Nuchas and Rhong-Tiam Collaborate on Thai Empanadas

After enjoying their Thanksgiving empanada special during the holiday season last year, I was excited to see Nuchas tweet that they’re offering Thai special empanadas at both their Times Square kiosk and the truck. Nuchas collaborated with chef Andy Yang of Rhong-Tiam to bring two Thai-inspired fillings (which are already on Rhong-Tiam’s menu) to their empanadas: lemongrass chicken and basil beef. Normally I’m skeptical of things that seem like Asian confusion, but I was very interested in checking these out. So, how’d they fare?

Turns out these Thai empanadas can be elusive. On my first attempt, the Nuchas kiosk in Times Square hadn’t yet received their delivery of the empanada specials. On my second trip, they had only the beef version.

At $4 each, these are definitely pricey, considering the Thanksgiving special was $3 and the nameless carts sell larger empanadas for just $2.

But, the nameless cart’s empanadas pale in comparison when it comes to taste. These Thai empanadas are packed with flavor! The basil beef definitely tasted the way I envisioned in my head, having ordered basil beef in Thai restaurants countless times. The basil flavor came through nicely, and the bird eye chili added a welcome heat.

A third attempt got me a chicken lemongrass empanada, which was also extremely flavorful and packed more heat than the beef did. If you’re a fan of lemongrass, you will definitely want to seek these out.

In the end, I was torn. On the one hand, these are some of my favorite empanadas that Nuchas has created so far. On the other hand, they’re $4 each, and a couple of these little things will never fill you up at lunchtime.

Nuchas, Broadway btwn 44th-45th Streets in Times Square

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