Shrimp and Pork Empanadas

Spice up your night with this classic pork empanada recipe. Alongside the pork, these savory pockets include shrimp, fresh vegetables, and herbs. Serve with a zippy soy-ginger dipping sauce.

Shrimp and Pork Empanadas
Prep Time:
40 mins
Rise Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
16 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


Filling and Empanadas:

  • 16 ounce fresh or frozen medium shrimp in shells

  • 1 recipe Empanada Dough

  • 4 ounce uncooked ground pork

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped green onions

  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (about 1/4-inch piece)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 grapefruit, juiced (6 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (about 1/4-inch piece)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Empanada Dough

  • 1 cup milk

  • ¾ cup rendered lard*

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


Filling and Empanadas

  1. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Prepare Empanada Dough and let rise. Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp. Halve 15 of the shrimp lengthwise. Finely chop or grind the remaining shrimp. In a medium bowl combine halved and ground shrimp, the pork, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons green onions, cilantro, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 clove garlic, and the sesame oil. Mix well, making sure all ingredients are incorporated.

  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 24 pieces by rolling the dough into a long thin log and cutting into equal portions. Shape into balls. Roll one ball into a 4-inch circle. Prick with a fork. Spoon 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling onto the center. Gently fold in half. Press the edges closed with a fork. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

  3. Prick each empanada once or twice with a fork. Bake until they begin to color, about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Remove from the oven, brush lightly with the egg wash. Return to the oven and bake until the empanadas are golden brown, about 1 to 3 minutes more.

Dipping Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl combine grapefruit juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon green onions, 1 teaspoon ginger, 2 cloves garlic, and the sugar. Serve alongside the empanadas.

Empanada Dough

  1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the lard and butter. Let stand until melted and mixture is around 105°F to 115°F (about 10 minutes). Add the yeast; stir to dissolve. Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.

  2. Mix 2 1/2 cups of the flour and salt together in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Pour the wet ingredients into the well. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, start pulling the flour into the wet ingredients until you've combined the wet and dry and made a ball of dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, kneading in remaining flour as needed. Place the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Punch dough down.

*Egg Wash:

For egg wash, whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.

Our empanada dough calls for rendered lard, which is a melted-down pig fat available at butchers and Mexican markets. Alternately, you can use drippings from cooking 2 slices of bacon, then add enough butter to make 3/4 cup.


If you can't find rendered lard, render the fat from 2 slices bacon and add enough butter to make 3/4 cup.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

147 Calories
8g Fat
11g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 147
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 205mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 1.7mg 9%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0.8mg 5%
Potassium 106mg 2%
Folate, total 32.4mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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