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Chinese Curry Puffs (咖哩餃)

These Chinese curry puffs have a crispy, flaky exterior and flavorful beef curry filling! The two-part wrapper helps to create the signature flakiness of this must-try Chinese curry pastry.

Chinese Curry Puffs, Ga Li Jiao

Chinese curry puffs (咖哩餃, ga li jiao) are a staple item at Cantonese dim sum and Chinese bakeries. They feature a puff pastry wrapper with a curry beef filling. The filling usually includes beef, onion, and sometimes potato. Here I used beef and onion.

The wrapper is typically puff pastry, but my grandma always made it with a Chinese-style puff pastry. A Chinese puff pastry dough requires two different parts: a water dough and an oil dough. The oil dough is very similar to the butter in regular puff pastry or croissants. It creates a layered, flaky wrapper using a folding method similar to lamination. This type of wrapper does require some elbow grease and work to make, so you could always substitute it with store-bought puff pastry for a quicker recipe.

These are similar to the spiral curry puffs from Malaysia. However, unlike the Malaysian kind, these are baked curry puffs which do not require any deep frying. 

How to Make Chinese Curry Puffs

Make the Filling

Mix the beef with all of the curry filling ingredients except for the onion and curry powder. Chop the shallot. In a pan, stir-fry the shallot with a pinch of salt for a few minutes, just until it turns translucent. Set aside. Stir-fry the marinated beef until cooked. Drain the excess oil.

Curry Puff Filling

Add the stir-fried onion and curry powder to the beef and stir-fry for a few more minutes to incorporate the flavors.

Make the Water Dough

Knead all of the water dough ingredients together until a rough dough ball forms. Cover and let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes before kneading again until smooth. Divide into eight pieces.

Water Dough Rough Knead
Water Dough Kneaded Smooth

Make the Oil Dough

Combine the flour and oil to form a uniform mass. Divide this into eight pieces as well.

Create the Puff Pastry

Flatten one water dough with the palm of your hand and use it to wrap one oil dough (like wrapping a steamed bun). Pinch to seal. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough ball into a long oval.

Laminating the Chinese Puff Pastry

Roll the dough up from the short end and pinch to seal. With the sealed side up, rotate the dough log 90 degrees and repeat the same flattening and rolling procedure. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.

Assemble

With the sealed side on top, flatten the dough out into a circle. Place two tablespoons of the curry filling in the middle. Fold the dough in half to form a half-moon shape and pinch tightly to close. Optionally make a twisted rope pleat along the edge or use the tines of a fork to crimp the edge. 

Assembling the Curry Puff

Brush the pastry with the egg yolk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake at 375F for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Curry Puffs Brushed With Egg Wash

Tips for Making Baked Curry Puffs

  1. Make sure to drain out the excess oil from the beef. This step will make the filling less runny, which will make the curry beef pastry easier to wrap. You could also add panko bread crumbs to absorb the excess oil. 
  2. If the wrapper is ever difficult to handle, let it rest/relax for 5-10 minutes. After resting, it should be easier to handle and wrap.
  3. If you want to know how to create the crimped design for your Chinese curry pastry, click here to see photo references in my chive pocket recipe.
  4. If the egg yolk for the egg wash is slightly thick, you can thin it out with a drop or two of water. 

Chinese Curry Puffs (咖哩餃)

These Chinese beef curry puffs have a crispy, flaky exterior and flavorful curry filling! The two-part wrapper helps to create the signature flakiness of these must-try Chinese pastries.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Inactive Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Cantonese, Chinese
Keyword: baked curry puffs, Chinese curry pastry, Chinese curry puffs, curry beef pastry, ga li jiao
Servings: 8 puffs
Calories: 285kcal

Ingredients

Curry Filling

  • 1/2 lb ground beef or pork
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 3 shallots chopped or use onion

Water Dough

  • 150 grams all-purpose flour 1.25 cup, note 1
  • 80 mL water 1/3 cup
  • 37 g oil 3 tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Oil Dough

  • 90 g flour 3/4 cup
  • 40 g oil

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions

Make the Curry Filling

  • Mix the beef with all the curry filling ingredients except for the shallots and curry powder.
  • In a pan, stir-fry the shallot with a pinch of salt for a few minutes, just until it turns translucent. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, stir-fry the marinated beef until cooked. Drain the excess oil. Note 2
  • Add the stir-fried shallot and curry powder to the beef and stir-fry for a few more minutes to incorporate the flavors. Cover and set aside.

Make the Water Dough

  • Knead all of the water dough ingredients together until a rough dough ball forms. Cover and let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • Knead the dough again until completely smooth. Divide into 8 pieces.

Make the Oil Dough

  • Mix the flour and oil to form a uniform dough. It does not need to be kneaded. Also divide this into 8 pieces.

Finish the Wrapper

  • Flatten one water dough with the palm of your hand and use it to wrap one oil dough (like wrapping a steamed bun). Pinch to seal.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough ball into a long oval. Roll the dough up from the short end and pinch to seal. With the sealed side up, rotate the dough log 90 degrees and repeat the same flattening and rolling procedure. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.

Assembly

  • With the sealed side still on top, flatten the dough out into a circle and place two tablespoons of the curry filling in the middle. If the dough is tough to roll out, let it rest for about 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Fold the dough in half to form a half-moon shape and pinch tightly to close. Repeat with the other 7 pieces.
  • Optional: You can create a twisted ropes pleat along the edge of the puff to create a fancier design. See the Chinese Chive Pocket recipe to see this process. You can also use the tines of a fork to create a crimped edge.
  • Brush the top of the pastry with the egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. If the egg yolk is too thick, thin it out with just a drop or two of water.
  • Bake at 375F for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

  1. If measuring by volume, use the following method for the most accurate results: Measure the flour by spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling off the extra with a straight edge. 
  2. If the beef/pork releases too much oil/moisture after being stir-fried, you can either drain the oil or add some panko bread crumbs. You do not want the filling to be runny.

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