Indonesian pasties – Pastel goreng
Pastel goreng is an Indonesian fried pastry filled with meat and vegetables. This snack probably originated in Cornwell, UK. It is their official traditional dish. Read all about the traditional Cornish pasty here. The Indonesian Pastel Goreng is a bit different. It does not contain potatoes for instance.
The filling for your pastel goreng can be changed into whatever you like best, but make sure it is not too wet. You can replace the meat for instance with chopped tofu, tempeh or a boiled egg and you’re making vegetarian pasties. Also delicious.
This recipe is good for 20-25 pastel goreng. It takes a while to put them together. It took me 2,5 hours in total, including an hour resting time for the dough in the refrigerator -in the meantime I made the filling. You can also freeze pasties for weeks, after frying.
I use Danny Jansen’s 24Kitchen recipe. It is a usefull basic recipe , from here you can vary with what you want. My brother comes over and loves rice noodles in his pasty. So that’s what I am going to do. I do not like celery in my pasty too much and will leave that out Danny’s recipe. I also double the amount of big carrots. It keeps the pastel fresh and crisp.
A few things were a bit unclear to me in the original recipe, such as the frying time and the amount of salt. But that’s for later. Let’s get started!
550 gram plain flour
150 ml of water
half a teaspoon of salt
1 large onion
two big carrots
1 crushed garlic clove
350 grams of minced meat (half pork, half beef)
50 grams of frozen peas
a handful of rice noodles
1,5 teaspoon salt
1,5 teaspoon pepper
1 beaten egg to use as dough glue
frying oil, frying pan, paper towels
Start with the dough. I fill up my bowl with 550 grams of plain flour and break the three eggs on top. I also add some salt, about half a teaspoon. Now I take time to knead it slowly by hand.
Little by little, I add the water. It’s a dense dough so kneading is a pretty good workout . When my dough starts to shine it is done (add a tablespoon or two of water if the dough is too dry.) Now I wrap it in cling film (plastic wrap) and place it in the fridge for one hour.
Time for the filling. To my minced meat I add the grated carrots, frozen peas (still frozen), a large chopped onion, I use a garlic press to add the clove of garlic and enough salt and pepper. I use -after an experiment of baking, tasting and re-making- 1,5 teaspoon of salt and 1,5 teaspoon of pepper. This is how I like them, but that is of course totally personal. These Indonesian pasties are eaten with a spicy sweet and sour sauce. So I have to take that in consideration too.
I let my rice noodles soak in hot water for a few minutes. I do not cook them. Then drain, cut them into smaller pieces and mix with the meat and carrot mixture.
Now it is time to roll the dough out and cut it into circles of about 12 centimeters in diameter. You can vary with the size of course, but do not make them too big otherwise the filling can stay raw on the inside after frying.
I sprinkle my countertop with plain flour and roll the dough into a sheet of about 1/2 centimeters in thickness. It should not be too thin or too thick. Too thin will crack open during frying. Too thick is not tasty.
I use a plastic container to cut out the sheets of dough. You can use anything with a pretty sharp edge, or a large cookie cutter. The leftover dough, I use again. I knead it with a little water and roll it out a second time, until (almost) everything is used.
Rub the edges of your sheet of dough with some beaten egg. This way the edges will glue together and form a closed seal.
I scoop one tablespoon of filling onto my sheet and close it carefully, making sure all the filling is tucked in snug. No filling can spill out.
I gently squeeze the edges together and make a crease and work this way up along the edge.
I can heat up the oil (180 degrees Celsius) now. In the meantime I work on the rest of my pasties.
Danny does not exactly say how long they need in the oil. If they are brown on the outside, they can still be raw on the inside. You don’t want that with minced meat.
Of course it depends on the size of your pastel and the kind of filling how long it needs. My pasties need 6 minutes in the oil. Gently slide them into the pan. Your oil is hot enough when the pasties start to bubble immediately in the oil as seen in the picture above.
Test your first pasty. Fry one, let it drain on paper towels and cut it open right through the middle. You will immediately now if it needs a minute or two more.
All my pasties need some time to cool and drain on paper towels. Once cooled down, I freeze them. When it’s time to serve. I let them defrost almost completely inside or outside the fridge. Heat up the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and pop them in -on a big tray with baking paper underneath- for about 10 minutes. They are as tasty and crisp as ever. 😉
I serve my pasties with sweet and sour chili sauce. Danny makes a sauce himself (video in Dutch). It looks amazing, but I’m going to try that another time, because we are hungry now!
Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.