Vigan Empanada


My first taste of Vigan empanada was in 1992 when our UP College Baguio Humanities II class went to Ilocos for a fieldtrip. I found out last week that the empanada stalls are owned by virtually just one clan. The recipe and tradition of cooking Vigan empanada has been passed on from one generation to another.

Having Vigan empanada at the Burgos Plaza was an exciting event. The cooking of this local streetfood delight is a show in itself. The manangs roll the dough into a soft shell, put in the ingredients and cook the empanadas right before your eyes and serve them crispy and fresh off the pan.

Vigan empanada is made from a freshly-rolled dough of rice-flour and egg whites. It’s filled in with a mixture of cabbage, carrots, green papaya, monggo sprouts and tomatoes. The dough with filling is then deep-fried in a large pan until the dough turns into a crispy shell. This is the regular empanada and sells for P5.

The Vigan empanada has a variation: special empanada. Special empanada has a slightly bigger crust, is filled with all the ingredients of regular empanada, but has additional Vigan longganisa (local sausage) bits and an egg yolk. Hmmmmm, yum yum! The special empanada sells for P25.

Also at these stalls, you’ll find Ukoy. Ukoy is made from a batter of rice flour and onions topped with small shrimps. The concoction turns into a crispy mouthful after deep frying. Ukoy sells for P25.

This foodfest of crispy streetfood delights is served on a plate with a bowl of vinegar and a spoon and fork. Personally, I like to eat them with my hands! Get ready with the paper napkins to wipe of the grease from your hands and the dripping vinegar from the sides of your mouth!

When: The empanada stalls start cooking at around 1:30 pm and close at around 9pm.

Tip: Best eaten right there and then. Vigan empanada and ukoy turn soggy after a few hours of travel.

Where: There are various stalls around Ilocos serving Vigan empanada. But the stalls at the Burgos Plaza at the Vigan city center provide the appropriate streetfood ambience for eating Vigan empanada – the clacking of the calesa, the whirring of the scooters or tricycles and the buzz of the locals and tourists enjoying the local crispy delight.

Taste if for yourself!

ka edong
attempted rolling the dough of Vigan empanada

Next Tuesday: Burnay – Ilocos’ pot of gold

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  • Vigan expat

    A better tasting Vigan empanada is the one found near the southern end of Crisologo St.

    Also when in Vigan, try:
    * Vigan longganisa (can be bought from the local markets);
    * Tongson’s Royal bibingka (their shop’s a few meters north of Cafe Leona also on Crisologo St – or ask a local);
    * Sinanglaw – a tasty broth made from different parts of a freshly slaughtered cow (meat, skin, offal, coagulated blood, liver, etc.). This can be bought from certain parts of Vigan, such as the one next to the cathedral belltower and only in the morning. The reason for this is because it is cooked from the municipal slaughterhouse.

  • http://www.ityiworm.com jadez sengson

    sarap nga talaga ng empanada ah ahah alam kuna kung ano ang ingidients ng dough nya eh eh eh gusto nyong malaman email nyo ako jadez_91yahoo.com

  • eric

    When they say Ilocos empanada, we usualy think of that of Vigan. Vigan and Ilocos empanada are different. Common mistake, yung Ilocos Empanada, yun ang madalas tawagin nilang Vigan Empanada. To differentiate the two, Vigan Empanada is dirty white in color and has cabbage as a filling, it is sold only in the town of Vigan (sa outside Vigan kasi in Ilocos Sur, yung Ilocos Empanada na). Ilocos Empanada, the color is orange., fillings are grated papaya and monggo.

  • ed

    I’ve tasted the vigan empanada during the wow philippines exhibit in intramuros. if possible, can you furnish me with a copy of the recipe (including how to make the dough). Thanks a lot.

  • http://[email protected] joyce

    pde po ba email nio ko hw to make empanada yung affordable ang price for kids.ill try to make it here in nueva ecija ala pa ko nkikita d2…tnx

  • http://[email protected] joyce

    gs2 ko lasa ng empanada,nkatikim when i was in ilocos sur kya gs2 ko matutunan how to make it

  • http://[email protected] therry joaquin rocello

    I’M VERY INTERESTED WITH THE RECIPE OF VIGAN EMPANADA, COULD YOU PLS. SEND ME EXACTLY WHAT IS BEST WAY TO DO THE VIGAN EMPANADA,BECAUSE THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE! I REALLY MISS IT AND ITS VERY LONG TIME I NEVER EAT THIS! I’M STAYING VERY LONGTIME HERE IN PARIS,FRANCE AND I EAT MOSTLY OF THE TIME OF COURSE FRENCH FOOD! THAT’S WHY I REALLY MISS OUR PHILIPPINE FOOD SINCE I CAME HERE!

  • brentylicious

    im from vigan… wow vigan empanada is my favorite.. sarap!!!… tagal na kung di nakakain ng vigan empanada since nagwork na ko here in makati… thanks god my vigan empanada na here in the metro and its located at the mall of asia

  • vladi

    can you teach me how to make an empanada.cuz i really miss the empanada in the phillipines….thank you

  • jophia

    sarap talaga ng empanada sa ilocos

  • ALLYSON

    PLEASE, PLEASE, BE HELPFUL ENAF TO POST THE RECIPE IN MAKING VIGAN EMPANADA, FROM THE DOUGH MIXING TO THE FILLING… I AM SO DYING TO TRY COOKING A DISH LIKE THID FOR MY FRIENDS. THNAKS MUCH!

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  • Cynthia

    Please furnish me a copy of the vigan empanada recipe

  • ROSALIE A REYES

    i would appreciate if you can give me recipe for the vigan empananda dough and the fillings. tnxs. God bless

  • rosella dilodilo

    sir,

    i would appreciate if you can give me recipe for the vigan empananda dough and the fillings. thn god bless

  • KENSHI of CAVITE

    I went to Vigan with my officemates summer 2005 and it was splendid!!! tasting the Vigan empanada was one of the highlights of our trip even if the ingredients are quite simple I consider it a gourmet dish. I suggest anyone who wants to go to Vigan to EAT VIGAN EMPANADA OR YOU’LL MISS 1/3 OF YOUR PRECIOUS PINOY LIFE!!!!!! Explore the Philippines!!! tnx 4 the space..