Whenever my husband and I go out to eat Korean soon tofu, he always orders a side of spicy pork. No matter how much food we already order, there has to be a platter of spicy pork on the table. So I decided to make a little something special for his lunch today by stuffing his favorite Korean bbq meat into an empanada. Fusion food can be a hit or miss but let me tell you, these Korean spicy pork empanadas are definitely a hit. Serve it with a healthy dose of scallion chimichurri to send it over the moon.
Korean Spicy Pork Empanadas
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter cut into small pieces and chilled
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 3 tablespoon gochujang Korean red pepper paste
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- 2 tablespoon sake
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon garlic minced
- ¼ cup onions finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ginger minced
- 2 lb ground pork
- ½ cup scallions thinly sliced
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 Thai chile minced
- ½ teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- juice of 1 lime
- ¾ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- egg wash 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
- Make the dough for the empanadas. In a food processor, pulse 2 cups all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ cup butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add 2 eggs, ¼ cup white wine, and 1 teaspoon vinegar and pulse just until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine 3 tablespoon gochujang with 2 tablespoon mirin, 2 tablespoon sake, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, and 2 teaspoon honey. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 lb ground pork and saute until browned, breaking up the meat. Add ½ teaspoon garlic, ¼ chopped onions, and ½ teaspoon ginger and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the gochujang sauce and mix well. Cook another 1-2 minutes or until the pork is caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Prepare the scallion chimichurri. Combine all of the ingredients for the scallion chimichurri in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Dust a clean work counter with flour and roll out the dough to ⅛ inch thickness. Use a 5-inch biscuit cutter to cut as many rounds as you can. Spoon ¼ cup of the filling into the center and fold one end over to create a half-moon. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough, rerolling the scraps to create more empanadas.
- Lay the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and brush on the egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with scallion chimichurri.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I probably make empanadas at least two or three times a year. It's a lot of work but people love it and you got to give the people what they want. These Korean spicy pork empanadas are loosely based on my original empanadas recipe with the same dough but completely different filling.
Let's break down the recipe. Start by making the dough. I use a food processor to bring everything together but you can also mix the ingredients with a pastry cutter or by hand. Once the dough comes together, wrap it up and let it chill for at least 1 hour. If you roll the dough out immediately, the butter will melt and it will be too soft. You can also chill the dough overnight and use it the following day.
While the dough is chilling, make the filling (I love a good rhyme). The procedure is quite simple. Make the sauce, saute the pork until browned, add the sauce and simmer until everything is well sauced. You can substitute pork with chicken, beef, and even tofu. Just make sure that if you're using tofu to drain all the liquid to avoid a soggy empanada.
Cool the filling completely before making the empanadas. If the filling is hot, it will melt the butter in the dough and make one giant mess. You can also make both the filling and dough the day before.
Now the fun part, actually making the empanadas. I'm not the best at crimping the edges but as long as it seals, the job is done! Fold, crimp, or pleat however you wish. Finally, brush on the egg wash and bake the empanadas until they are golden brown.
I'll be honest, I think I outdid myself with these Korean spicy pork empanadas. I already knew the pork was going to be delicious but wrapped in a flaky pastry and topped with scallion chimichurri, it is epic.
For more Korean food inspiration check out this kimchi fried rice arancini!