(or how this little Indonesian trick is good to me)
Aaaaannd, we’re back to FOOD! I just couldn’t leave you guys without my simplified recipe of this very lovely savory, Indonesian snack. Of course there are lots more where this came from, but we have to start somewhere right. And this one doesn’t ask for much of your wallet, always a winner.
The Dutch / Indonesian name is ‘Pasteitjes’, but looking it up online, it’s called Pastel Goreng, or Indonesian Empanadas, I had No idea. Goreng means fried and in my book, most fried food is Good Food. Add in a lovely, slightly spicy sauce and I bet you’re reading the same book very soon.
I’ve been telling about our Moms being awesome cooks and they were. Although my Mom only started baking these savory snacks later on in life, I had a Mother in law, who always made sure, she had a freezer stacked with all kinds of snacks. And not only that, the sweet snacks were displayed in a cupboard filled with glass pots full of any Indonesian cookie you could ever want.
Her pineapple cookies were EPIC and they were always guarded very carefully. You pretty much would get the stink eye if you managed to get one more than the rest. Pure.Gold. I’ve managed to kind of figure out the recipe – which was just as fiercely guarded… That might be the next one to share with you. In time, who knows…
Maybe you’d expect these wonderful bites only to be presented on special occasions and well sure, they were. But with every visit you could be surprised with any or all of them. Definitely something to look forward to right? I cannot even remember the amount that was made for our wedding, having about 300 guests it must have been HUGE. And don’t think there was much left either hahah. Not even talking about the dinner that was also made by family members.
When my Mom was still among us, I never bothered to learn how to make these very yummie pastels. It took me some time after she passed away, to get started on them. You see, a lot of Indonesian food is not that hard to make, as long as you have the right ingredients. (Which can be a pain to find, depending on where you live). What you Do Need, is Time. Oh, and imagination, because we kind of hate to measure everything…
Where my Mother in law would make her own pastry for the pastels, I never took it that far. Hence, the puff pastry. I know, I know, it’s a cheat if ever you’ve heard one, but hey… You are free to follow any other recipe you can find on the internet, there are thousands…and if, by any chance, I am insulting anyone with my version of it, sorry-not-sorry.
We, as a family, are very happy with the result. And, as I mentioned in 1000 Layer Therapy, every region / household, has its own tweaks in recipes. If you wish to, you could make it a vegetarian one, basically you can fill the pastels with anything else if you’d like. Feel free to experiment, I won’t tell a soul, just hoping to make you a little happier today 😉
Now, it’s not like I would make this every week, but once I kind of mastered it – and really, it’s not that hard – I have been making them more often, no special occasion needed at all. Like I said, I need time (which I seem to have abundantly, though don’t underestimate what I spend on my blog 😂) and for me even more important, The Will to actually do it. This can hit me at any given time, just as with any other baking challenge.
Next to the therapeutic feel, baking always seem to give a sense of nostalgia about where I came from and all the family gatherings we once used to have. A far less noble reason, is that it simply makes our bellies very happy. Hey, ya gotta eat and why not make it as enjoyable as possible.
Since I don’t have an actual fryer here, I am not afraid to do it the ‘old fashioned’ way, filling a deep pan with (vegetable) oil and fry away. Take care when you do! But it works just as well, with only one downside: you might feel like a pastel yourself once you’re done. But I find it totally worth the effort and once you’ve had your first taste, I am sure you’ll agree.
The sauce I make is also a variation on how my Mom used to make it. You could go for any ready made chili sauce you like, again, everything depends on your personal taste and there’s enough to choose from. Believe me, we tried multiple brands. Just for funsies, I will add our sauce recipe below, basic, but very nice already, but go ahead and experiment, we do!
So here we go with the recipe, I hope you’ll give it a try, if you think it too fancy for just any day, it’s a great snack for the Holiday season. Use the ‘leftover’ pastry to roll a couple of extra’s, but if, like me, you don’t have a decent rolling pin, there’s a bonus suggestion right there too. Trick and Treat Yo’self! We are So Worth It.
‘Pasteitjes’ = Pastel Goreng aka Indonesian Empanadas. For about 30 pieces:
Chop the onion, garlic and the baby carrots.
Remember to adjust all spices to your taste. Fry the minced meat in a little oil, with the onion, garlic, ve-tsin (which is basically a salty seasoning so you don’t need much), pepper, salt and stock cube. Add the carrot / pea mix when the meat is almost done and fry a couple of minutes more.
In the meantime, boil the eggs and cut them into nice even parts.
Leave the meat mixture for some time and maybe get rid of the excess moisture. Roll out the puff pastry and cut it into circles. You can make them bigger, but I just use a big mug and cut around it.
Take about a tablespoon full of the meat mix and lay it in the middle of the pastry circle. Add an egg part on top and fold the pastry as shown in the pics.
When done, have your deep frying pan ready and deep fry the pastels for a couple of minutes until golden brown at about 180 degrees. The oil needs to be really hot, if you want to do a little test, use a leftover pastry piece. It should turn golden brown in seconds. Remember, the mix is already done, so the frying is basically done for the pastry.
If you’re working ahead, you can keep them in your freezer and reheat them at the right time in the oven, no problem.
Mix the ingredients for the sauce and serve with the pastels. ENJOY!
The leftover pastry pieces you only have to fry for a minute and they will turn golden brown, since the oil is already well heated. Sprinkle them with (icing-) sugar and some cinnamon and you have a nice sweet treat as well!
Well, here’s something to do for you during the weekend, I suggest you start practicing for the Holidays. NJoy y’all ❤