Light and crunchy deep-fried crescent puff shells filled with savory potato filling that are smothered with Japanese curry sauce. This Spiral Curry Puffs with Japanese Curry Filling is a delicious fusion of classic Malaysian snack and street food Karipap Pusing with all-time favorite Japanese curry.
I learned about Spiral Curry Puffs when I had a job visit in Singapore for a short while. I saw many stalls selling these treats and cannot resist to buy one myself. It was so good that I got addicted to them ever since. It has been months since I ate them and it is probably about time to learn how to make it at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
About Spiral Curry Puffs
Spiral Curry Puffs are all the raves in Singapore and Malaysia. Spiral Curry Puffs are also known as Karipap Pusing. Karipap means curry puffs and pusing means the spiralized pattern in the context of Malay language. They are deep-fried crescent-shaped pastries filled with savory potato filling. Because of their popularity, you can found these treats sold freshly fried at many Malay, Chinese, and Indian food stalls.
They look quite similar to the western puff called empanadas, but the Southeast Asian style is normally filled with curried potatoes, chicken, or sardines. Then, they are deep-fried to give the crispiness. In Indonesia, we also have something similar called pastel. Most of the time, I find them filled with vermicelli, stir-fried vegetables, and boiled hard eggs.
What makes these Spiral Curry Puffs different from my country is the curry filling and the beautiful spiralized pattern on the skin. I used to think that this dish will be super complicated to make, but it is actually easier than I thought. In fact, this is actually my first time making Spiral Curry Puffs and they are a great success. How to make this texture lies in the making of the skin and I will tell you step by step with a video tutorial on how to make it below.
About Japanese Curry Filling
For the recipe, I used Japanese curry filling because that was all I had in my kitchen. If you follow my website, you will find many recipes about Japanese curry and one of them is about Curry Bread. I used the filling recipe from Curry Bread and it works well with the Spiral Curry Puffs. You can also fill these Spiral Puffs with other ingredients if you like, not limited to curry only. Either sweet or savory, the filling should be in a paste form and not runny to prevent any mess during frying.
Nowadays, curry sauce is most commonly made from instant curry roux, which is available in block and powder forms. It is a staple of Japanese households and you can find Japanese curry roux at supermarkets across Japan. You can find them sold online. I used the Vermont curry mix, which has a milder taste.
I must say the prepackage Japanese curry roux is a life saver. The solid roux is already made with all flavor packed inside which melts easily in hot liquid. You just need to cook vegetables and meat in water, after which the solid chunks of roux are added to the broth. You can usually find the prepackage Japanese curry roux in 3 levels of spiciness – mild, medium, and hot. I personally prefer the mild one because it has a sweeter flavor.
To make the filling, stir fry the finely diced onion, potatoes, and carrot until cooked. Add ground beef and cook until it is fully cooked. Add soy sauce, ketchup, and Japanese curry roux along with a mixture of cornstarch water. Do not forget to break down the curry roux with a wooden spatula while mixing to make sure it is well combined.
How to Make the Spiral Puffs
I used the Huang Kitchen recipe for the exterior dough. The recipe yields 40 Spiral Curry Puffs plus some leftover bits which you can use to make a few more. I have to admit that making all of them at once is pretty tedious, so it is okay to half the recipe. You can also store raw Spiral Puffs in a freezer if you cannot finish them at once. But my suggestion is to fry them in the same day because they puff more nicely during frying when still fresh.
I would definitely characterize these spiral puffs recipe to be more for an intermediate cook. There are a lot of steps, folding, and measuring. But in the end, everything is worth it because the homemade version tastes as delicious as the store-bought one. They are absolutely heavenly when eaten still hot and to me the result is every bit as good. Let’s get deeper on how to make the Spiral Puffs below.
1. Make the dough
These Spiral Puffs exterior are flaky and crunchy. This type of pastry is much like the western puff pastry which is made from paper-thin layers of butter trapped between layers of dough. But in this case, we make separate two types of dough which are water dough pastry and oil dough pastry, then we roll and fold the dough to create those layers.
Make the water dough first by mixing and kneading all-purpose flour, salt, beaten eggs, and water. It takes about 10 minutes by hand to form the gluten and make them stretchy and elastic. Then, rest the dough for 30 minutes to allow gluten strands to relax and make it easier to shape. Do not forget to cover the dough with a clean and damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying.
Next, make the oil dough by mixing the all-purpose flour and margarine until well incorporated. It will be very soft and has a paste consistency.
2. Divide and combine the dough
Then, divide the oil dough into 20 even small balls. I use a kitchen scale to weigh everything. In my case, each ball weight about 17gr. By the time you finish dividing the oil dough, the water dough should finish resting. Divide the water dough into20 even small balls, each about 30gr.
After finishing the dividing process, you should have even 20 water dough and 20 oil dough. Take a ball of water dough, flatten it with your hand, and put a ball of oil dough in the center. Gather the water dough edges to cover the oil dough and pinch any seam to seal it. Repeat the process to the remaining dough and you should have created 20 combined dough balls.
3. Roll the dough
Next, take a ball of combined dough and flatten and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a long rectangular shape with a rolling pin. Working on the shorter end, slowly roll up tightly into a swiss roll.
Turn the rolled dough upright and flatten the dough again into a long rectangular shape. Roll it up like a swiss roll again. Continue doing so with the rest of the combined dough.
Cut each of the rolled dough into two halves with a sharp knife. You should be able to see the spirals on the inside.
4. Shape the dough
Put the flat side down and flatten each half of the cut dough with a rolling pin. I used a dough press mold to shape the Spiral Curry Puffs. It makes everything easier and faster, but you can still do shape the Spiral Curry Puffs manually if you do not have the mold. Put the flattened dough on a dough press mold and add a tablespoon of curry filling. Close the mold, press firmly so that the edge is sealed completely.
If you do not have the mold, put a tablespoon of curry filling in the center of the flattened uncut side. Fold and shape into a half-moon. Pinch the edges together to seal in the filling and pleat the edges decoratively. This is probably the hardest part in the recipe because you need some skill to pleat the edges beautifully.
Do not add too much filling as it may leak out during folding and deep-frying. Also please make sure the edge is sealed up completely. It is essential to have a sufficient amount of pastry and press firmly. Otherwise, the curry puffs may break during deep-frying.
5. Deep-frying the Spiral Curry Puffs
Heat oil for deep frying in a big frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is heated to 360 F/180°C, carefully drop in curry puffs in several batches into the oil. Cook until golden brown and crispy for about 4-5 minutes. It takes longer to deep-fry the larger curry puffs. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain while it cools.
How to Store Spiral Curry Puffs
You can store the freshly made raw curry puffs in a freezer and fry them just before serving although I recommend frying them on the spot for better texture. Put them in a tray, single layer, separated from one with another, and freeze them. Keep the frozen curry puffs in an airtight plastic container. It can be kept in the freezer for several weeks. Simply fry the frozen ones directly in low heat before serving and remove the Spiral Curry Puffs when they turn brown in color.
More Japanese Curry Recipes
Do you love Japanese curry? I have several recipes that you will love!