Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicken inasal empanaditas

by @mrfredbriones

I've always thought that being Filipino American was something to be proud about. My parents shared their rich culture and traditions with me throughout my childhood and I've never lost touch with my roots. My favorite memories were the many family gathering and parties where we shared traditional dishes that really couldn't be found at any restaurants at the time.

This month’s theme for the Kulinarya Cooking Club is “Only in the Philippines”. Pretty challenging for me to come up with a unique dish only because here in the SF Bay Area, we have so many authentic dishes that many of our restaurants and chefs share with us already. Although there is a dish that I rarely see on anyone's menu...with the exception of my fellow KCC member's posts.

I decided combine two of  my favorite dishes into one unique party snack. My goal was to infuse the unique flavor of chicken inasal and make some empanaditas.


  • 1 lb of ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup lemongrass, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon or calamansi juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of achuete oil
  • egg wash - to help seal your wrappers
Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. In a wok or a large heat 2 tbsp of achuete oil and completely cook your ingredients. Once you are done, transfer your cooked filling into a bowl and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

For my wrapper, I used simple dumpling wrappers that are easily found at most Asian groceries. You can make authentic empanda dough like this from If you have kids, make sure to let then fill the wrappers because it's pretty fun and definitely makes for a great family activity.

Use about a large spoonful of filling and place it on one side of the wrapper. Now using your egg wash dab your finger and lightly rub the outer edges of your wrapper. Next, fold your wrapper over to for a half circle. With small fork, crimp your edges to create a seal like the image above. Once you finish they are ready to fry. I used my trusty deep fryer for these because using my large frying pan would mean more clean up for me. Remember when frying anything, make sure that you reach temperature before starting to cook your food. Since the filling is already cooked, you only need to flash fry these for about 2 minutes using a deep fryer. I recommend taking the basket out and flipping the empanaditas after a minute of frying.

This recipe should yield over 40 empanaditas but I really lost track because the kids kept eating them once each batch was finished. Pick up two packages of wrapper just in case. You can also freeze your batch and save them for a later date.

Crispy empanaditas fresh from the deep fryer
I know that chicken inasal is normally a grilled dish, but once you bite into these crispy bite sized treats, the flavors will explode in your mouth and you won't be disappointed. You don't need any sauce for the empanaditas but you can play around with aiolis. I played around with a Sriracha Aioli which actually worked well with the sweetness of the empanaditas. 

Like most Filipino food it's meant to be shared and you'll definitely have enough to go around. For more delicious recipes, please visit my other Kulinarya Cooking Club member's blogs:

Palitaw  from Day of Chef by Day 
Tapsilog from Cherrie of Sweet Cherrie Pie
Kare-kare from Adora of Adora's Box
Kulawong Talong from Elizabeth of Asian In America


  1. I remember having empanadas with a cold bottle of coca cola served during merienda or after school. this duo never fail to get a happy and content face stamped in my face.
    these emapanadas you just shared took me back to that time and age... thanks for sharing Fred!

    1. Thx Malou. So glad to get back to the challenges again! Loving all the post from this month.

  2. Nice take on this month's KCC Challenge, Fred! Chicken Inasal is something I only got to enjoy a few times when I went to Bacolod for a work related trip...but I can imagine how good it is as empanada filling. Sarap!

  3. Thanks for sharing Tina. I think the best thing about chicken inasal is hard to find, but when you do, it's special! Loved the Kutsinta recipe. thx for hosting this month.

  4. Wow! What a great idea for empanadas! I love Inasal & its flavors. Must try this. Thanks for sharing Ka Fred! Mabuhay :-)

  5. Bookmarked! Those empanaditas look YUM and crunchy I'm pretty sure will be a hit with my boys. Thanks so much for sharing :)
    (My internet connection is erratic so I don't know if my previous comment went through. Trying this again.)

    1. Thanks for visiting! I really have to try all your recipes because they all look amazing.

  6. You had me at chicken inasal. Great recipe!!! :)

    1. Thank you so much. The same recipe can be used for burgers as well.

  7. These empanaditas are cute and I'm sure it's very delicious!!

    Here's my late entry: Pancit Habhab

  8. Very cute indeed! They are a hit with the kids. Thanks for visiting.

  9. My wife tried out your recipe and brought it to our family reunion, everybody loved it. Thanks for sharing this Empanaditas recipe

  10. have you ever been to Taal, Batangas Heritage Town? It has some of the best empanadas ever! check out some of the town's specialty dishes:

  11. I want to try this also, It looks very easy and fun to do. It was my mother's favorite too.

    filipino food

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