These Chinese curry puffs are a delicious dim sum or Chinese bakery item, with a savory curry beef filling and flaky pastry. They make an amazing party appetizer, potluck item, or quick snack.
They can also be made in advance and baked “to order” whenever you want to enjoy them!
Make the pastry yourself using our rough puff pastry recipe, or use store bought puff pastry for convenience.
A Disappearing Classic
Curry Puffs are a classic Chinese bakery or dim sum item that have fallen to the wayside a bit. I can’t really remember the last time I saw or tasted a really good one while at a dim sum house or rolling through a Chinese bakery for a pineapple bun.
Maybe it’s because they’re just too retro to be cool? Or maybe it’s just too troublesome what with the laundry list of delicately folded buns and dumplings that said dim sum houses also have to churn out.
Whatever the reason, we haven’t left the Curry Puff behind.
Puff Pastry Options
Chinese Curry Beef Puffs are often traditionally made with a very short pastry dough brushed generously with egg wash to give it that Chinese bakery case sheen.
Translation: you’ll need puff pastry for this recipe. And you can go one of two ways: store bought or a homemade rough puff!
Store bought puff pastry is widely available, easy to prep, and its perfectly flaky crispness absorbs the curry flavor of the filling in a delightful way. Some brands have artificial ingredients in it, but you can find all-butter frozen puff pastry on the market as well.
If you want to take these puffs to the next level though, use our homemade rough puff pastry recipe!
The Curry Puff Filling
As for the filling, there’s a bit of a narrower range of variation, but for Curry Puffs, the devil’s in the details, and it’s all too easy to end up with a mediocre rather than phenomenal product (see a similar phenomenon at play when it comes to cooking deceptively simple Edamame.
That being said, we’ve kept the filling for this recipe extremely simple, elevating the flavors of the curry powder and keeping the consistency perfectly thick and gravy-like with some well-applied cornstarch.
It was so good that we were all sneaking spoonfuls between baking batches of the puffs. This recipe was actually the mother of our Curry Beef Bowls recipe; so if that was your jam, you should definitely give these puffs a whirl!
The TLDR of this exposition is that we pawned the lion’s share of these Beef Curry Puffs off to our neighbors. They weren’t just deemed good. Their kids were fighting over them. So yeah. Make ‘em.
If you’re interested in other Chinese bakery sweets or dim sum dishes, check out our collection of Dim Sum Recipes and Chinese Bakery recipes!
Chinese Beef Curry Puff Recipe
First, make your beef curry puff filling.
In a skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent and just slightly caramelized.
Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook until browned.
Next, add the curry powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, sugar, black pepper, and salt. Stir everything together and allow the mixture to cook for another couple of minutes.
While that’s happening, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing the beef broth with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Stir the slurry into the beef mixture and simmer for a few minutes, until the entire mixture has thickened. You’ll know it’s ready when there’s no more pooling liquid––just a very viscous curry beef!
Transfer the beef curry mixture to a bowl and allow to cool completely.
Folding Your Beef Curry puffs
Once your beef curry puff filling is cool, take your puff pastry out of the freezer and defrost for about 35-40 minutes. No more!
One word about store-bought puff pastry versus homemade rough puff pastry is that they are waayyy different!
The store-bought stuff is usually made with shortening and a whole lot of other ingredients while our easy rough pastry recipe uses water, butter, salt and, flour. Making your own rough puff pastry is a real game changer.
Unfold each puff pastry sheet, and cut each one into 9 squares.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of filling onto each square, and fold diagonally to form a triangle, pressing the edges together.
Crimp the edges with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining squares of puff pastry. You’ll need two baking sheets.
Baking Your Beef Curry Puffs
When the puffs are formed, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes and preheat your oven to 400°F. When the oven is preheated, remove the puffs from the refrigerator, and brush with egg wash.
If you decide to freeze your beef curry puffs, the cooking instructions are only slightly different. Preheat your oven to 425°F, and place the puffs on the baking sheet frozen. Brush with egg wash. When you put them in the oven, immediately turn the oven down to 400°F.
Bake the curry puffs (one sheet at a time) for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before attempting to eat, as the filling will be very hot!
And if you don’t finish these beef curry puffs in one sitting, just reheat them in a toaster oven!
Make a batch of these beef curry puffs today!