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Shrimp Pastel – a tasty Brazilian Snack

Shrimp Pastel – a tasty Brazilian Snack

Shrimp Pastel Recipe

This is a simple recipe for shrimp pastel. Pastel is a type of snack that you often find in Brazil (and Portugal). Pastels are a type of pastry or pie filled with all sorts of fillings, like cheese, chicken, meat or fish.

You eat pastels as a snack or starter, or even as a main course. This shrimp pastel recipe is for the shrimp (or prawn) filling. The special pastry dough (which I bought ready-made), is folded over the filling and deep fried in oil to produce a delicious crispy snack which is best eaten hot.


shrimp pasteis

Cooking the garlic, ginger and shrimp


When I used to travel for work in Brazil I would often order the shrimp pastel as a snack or starter to accompany a beer.


shrimp pastel filling

Filling cooling down


Pastel Dough

I bought the dough ready-made. In Portugal the special pastry is known as ‘massa tenra’ and you can often find it in the fresh pasta area of your supermarket. In Portugal you may find the pastel referred to as a ‘pastéis’ which means pastry. And in Brazil you may find pastel called ’empanada’, which is like a small pie. You can find a recipe for the dough here



Filling the pastel dough


The special thin pastel dough contains fat, which creates bubbles on the surface when fried in hot oil, creating a lovely crispy product. In Portugal we buy the dough in 11cm discs. These thin discs can be used immediately out of the packet to create your delicious snack. It is much easier and quicker than making it yourself.

prawn pastel

Edges of the massa tenra dough crimped with a fork


Preparing the Shrimp Pastel Filling

This shrimp pastel recipe is my own and is not a traditional Brazilian recipe. The Brazilian recipe would traditionally not include ginger or coconut I believe. But I like the combination of ginger and garlic, especially with shrimp and thought it would go well in this pastel. I believe it does. You could even make these a little bit spicy if you wish by adding some red chili peppers to the mixture.

shrimp pastel

Delicious crispy pastel


Preparing the filling involves actually cooking it until the shrimp is cooked. Then when you deep fry you are just looking to cook the pastry on the outside to a perfect colour.

The filling mixture is very easy to make and you can have these ready in less than 15 minutes. The quantities are enough to produce about 8 pastels. It was actually enough to feed the three of us for an evening.

prawn pasteis

Enjoy!!! So yummy!


I hope you enjoy making these pastels. I certainly did!

If you try to make these, please let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments section below!

How to make Shrimp Pastel

shrimp pastel

Shrimp Pastel

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

This Shrimp Pastel recipe is a version of a typical Brazilian snack with some extra ingredients added for variety.


  • 120g frozen shrimp or prawn
  • 1 small onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Suitable dough thinly cut into 11 cm disks (mass tenra)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Chopped fresh coriander
  • 1,5 cm cube of ginger
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • Vegetable oil to fry


  1. Start by defrosting the shrimp (read also prawn) and removing any excess water. Devein the shrimp if necessary.
  2. Finely chop the garlic and ginger, and chop the tomatoes. Finely chop the coriander.
  3. Then fry the garlic and ginger together in a saucepan for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook further on medium heat until the shrimp has cooked. Then add the chopped coriander and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Then lay the pastry dough separately and add a spoonful of the shrimp mixture to the centre of each disk. Fold the disk over and seal using a fork along the edge.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan or wok (or use a deep fryer if you prefer). Add the pastel to the hot oil and allow to cook on both sides. Remove before the pastel becomes too brown.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 339mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

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