Home > Pastel Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Empanadas)

Pastel Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Empanadas)

Posting Date: 05/24/16

Pastel Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Empanadas)

Pastel Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Empanadas) is considered as a snack in Indonesia. It is a savory snack rather than dessert. The filling can be chicken, shrimp, or vegetables. It is normally served with Thai chili pepper on the side.

Growing up, my family always bought it from the stores since it took a lot of time and effort to make it ourselves. I learned how to make it about a year ago when I had a craving for it. I just had empanadas and thought how similar the dough was to Pastel's dough. So, I decided to make them myself. Boy, it was worth the time and effort since Pastel Ayam is one of my favorite snacks. The second time I made them, I took a shortcut. Rather than making the dough myself, I used store bought pie crust and baked them in the oven. They were good but I prefer fried Pastel Ayam rather than baked ones. As for the dough, I didn't mind pie crust at all.

In this recipe, the dough is made from scratch. Please feel free to substitute it with pie crust if you want to save time. The secret to make the empanadas flaky is the dough temperature. You have to leave the dough in the fridge for at least half an hour to chill it. You also need to use cold butter rather than room temperature when making the dough. As mentioned before, the filling can use chicken, shrimp, or vegetables. If you decide to use shrimp, substitute the chicken with shrimp in the recipe. If you want to make it vegetarian, omit the chicken in the recipe. I learned from making empanadas that you can use any leftover meat to make the filling. I have used taco meat before. If you have leftover pulled pork, it will work well and even taste delicious. Just make sure that your filling is not too wet since it will make the dough soggy. If you want to make it healthier, you can bake them instead of frying them. Before baking them, brush the top of each pastel with 1 beaten egg. This will make them look nice and golden brown. I normally eat them with sweet chili sauce. However, they are good as it is although Indonesians normally eat them with fresh Thai chili pepper which is very hot for most American people. So, skip the Thai chili pepper. Sweet chili sauce is not hot at all and thus, it is a good substitute.

This recipe makes about 20-24 pastel.


  • For dough: 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • For dough: 1/2 teaspoon salt, sifted
  • For dough: 3/4 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces. Make sure the butter is cold since it will make the dough flaky.
  • For dough: 1 egg
  • For dough: 6-10 tablespoons of cold water. Make sure the water is cold since it will make the dough flaky.
  • For filling: 1 bunch glass noodles, cooked according to package direction
  • For filling: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For filling: 1 medium size shallot, minced
  • For filling: 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • For filling: 1 carrot, diced into small cubes (1/6"x1/6"x1/6")
  • For filling: 6 green beans, diced thinly, about 1/6" thick
  • For filling: 1/2 piece of cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • For filling: 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • For filling: 2 green onion, sliced
  • For filling: 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For filling: pepper to taste
  • For filling: 4 tablespoons water
  • For filling: 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced each egg into 8 pieces
  • For sealing empanada: 1 egg, beaten
  • For frying: vegetable oil
  • Optional: sweet chili sauce


  1. Using food processor, mix flour and salt. Add butter and egg to the flour mixture and process it until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Add cold water little by little. Please note that you may not need to use all the water. You just want to add enough water to make the dough stiff. If you don't have food processor, you can use your hand to mix and make the dough. My food processor is too small and thus, I always make it by hand. Wrap the dough with plastic and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 min to chill it. Chilling the dough will make the dough flaky.
  2. While the dough is resting, heat up 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Saute shallot and garlic until they are cooked. Add chicken, carrot, and green beans. Stir fry them until carrot become tender crisped. Add parsley, green onion, salt, and pepper and stir fry them for about 1 min. Add glass noodles and water and let everything cook until the water is evaporated. Turn off the heat and set the filling aside to cool down.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface. Take the dough out from the fridge. Shape the dough into a ball. Using rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is thin. Using a 4" disc cutter (you can use larger size of cutter if you want to have more filling), cut the dough. For each empanada, put 1 egg piece and the meat filling near the center of the dough. Fold the empanada dough over the filling so that it becomes half moon. Brush the edge with beaten egg to seal it. Press the edge with a fork to close and seal the edge. One thing I did to seal it even better is by folding the edge along the top and press it with a fork. This will make the edge thicker and crispier. I like it this way. If you have good crimping skills, you can crimp the edge rather than using the fork to seal it.
  4. Fry each empanada in vegetable oil on medium high heat until it becomes golden brown on one side. Turn it over to the other side and fry it until it becomes golden brown. Drain it on a plate lined with paper towel. You want to drain as much oil as possible when you take the empanada out before putting it on a plate lined with paper towel. That way, it will not be soggy. Repeat this step until all have been fried.
  5. Serve them while they are still warm. You can serve them with sweet chili sauce if preferred.


  • If you want to make it healthier, you can bake them instead of frying them. Before baking them, brush the top of each pastel with 1 beaten egg. This will make them nice and golden brown.

All images, materials, and recipes on Indonesiancooking101.com are protected by copyright. Please do not use or republish the recipes, materials, or images without prior written permission from Indonesian Cooking 101. If you want to share this recipe, please share the link rather than the whole recipe.

Follow Us: twitter button twitter button instagram button