball and let it rest for a while, because otherwise the dough will tend to retract.
  5. Once all the dough has been used, pour olive oil in a smallish but deep skillet. Heat to medium-high (below 180ºC) and fry the patties until golden brown. Place them on a paper towel.
  6. If you want to bake them, place them on a tray and brush them with the beaten egg. Bake about 25-30 minutes at 180°C.
* Some people prefer the pickled tuna instead of the one preserved in oil.
** To lighten the task of making the empanadillas I advise you make the filling the day before. It is quick and it keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe by Recetas caseras con fotos paso a paso de El Invitado de Invierno at