I discovered this tasty Filipino street food while filming ‘Island Feast’ in the town of Began. Delicious, flaky pockets with a runny egg yolk is surprise. The Filipino Longganisa sausage can be found in Asian supermarkets or substitute it with Chorizo.

Serves: 6 | Preparation: 20 mins | Cooking: 10 mins | Skill: Med


• 6 lightly oiled banana leaves, trimmed to a 14 cm square, for rolling
• vegetable oil, for deep-frying
• chilli & cane vinegar dip

• 50 ml vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon annatto seeds (see glossary)
• 300 g rice flour
• 50 ml water

• 150 g cabbage, shredded
• 100 g carrot, shredded
• 1 large brown onion, shredded
• 6 eggs
• 150 g longganisa sausage or chorizo sausage, minced


To make the dough, place the oil and annatto seeds in a small saucepan over low heat and heat until the oil is just warm. Remove from the heat and leave for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds. Allow the oil to come to room temperature.
Place the flour in a bowl and make a well. Add the water and infused oil to the well and stir until a dough forms, then turn out and knead on a lightly dusted? work surface for 3–5 minutes or until pliable. Return to a clean bowl, cover and leave for 1 hour.

To assemble the empanadas, combine the cabbage, carrot and onion in a bowl. Separate the eggs, being careful not to break the yolks and set aside each yolk in a separate cup (this will make each yolk easier to handle for when assembling). Add the eggwhite to the vegetable mixture and combine well.

Divide the dough, vegetable mixture and minced sausage into 6 portions. Making one empanada at a time, roll out a portion of dough onto an oiled banana leaf into a nice thin round, about 12 cm in diameter. Arrange the vegetable mixture in a circle on the edge of the pastry, leaving a border on the outer edge, then place the minced sausage in the centre. Carefully place an egg yolk in the centre of the meat, then fold the empanada in half to make a semi-circle, pressing the edge to seal well. Set aside on its banana leaf base. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Fill a large deep-sided saucepan or wok two-thirds full of oil and heat to 180°C. To fry, dip the empanadas, one at a time, into the hot oil by holding the banana leaf in the oil until it separates from the empanada. Do not cook the leaf. Deep-fry until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Serve hot with the cane vinegar dip.