I was messing around in the kitchen the other day with some stuff I had lying around in the fridge and came up with these. My inspiration came from this recipe for Chinese roast pork pastries. Great website, by the way, for Asian/Chinese cuisine and recipes. Check it out.
I utilized her shortcrust dough recipe and chopped up some veggies and cooked up a bit of ground pork for the filling. I’m not a food blogger so the aesthetics are definitely not up to snuff but the results tasted pretty dang good if I do say so myself. The original recipe makes 24 small dim sum-sized pastries. I divided the dough into 12 equal portions for larger hand pies.
They look like empanadas or pasties but these baked pies have a rich, delicate, crumbly exterior due to the half-fat-to-flour ratio of the shortcrust dough. The dough comes together in a snap but is a little hard to work with so you’ll want to keep it chilled until you’re ready to fill them.
I had one small Japanese eggplant, a Cubanelle pepper, 2 jalapenos, a carton of white mushrooms, and a bunch of scallions that had seen better days. There was no sense in letting them go bad and throwing them out, so I chopped them up and sauteed them in a bit of oil with salt and pepper to taste and a bit of oyster sauce for extra savoriness. You’ll want to really cook the veggies down until they’re tender because the last thing you want is them exuding tons of liquid while baking. The last thing we want soggy hand pies.
You could totally keep the pies vegetarian and fill them with just this mix of veggies (I believe there are vegetarian/vegan oyster sauces available) but let it cool completely before filling the dough. I chose to add in about a half cup of ground pork because I had some sitting in the refrigerator that I needed to use up but the filling’s already quite “meaty” with the mushrooms.
This was my first time working with shortcrust dough and I realize now that I rolled them, especially the edges, way too thin. You can see that some of mine cracked. My advice is to roll the dough in circles but keep the edges thicker than the center. When I went to seal the edges of my pies with a fork that just thinned the edges out even more and they ended up catching in the oven. They didn’t burn but it was close.
To give the pies a nice shiny, golden finish, I brushed the surfaces with an egg wash and then I baked the pastries at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on them because they will burn. Mine would have if I hadn’t watched them.
They’re not the most visually appealing pies but they came out really tasty. I served three pies per person with a bowl of hot soup (but you could substitute a green salad) and it made a really satisfying meal.
The possibilities are endless with this pie dough. You can fill the pies with anything!
I’ve since tried this recipe using a curry filling and that came out awesome. I made some beef curry with potatoes, carrots, onions and celery but you could leave out the beef and keep it vegetarian too. I used a Japanese cube-style curry mix for simplicity and for its thicker, starchier consistency (if you’re curious, I used S&B Golden Curry). The thing is if you want to make curry hand pies, you have to make sure the curry is completely cold. It’s a lot easier to fill the pies with the curry when its in a chilled, congealed state. Otherwise they’ll ooze everywhere and be a complete mess before you’ve even had a chance to bake them.