Pastel is a typical Brazilian snack, consisting of a crisp, thin dough envelope with assorted fillings and deep-fried. It’s primarily sold on the streets fairs, but also in bars and some restaurants as hors-d’oeuvre. It’s very cheap, flavorful and sometimes so big that can replace a meal. Some examples of fillings are minced meet, onions and olives (pastel de carne), just mozzarella, or the Brazilian soft cheese called Catupiry, also popular is the pizza flavor with cheese, tomatoes and oregano. It’s not so common, but you can find pastel with sweet fillings as well. I read that it came from Portugal and descends from the sweet pastries they do there, that they call pastelaria. But I also read it’s a variation on the Chinese deep-fried spring rolls. Maybe is a combination of both, who knows? The only thing I’m sure is that the Brazilian pastel is unique and delicious! The dough’s secret is the addition of a little Cachaça (Brazilian alcoholic drink) that makes it very crispy. I never tested the recipe with other alcoholic drink but I guess you could replace it with Vodka. It’s very easy to make pastel at home, so here it goes the recipe for the dough and you can put the filling you want:

Pastel dough:
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of canola oil
1 tablespoon of Cachaça
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
About ½ cup warm water

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, add the oil, the Cachaça and vinegar, then the water, little by little until the dough is homogeneous and smooth, but not wet. Work the dough in a floured surface as you do with fresh pasta. Let it rest a couple of hours or until next day. Roll out the dough so it’s a little thinner than a pie crust. Cut in the size and shape desired, usually its round or square. Put the filling in the center, fold and press the dough together so it won’t open, like when you do raviolis. Deep-fry the pastel in very hot oil, serve hot.


Petra aka Cascabel said...

I love pastéis! They remind me of a wonderful and lazy week on the island of Morro de São Paulo, swimmming, snorkeling, eating freshly made pastéis on the beach... :-) Thank you!

cb88 said...

Pastelaria is the word for the place where they make pasteis in Brazil

I'm gonna have to try this to see if it works :-)

Harris said...

muito bom. sempre queria essa receita so que nunca consegieu pega-la enquanto estava morando em sao paulo! muito obrigado mesmo

basementblogger said...

Love you blog! I love your mixture of recipes, history, and culture. Espero que fice escrevendo!

Muito Obrigada

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