Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao Recipe - Macanese Pastry with Red Snapper and Olives

Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao

Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao Recipe - Macanese Pastry with Red Snapper and Olives
Region / culture: Macao | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes | Servings: 4


Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao
Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao

Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao is a delicious and flavorful fish pie that originates from Macao, a region known for its unique blend of Portuguese and Chinese influences. This dish features red snapper fillets cooked in a fragrant blend of spices, encased in a flaky and buttery Macanese pastry crust.


This recipe is a fusion of Portuguese and Chinese culinary traditions, reflecting the rich history of Macao as a former Portuguese colony. The use of spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric in the filling showcases the influence of Indian and Southeast Asian flavors on Macanese cuisine.


Macanese pastry dough


How to prepare

Macanese pastry dough

  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, work butter and margarine into flour until it resembles coarse meal.
  3. Make a well in the center, and add egg, egg yolk, and port; then beat together with a fork until frothy.
  4. Gradually work in flour until mixture just holds together.
  5. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface using the heel of your hand and pressing down and away from you to make a smooth, dense dough.
  6. Divide the dough in half and shape into rounds.
  7. Roll out the rounds on a lightly floured surface into 8" circles (the dough rounds will be fragile).


  1. Run your fingers over the fish fillets, then remove any bones that you feel.
  2. Generously season the fish with salt and pepper, then lightly dredge in flour.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry the fish on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
  4. Remove the fish from the skillet and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the same pan.
  6. Add garlic and half of the scallions and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Add cumin, coriander, and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Add 0.5 cup of water and return the fish to the skillet.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer until the fish is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  10. Allow the fish to cool, then use a fork to break the fish into large chunks.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  12. Fit 1 pastry round into an 8" pie pan and, with your fingertips, press the dough to fit the pan.
  13. Spoon the filling into the pie shell, then sprinkle with the remaining scallions and the mint.
  14. Scatter olives on top, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  15. Cover the pie with the remaining pastry round, crimp the edges, and cut a few slits in the center for steam to escape.
  16. Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is hot, about 35 minutes.


  • Substitute the red snapper with another firm white fish such as cod or haddock.
  • Add diced vegetables like bell peppers or carrots to the filling for extra flavor and nutrition.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to remove any bones from the fish fillets before cooking to ensure a smooth eating experience.

- When rolling out the pastry dough, handle it gently as it can be fragile due to the high butter content.

- Allow the fish filling to cool slightly before assembling the pie to prevent the pastry from becoming soggy.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao hot, straight from the oven, with a side salad or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Frying the fish fillets before adding them to the filling helps to seal in moisture and enhance their flavor.

- Simmering the fish in the spice mixture allows the flavors to meld together and infuse the fish with aromatic spices.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have red snapper, you can use any other firm white fish fillets.

- You can use store-bought puff pastry or pie crust instead of making the Macanese pastry dough from scratch.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the pastry dough and fish filling ahead of time and assemble the pie just before baking to save time on the day of serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao on a decorative platter garnished with fresh herbs like mint or parsley for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this dish with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a light and fruity red wine such as Pinot Noir to complement the flavors of the fish and spices.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F (177°C) until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao contains approximately 350 calories.


Each serving of Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao contains approximately 35 grams of carbohydrates.


This dish is rich in fats, with each serving providing around 20 grams of fat.


Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao is a good source of protein, with each serving containing about 15 grams.

Vitamins and minerals

The fish in this recipe provides essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium.


This recipe contains wheat (gluten), eggs, and dairy (butter, margarine, and Parmigiano-Reggiano), which may be allergens for some individuals.


Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao is a balanced dish that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals.


Empada de Peixe à Maniera de Macao is a flavorful and aromatic fish pie that combines the best of Portuguese and Chinese culinary traditions. With a buttery pastry crust and fragrant spice-infused fish filling, this dish is sure to impress your family and friends at your next gathering. Enjoy this unique and delicious recipe straight from the heart of Macao!

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear memory of the first time I saw this recipe for Empada de Peixe à Maneira de Macao. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in the bustling city of Macao. My mother, a talented cook herself, had invited a group of friends over for a dinner party. As I watched her prepare the dishes, I was mesmerized by the way she effortlessly moved around the kitchen, adding a pinch of this and a dash of that to create a symphony of flavors.

One dish in particular caught my eye - the Empada de Peixe. It was a delicate pastry filled with a delicious mixture of fresh fish, spices, and herbs. My mother had learned the recipe from a friend who had recently returned from a trip to Portugal, where she had picked up a few cooking tips from the locals. As I watched my mother roll out the dough, fill it with the fish mixture, and bake it to golden perfection, I knew that I had to learn how to make this dish myself.

Over the years, I have honed my skills in the kitchen, experimenting with different ingredients and techniques to perfect the recipe for Empada de Peixe à Maneira de Macao. I have made it for countless family gatherings, dinner parties, and special occasions, always receiving rave reviews from my guests.

The key to a successful Empada de Peixe lies in the quality of the ingredients. Fresh fish is a must, preferably caught from the waters surrounding Macao. I like to use a combination of white fish, such as cod or haddock, and oily fish, like mackerel or sardines, to give the filling a rich and complex flavor. The spices are also crucial - a blend of paprika, cumin, and coriander adds a depth of warmth and earthiness to the dish.

The pastry for the Empada de Peixe is equally important. I have spent years perfecting my recipe for a flaky, buttery crust that complements the savory filling. The secret lies in using cold butter and ice water, and handling the dough as little as possible to ensure a light and airy texture.

As I prepare the Empada de Peixe for a dinner party tonight, I can't help but feel a sense of pride in my cooking skills. The recipe has been passed down through generations, each cook adding their own touch to make it their own. I like to think that my version of Empada de Peixe à Maneira de Macao is a true reflection of my love for cooking and my appreciation for the culinary traditions of my homeland.

As the savory aroma of the Empada de Peixe fills the kitchen, I can't help but smile. Cooking has always been a passion of mine, a way to express myself and connect with others through the universal language of food. I am grateful for the memories and experiences that have shaped me into the cook I am today, and I look forward to passing on this recipe to future generations, so that they too can experience the magic of Empada de Peixe à Maneira de Macao.


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