These delicate savory curry pastries are a traditional Chinese treat. They’re seen in most Chinese bakeries and on the carts at Dim Sum. In Taiwanese Mandarin, they’re called jia li jiao. They’re pretty popular so you can find them almost at every Chinese bakery. They’re usually filled with a curry beef, potato and onion mixture. Sometimes the potato is omitted but I love the potato in there. It’s more filling and I like the starch.
The filling is really easy to make but to assemble these pockets, it takes a bit of time (not only to assemble, but especially if you’re making the dough from scratch, which I didn’t), but once you get the hang of it, it goes by pretty fast & with much ease. Just remember, for the border, you pinch and tuck/fold. That’s how you get the crimped border :)
Chinese Curry Pockets [咖哩餃]
1 lb. lean ground beef (80/20 is good, you want some fat)
1 onion, diced
1 large potato, diced into small 1″ cubes
4 tbsp. curry powder
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. salt
2 packs of refrigerated pie crusts (4 total)
1 egg yolk (no whites), beaten
- Unwrap the pie crusts and using a cookie cutter or bottom of a cup, cut out 3″ circles.
- Re-roll the excess pie crusts and cut some more. You should get about 50ish circles.
- Put the circles on a plate and put them back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- In a small pot with water, cook your potatoes until just tender. You don’t want them to fall apart while mixing them later. Drain them and set aside.
- In a large skillet, saute the onions and 1 tbsp. of curry powder until the onions start to sweat.
- Add in the beef, soy sauce, salt, and remaining 3 tbsp. of curry powder. Cook until beef is browned. Add in your drained potatoes and mix well until all is combined.
- Take off the heat and preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Lightly spray 2 cookie sheets with some Pam.
- Take your circles out of the fridge and start assembling your pockets.
- Put about a tbsp. of filling in the center of the circle.
- Fold in half to seal it, but don’t pinch them shut yet. To seal the pockets, starting on one end, pinch and ‘tuck’, pinch and ‘tuck’, repeat until you get to the other end and reshape if needed.
- Place them on the greased cookie sheet and take your beaten egg yolk and a pastry brush and brush the tops of the pockets with the yolk.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
- Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack.
Slightly adapted from The Cooking of Joy