Sambusak (Filled Beef Pastries)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

Sambusak is one of my favorite pastries. You can serve them on trays at a party (great finger food) and they are great on picnics and bag lunches.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make the pastry, first combine the flour and salt.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the margarine and gradually blend in the flour mixture.
  3. Add the water.
  4. Knead until a ball forms.
  5. Let the dough rest as you prepare the filling.
  6. To make the meat filling, saute the onion in oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the chopped meat and brown it, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes.
  8. Let meat cool, then add the spices and pine nuts.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  10. Spread the 1/2 cup of sesame seeds on a large plate.
  11. Break off walnut size pieces of dough.
  12. Shape each into a ball and dip it lightly on one side into the sesame seeds, then roll it, seed side down, into a 3-inch round.
  13. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of the round.
  14. Fold it over to make a half-moon and crimp the edges together tightly so that filling will not burst through.
  15. (Sambusak can be frozen at this point. Place them in a single layer on a tray lined with wax paper and freeze them. Place frozen sambusak in double plastic bags and return them to the freezer. To bake frozen pastries, place them on ungreased baking sheets ) Place pastries on ungreased baking sheets and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
Most Helpful

These are really good. I added more cinnamon and allspice. Also, a fourth a teaspoon of curry powder gives a little extra flavor. I added a couple of tablespoons of fat free sour cream to keep the meat mixture together. Serve this with honey on the side and you can't go wrong. Very GOOD!

Cheri Hines March 28, 2002

I loved the flavor of the meat, but I found the pastry to be very dry. I've never made Sambusak before, but I think it was dry because mine had too much the pastry per bite and not enough of the meat (I didn't roll the dough thin enough). This has great appetizer potential - I just need to get the hang of it!

Kishka September 01, 2003

We all enjoyed these very much. Did take note of other reviewers & added more spice. Also added a dash of chilli as my son loves things 'hot'! Thanks Mirj!

Tina and Dave March 21, 2008