Crab empanadas

Crab empanadas

Empanadas de jaiba

My Abuelo's Mexican Feast


Quantity Ingredient
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 small red chillies, finely chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 green olives, pitted and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 lime, juiced
500g fresh uncooked crabmeat
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten, for glazing


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the remaining ingredients, except the crab, pastry and egg. Cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to soften. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the crabmeat, cover and cook for 5–7 minutes. When the crab is cooked turn the heat off and allow to cool.
  4. Assemble the empanadas by cutting each pastry sheet into 4 equal portions. Using a small bowl as a guide, cut a circle about 15 cm in diameter from each pastry piece. Place 2 tablespoons of the crab mixture on half of each pastry round, leaving a 1 cm border from the edge of the pastry. Moisten the pastry edges with a little of the beaten egg and fold over the pastry to create a half-circle shape.
  5. Press the edges closed with a fork to achieve the traditional look of the empanada. Prick the empanadas a few times with a fork to create holes for the steam to escape.
  6. Brush the empanadas with the beaten egg and bake for 15−20 minutes or until golden and the pastry is cooked. Serve hot or cold.


  • Use fresh prawns instead of crab to make empanadas de Vigilia (empanadas eaten during Lent).
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