Vigan Empanada

Everytime I visit Vigan, Ilocos I never miss to eat their local specialty the Vigan Empanada.   Here’s a vigan empanada recipe for you to try!  If you visit Vigan, in the northern part of the Philippines you will see these empanada vendors preparing and cooking in their small make-shift kiosk in the plaza .  Enjoy!


for the Empanada dough

3 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of salt

half a cup of water

1 egg

1 egg white

1 teaspoon of vinegar

3 tablespoons of shortening

1 tablespoon of anniseto (atsuete) dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water or orange food coloring



Start by preparing your empanada dough.  In a bowl beat water, egg, egg white, vinegar and orange coloring together.  Set this aside.  In another bowl,  mix together the flour and the salt.  Put the shortening into the flour mix using a pastry blender to be sure they are evenly mix. Put a well in the middle and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center. Mix them altogether until it becomes stiff and they don’t stick to your fingers anymore. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth. The Ilocanos use a lot of oil instead of flour when they knead their dough.  You have the option of using oil (any kind of oil) or flour. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

Empanada Filling

half a medium size onion chopped

1 garlic clove minced

half a teaspoon of cumin powder

half a teaspoon of dried oregano

250 g of vigan longanisa (or ground pork or beef)

1 small unripe papaya, peeled and grated (substitute with chayotte if not available)

1 small carrot grated

salt, pepper


some cooking oil


Preparing the Empanada filling:

In a bowl mix evertyhing (vigan longanisa or any ground meat of your preference, grate papaya (chayote), carrots, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, oregano and pepper).  Set aside.

Making the Empanada:

Once the empanada dough is ready, flatten them and make circles using any rounded tool you have at home.  Put your desired filling in the middle, and crack an egg.  If you are making small empanada you can use quails egg or egg of small size.  Close it and crimp the sides using a fork.  Fry them on deep casserole with hot oil for three to four minutes or until they are golden brown.



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Comments: 2

  1. Empanada Recipe June 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm Reply

    [...] version is something very close to our taste. There is even one very popular in the north which is Vigan Empanada (recipe here) You can do it in pork, chicken and even in beef.  It is a good way to make use of your leftover [...]

  2. Vigan Longanisa Bolognese Recipe July 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm Reply

    [...] longanisa are not sweet unlike the ones we have in Manila. These vigan longanisa are used also in Empanada that are excellent to taste in the Plaza of the city. They are meatier and lots of garlic flavor on [...]

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