June 14, 2014


Vigan Empanada a delicious Ilocos delicacy

Vigan Empanada is a delicacy that is unmistakably Ilocano. This famous and well-loved Ilocano delicacy is simple yet delicious. 

UNESCO World Heritage List

Vigan is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List
When I think of Ilocos (composed of two provinces in Luzon – Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur), Vigan easily pops to mind. Vigan is a city in Ilocos Sur and a World Heritage Site possessing a Spanish colonial architecture.
map from www.en.wikipedia.org

When I think of the City of Vigan, I think of two things. First, from the moment I step into their cobblestones I will be transported back in time and catch a glimpse of a well-preserved Asian and European structure built in the 16th century. Second, it is a hub of finding glorious Ilocano food – think of Bagnet, Vigan Longganisa and Vigan Empanada.

Ilocos' Bagnet
Bagnet is a mouth-watering pork belly dish, boiled until tender then fried to a crisp. It is fried twice, with intervals of allowing the meat to cool, making the pork meat crunchy but not tough to bite. It is an Ilocano version of Lechon Kawali cooked in other parts of the Philippines.

Another well-loved Ilocano dish is Vigan Longganisa wherein they named a festival after the dish. Longganisa Festival is held every January 22.

Vigan Empanada
Vigan Empanada is a delicacy that is unmistakably Ilocano. This famous and well-loved Ilocano delicacy is simple yet delicious.

Empanada is a stuffed pastry and has numerous versions from other parts of the globe. Some are stuffed with vegetables; others are made with chicken, potatoes and peas; while most are made of ground meat, hard-boiled eggs, carrots and peppers.  

Dough made of rice flour
Vigan Empanada is also a stuffed pastry often seen in bright orange hue shell usually made of rice flour. The dough is hand-pressed, shaped into a ball then pressed to a plate before topping with the filling.

Filling for Vigan Empanada

The filling (from what I observed while my order was being made) were topped on the flattened circular dough and made up of grated green papaya, ground meat – using Vigan Longganisa and topped with one whole egg. This is then covered by the same dough (other half part without any filling) and each side is sealed.

Vigan Empanada deep fried and drained
Once the empanada has been sealed, this is deep fried for several minutes until the filling is cooked and the dough is fried to a crisp. After draining, Vigan Empanada is ready to serve. Devour it plain or with Sukang Iloko (Ilocano vinegar).

Vigan Empanada
Are you craving now? If you’re in Metro Manila, no need to fret. Vigan Empanada can be found at weekend markets and inside the mushrooming malls around the metro.  

Pie Rivera is a food columnist of Republic of 7107 Island Travel Magazine. For subscriptions to the magazine, you may email them at subscription@7107magazine.ph. 

Feel free to email me at eattoyourheartscontent@gmail.com - I love to hear from you.

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All photos in this site were captured by Pie Rivera unless otherwise stated.

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