Rissois seem to be at every Portuguese gathering. As a kid, I favoured the meat-filled Rissois over the shrimp ones. Now that I eat a more vegetarian diet, I haven’t been able to eat these appetizers in years.
As I reminisced, I decided to take a crack at making a vegan alternative. I will also include the non-vegan ingredients for those who want to make the original meat version.
I am surprised how good they came out! They tasted exactly like the ones I had as a child. I will confess that they do take some time to make. If you do decide to make them (which I hope you do!), I would make sure you have an hour and a half to two hours of spare time.
Rissois de Carne
Yields: 30 pieces
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp (vegan) margarine
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 350g (veggie) meat, I recommend Impossible Meat
- 2 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Nutmeg to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup silken tofu, pureed (or 1 egg)
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, I recommend soy milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- pinch of salt
- Bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil
- At medium-high heat, add water, margarine, and salt into a non-stick pan.
- Once the margarine has melted and the water is beginning to boil, turn off the heat and stir in sifted flour.
- Continuously stir mixture with a wooden spoon.
- When the mixture starts to combine, transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
- Quickly kneed the dough until it forms into a ball. Careful the dough will be hot.
- Cover the dough and set aside.
- At medium heat, saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Stir frequently, until onions become translucent.
- Add tomato paste and stir until onions and garlic are evenly coated.
- Stir in crumbled veggie meat.
- Once the meat is fully cooked, add parsley, nutmeg, pepper, and salt. Stir until combined.
- Turn down heat to low and stir in the silken tofu. The meat mixture should begin to stick together.
- Add flour in a tablespoon at a time and stir until the meat mixture begins to bind together. You should be able to roll the meat into balls without it falling apart.
- Roll dough on a floured surface until it is approximately 1/8-inch thick.
- Using a round cookie cutter or the rim of a cup, cut circles into the dough.
- Using your hands or a 1 tsp cookie scoop, scoop out the meat mixture. Roll in between your hands until it creates a 1-inch ball.
- Place the meat in the circle-cut dough.
- Fold the dough over the meat to create half circles and pinch the dough shut so the filling does not spill out.
- Repeat until there is no more filling left.
Breading and Frying:
- At high heat, place oil in a deep fryer or a deep pan, enough that the rissois will be fully submerged in oil.
- For the wet batter, whisk flour, non-dairy milk, water, salt, and garlic and onion powder in a bowl until fully combined. You can also substitute the wet batter with a couple of beaten eggs.
- Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl.
- Fully submerge the rissois in the wet batter. Make sure it is completely and evenly battered.
- Take the rissois out of the wet batter and transfer them into the bread crumbs. Make sure there is no excess batter before transferring.
- Once the rissois are evenly coated in bread crumbs, transfer into the hot oil.
- Fry the rissois until they are a deep golden-brown colour, approximately 1-2 minutes, flipping them halfway.
- Remove rissois and place onto a paper-lined tray to absorb the excess oil.
- Best served warm.
If you don’t plan of frying them right away, I recommend freezing them in an airtight container. Only batter the rissois when they are ready to be fried.
For a “healthier” version with less fat, you can also air fry them instead of deep frying. I air-fried them at 365 degree C (or the fries setting) for about 8 minutes, flipping them half way.
This is a great way to consume less meat without sacrificing flavour. Perfect for #MeatlessMondays or to fool non-vegetarian guests (haha). I am excited to keep exploring vegan and vegetarian alternatives to these traditional Portuguese foods.
I hope you enjoy,