Portuguese Shrimp Empanadas

Dumplings are brilliant but this one takes the biscuit. Just tried one at our String Quartet rehearsal where they are known as Rissóis de Camarão.

Serves 8; Preparation time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes; Total time: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil, canola oil or rapeseed oil for the frying pan


  • Boil 1 pound shrimp in water seasoned with salt and pepper for 5 minutes. After boiling, reserve the water from the pot.
  • Peel and chop the shrimp.
  • In a pot, combine 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon butter, salt to taste, and the peel from 1 lemon.
  • Bring to a boil. When it boils, remove from the heat. Remove the lemon peel and add 1 cup flour. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a ball that does not cling to the pot.
  • Bring back to a boil only slightly, to dry the dough. Set aside to rest.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Cook until the butter melts, then add 1 cup milk and 1 cup of water reserved from the shrimp boil.
  • Cook on low, stirring to thicken. Once it thickens, add the juice of 1 lemon and cooked chopped shrimp.Continue to cook until it reaches a thick but smooth consistency. This will be your empanada filling.
  • Roll out your dough with a rolling pin. Cut into 4″ by 6″ strips.
  • Place a full tablespoon of filling at the bottom of each strip.
  • Fold the dough over the filling. Cut them into half-moons using the top of a glass or a pierogi cutter.
  • Beat 2 eggs. Dip the dumplings in the eggs, then dip in a bowl filled with 2 cups of breadcrumbs.
  • Fry in a pan filled with hot canola oil until a deep golden brown. Let cool on paper towels to absorb the oil when the frying has finished.
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