Vegan Empanadas from Puerto Rico

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Vegan Empanadas from Puerto Rico
  1. Combine water, TVP, and soy sauce in a large pan over high heat. Cook and stir until water is mostly evaporated. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, sazon, adobo sauce, oregano, and cumin. Continue cooking until TVP starts to firm up, about 5 minutes, increasing heat if necessary. Add cayenne and liquid smoke and cook until the mixture starts sticking to the pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and mix vegan meat well.

  2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add water and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Mix with your hands and knead until all flour is incorporated. Cut dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Place dough balls in the bowl and cover; let sit for 3 to 4 minutes. Roll a dough ball out into a 6-inch circle and fill with vegan meat and shredded cheese. Dip a finger in water and moisten the edges of the dough before folding over and crimping empanada edges using a fork. Repeat with remaining dough balls and fillings.

  3. Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 or 3 empanadas as a time to the hot oil and fry until both sides are a light golden color, about 5 minutes total. Transfer fried empanadas to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Cook’s Notes:

You can use regular cheese if you are not vegan.

If you prefer a harder outside, fry empanadas until a deeper gold/brown.

Editor’s Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.
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