Sirena Tuna and Green Olive Hand Pies with Fennel Salsa

Sirena Tuna and Green Olive Hand Pies with Fennel Salsa

These hand pies are inspired by Brazilian pastéis – deep-fried with flaky pastry and a flavoursome filling.

  • Time:Greater than 30 minutes
  • Difficulty:Advanced
  • Servings:6



Fennel salsa



  1. For the pastry, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil to the well and mix in the flour, using your hands. Gradually add the spirit, using your hands to bring together to form a ball of dough. Turn out onto a work bench and knead lightly until just smooth. Divide into two equal portions, shape each into a rough rectangle, cover with the bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. For the fennel salsa, place all of the ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until roughly combined. Refrigerate until required for the flavours to meld.
  3. For the filling, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes or until softened and translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant but not coloured. Add the spinach, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, increase heat to medium and cook for about 3 minutes or until collapsed and the water has completely evaporated. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  4. Add the remaining filling ingredients and use your hands to mix, breaking up the chunks of tuna, and ensuring the ingredients are evenly distributed. Check the seasoning and adjust to your taste.
  5. Roll each portion of the pastry out on a lightly floured bench to roughly a 20 cm (height) x 60 cm (length) rectangle, about 2 mm thick. Use a knife to trim the sides. Cut each at 10 cm intervals so you have a total of twelve 20 cm x 10 cm rectangles. Discard the trimmings.
  6. To make the hand pies, divide the filling into 12 portions. Place the filling on the top half of each rectangle, leaving a border and moulding into a rough rectangle. Lightly brush the edges with the beaten egg and fold over the bottom half of the pastry to enclose the filling, pressing around the filling to remove any air and pressing to seal the edges – carefully press or the pastry may crack; if it does, just gently pinch back together. Decorate by pressing the tines of a fork along the edges.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep-sided saucepan to 160C. Add the pies (use a palette knife or spatula to lift them off the bench), in batches, and cook until the pastry is nicely golden and bubbled, about 3 minutes each side. Be careful as the oil will spit due to the moisture in the pastry.
  8. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes then serve with fennel salsa for dipping.