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Chinese curry pockets are a traditional Chinese snack that tucks curried beef and potatoes into pie crust, then bakes them to flaky perfection!
These delicate, savory curry pockets are a traditional Chinese treat. They’re found in most Chinese bakeries and on the carts at Dim Sum.
In Taiwanese Mandarin, they’re called jia li jiao and they’re usually filled with a curry beef, potato, and onion mixture. Sometimes the potato is omitted, but I love it in there because it makes the curry pockets more filling. Also: who doesn’t love potatoes?!
The filling is really easy to make, but to assemble these Chinese curry pockets, it takes a bit of time—that’s why I used the shortcut of pre-made pie crust, so you have one less step in the process. Still, once you get the hang of it, it goes by pretty fast and with much ease. Just remember, for the border, you pinch, then tuck or fold. That’s how you get the crimped edge.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Lean ground beef
- Onion – A standard yellow or white onion is fine here, or you can swap this for a shallot.
- Curry powder – You can use either mild or hot curry powder, depending on your taste preferences.
- Low-sodium soy sauce – Tamari works too.
- Kosher salt
- Refrigerated pie crusts – The kind that comes rolled up.
- Egg yolk – Beat these in a small bowl.
How to Make Chinese Curry Pockets
You can use your own favorite pie crust recipe if you prefer, but make sure it makes enough for two crusts.
- Prepare the crust. Unroll the pie crusts onto parchment paper, a silicone mat, or a lightly floured work surface. Use a round cookie or biscuit cutter, or the bottom of a cup, to cut out 3-inch circles. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting until you have about 50 circles.
- Chill the crust. Place the dough circles on a plate and refrigerate them while you make the filling.
- Cook the potatoes. Cook the diced potatoes in a small pot of water until they’re just tender. Drain well.
- Cook the onion. Sauté the onions with a tablespoon of curry powder until they start to sweat.
- Finish the filling. Stir the beef, soy sauce, salt, and remaining curry powder into the skillet with the onions. Once the beef is brown, stir in the potatoes.
- Prepare. Preheat your oven to 450ºF and coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Assemble. Take the dough circles out of the refrigerator and fill each with about a tablespoon of filling in the center. Fold in half, then starting on one end, pinch and tuck, pinch and tuck; repeat until you reach the other end and reshape if needed.
- Add the egg wash. Place the finished curry pockets on the prepared baking sheets and brush the tops with egg yolk.
- Bake. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
- Cool. Let your Chinese curry pockets rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Tips for Success
These simple tips will help you make sure your Chinese curry pockets turn out perfect:
- Sealing the curry pockets. If you have trouble getting the hang of sealing the curry pockets as described in the recipe, you can use a fork to crimp the edges instead. What’s most important is that the crust is sealed, not how you do it!
- Don’t over-fill the dough circles. You’ll have trouble keeping them sealed if you do.
- Let them cool. The outside might feel cool enough to eat after a few minutes, but the inside will still be super hot! You don’t want to eat curry pockets cold, but let them sit on the wire racks for at least 10 minutes.
Chinese curry pockets are often served as a snack, but if you want to pair them with other traditional Chinese and Taiwanese recipes for a full meal, serve them with:
- Taiwanese Braised Minced Pork (滷肉飯)
- Cold Sesame Veggie Noodles
- Mantou 饅頭 (Chinese Steamed Buns)
- Instant Pot Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉面)
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you have leftover Chinese curry pockets, you can place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and store them for up to 5 days. Reheat them in a 350ºF oven or your toaster oven; you can use the microwave too, but the crust won’t be as flaky that way.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze Chinese curry pockets either before or after baking for up to 3 months. If you freeze them before baking, you can cook them from frozen according to the recipe instructions, just adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time. To reheat them after they’re baked, just let them thaw in the refrigerator and then warm them up according to the instructions above.
More Classic Asian Recipes
Ready to try some more classic Chinese and Japanese recipes? Check out these ones!
Chinese Curry Pockets [咖哩餃]
- 1 pound (454 g) lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 large potato, diced into small 1″ cubes
- 4 tablespoons curry powder
- 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 packs of refrigerated pie crusts
- 1 egg yolk, beaten, no whites
- 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 °F (232 °C)
- Lightly spray 2 cookie sheets with some cooking spray.
- 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.
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