Tuna Pie Recipe

If you’re a big fan of Jollibee, it’s likely that you’ve had a taste of their famous Tuna Pie. The crispy pie crust and the tender filling of the tuna pie makes it the perfect tiny snack. This recipe is inspired by Jollibee’s Tuna Pie, but with some variations. Making this is absolutely worth the effort!

If you take a look at the pie crust, it resembles an empanada called the empanada de kaliskis. It has a distinct light and flaky crust that resembles fish scales, hence the name. Once fried, the layers lift and curl into ridges, giving it a wonderful texture. This type of empanada can be found in Malolos, Bulacan, where cooks have been making the recipe for around 200 years. This is the type of dough I’ll be making for this recipe, which results in a variety of textures from inside and outside the tuna pie.

How to Make Tuna Pie

Ingredients

Pie Dough

  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar – ½ tsp salt
  • 50g of cold lard, duck fat or butter
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • 120 ml water
  • 1/2 cup extra flour, for dusting

For oil dough, use same recipe above but substitute:

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 100 gr lard, butter or duck fat

Tuna Filling

  • 1 canned tuna, drained
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese

Instructions

Prep

  1. For the flaky dough, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add in lard and lightly mix into the flour with your fingers. It should resemble coarse sand.
  2. Add vinegar and water. Mix until it forms a rough dough and transfer to a flat surface. Knead for 5 minutes until it turns into a smooth ball. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. For the oil dough, repeat steps 1 and 2. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, add tuna and separate into flakes. Chop celery, potatoes, and carrots, and onions into small dices.
  5. In a pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and sweat until translucent. Add in celery, carrots, and potatoes. Once translucent, add butter and salt. Add in tuna and mix until well incorporated.
  6. Return tuna mixture into a bowl and season to taste. Add mayo, cream, and cheddar cheese and mix until well incorporated. Set aside to cool.

Assembly

  1. In a floured surface, roll out flaky dough as thin as you can into a circle. Put the oil dough on top and wrap with the flaky dough. Rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Roll out the dough as thin as you can into a rectangle.
  3. Roll the dough into a log as tight as possible. Cut into 2-inch segments. Flatten onto your palm and roll out into a circle.
  4. Add a spoonful of the tuna mixture. Crimp the edges in any style you like.
  5. In a deep fryer at 160C, gently place in the tuna pies. As it cooks, baste the hot oil on the top side to let the top side cook. No need to flip. Once golden brown, remove from heat and let it rest.
Erwan Heussaff
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