Friday, May 08, 2009

Ilocos empanada! Dissecting the Batac and Vigan empanada

Ilocos empanada is one of my favorite Philippine snacks. Every time I go to Ilocos, I make sure to get my share of Ilocos empanada, especially the one in Batac, which is reputably where the best empanada is served.

The Ilocos empanada is actually of Spanish and Mexican origin. Notice how it's similar to the taco? The basic empanada has a rice flour or galapong crust with grated green papaya inside. The longaniza, egg and bean sprouts were later added. There are actually two varieties of Ilocos empanada, the one in Batac (which is the same one served in Laoag), and the empanada served in Vigan. So what are the differences?

1. On the crust, the crust of the Batac empanada is orange because of the achuete. The Vigan empanada has no coloring and is thus lighter in color.
2. The crust of the Vigan empanada is thinner and crunchier. While the crust of the Batac empanada, while crispy as well, is a bit harder the chew. While many people prefer the crunchier Vigan crust, I noticed it retains more oil.
3. The Batac empanada uses the entire egg. In Vigan, many stalls remove the egg white (this practice maybe had something to do with building churches since egg white was an important building material at that time).
4. Longaniza types are also different. The Batac empanada uses the saltier Laoag longaniza. While the Vigan empanada uses the vinegar-seasoned longaniza of Vigan.
5. Many Vigan empanadas do not have bean sprouts, just the grated green papaya.
6. The differences in vinegar also add distinctiveness to the two varieties. I noticed the Vigan vinegar is very strong with an alcohol-like fermented taste. The Laoag vinegar is really sour and usually has siling labuyo added to it when served in the stalls. I personally prefer the latter.
7. In Vigan, they still use banana leaves to fold and seal the empanada. In Batac, it's already plastic.

The Batac empanada has a lot of variations. There's the ordinary empanada (just the papaya, bean sprouts and egg), ordinary eggless (just the vegetables), special empanada (with longaniza and egg), special eggless (with longaniza but no egg), special w/o mongo (everything except bean sprouts), jumbo empanada (with hot dog), double special (double longaniza and one egg), double egg (one longaniza and two eggs), and the heaviest of them all, the double double (double the longaniza and egg). They even serve just the crust which they call pinais.

In Vigan, one variation we got to taste was the one with cabbage served at Abuelita's Restaurant. I'm looking forward to my next serving of Ilocos empanada!

36 comments:

  1. Anonymous8.5.09

    Empanadas as in Lingayen Pangasinan appear more like the ones I tried in Spain and Chile. baked not fried.

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  2. Sofia Clarin-Jingco8.5.09

    ah, that's my super favorite empanada!

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  3. Spanky8.5.09

    Ivanhoe,

    what's your suggestion for the best Empanada
    available in MetroManila?

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  4. Best empanada in Manila, I'll have to find out. Haha! There are two Batac outlets I know of, the one in Katipunan and the other in Market Market

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  5. Dedet de la Fuente8.5.09

    my lileya loved the empanada in batac- she had 2 super specials!!! my little liyora loved the one at the secret garden...: ) ako ?... i loved them ALL!!! burp : )

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  6. Sofia Clarin-Jingco8.5.09

    Ivan, the ilocos empanada is also available in tiendesitas. And I discovered that there's a small food stand across UST (lacson side), near dangwa, which sells the exact great quality empanada for only P30!

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  7. Ah yeah, Tiendesitas! Forgot that one! :D

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  8. Wala na yung mga Ilocos empanada sa Market Market! Went there last night! Waaaah!

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  9. Mayroon bang Ilocos empanada sa Makati ?

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  10. I'll try to find out. Sana meron!

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  11. I saw someone make Batac empanada in tiendesitas. But that was sa few months ago. Have to make another visit there. :) Thanks for sharing...

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  12. this post made me drool...
    there's also an ilocos empanada vendor in ruins market in BF paranaque. Whihc i think i would head to later after work to buy one.
    Thanks for this yummy post! :-)

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  13. this post made me drool...
    there's also an ilocos empanada vendor in ruins market in BF paranaque. Whihc i think i would head to later after work to buy one.
    Thanks for this yummy post! :-)

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  14. There's also Ilocos empanada at the Legazpi Sunday Market :)

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  15. i love the empanada in san nicolas, ilocos norte (practically the same as batac's but uses the longganisa from san nicolas). i always order the double longga, single egg, papaya only (no monggo) plus hotdog from bolo's empanada.... i miss ilocos! =)

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  16. Anonymous9.8.09

    if ur craving for those yummy empanadas, u cud get some near UST. d stall is right in front of Farinas Bus Station. Authentic Ilocos empanadas yun.....YUMMY!

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  17. Anonymous2.9.09

    There is that really taste good, consistent, and bulkier empanada at the Mariano Marcos Medical Center in Batac. A must try empanada at Magicblend Empanada cum carinderia (all Ilocandia cuisine). You won't regret.

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  18. oh gosh, i'm 2 1/2 mos preggy and been craving for the Batac empanada. San sa Katipunan meron? =)

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  19. Near Bo's Coffee. Same building :)

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  20. Rodney Dolorin14.1.10

    These look like the Empanadas from Guam. The ones from Guam have chicken and rice inside and are very spicy. I must try these empanadas! Market Market here I come!

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  21. I was in Baguio last week, and i happened to bumped into a stall selling Ilocos empanada in Burnham park.. I bought a couple for me and my wife,and fell in love with the taste...we are now back in Manila but the craving for that Ilocos empanada still haunts us...I've already visited the stall in front of Farinas bus line in Lacson street, their Empanadas are good but not that thick with fillings compared to the ones i've tried in Baguio. But at least the taste just the same and I don't have to go to Baguio for my craving...hope I can go to Ilocos to try the best empanadas there...

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  22. Anonymous1.6.10

    There's a stall in front of the Farinas Bus Terminal along AH Lacson St. (bet. Dapitan and Laong Laan) which sells Ilocos Empanada). Tastes exactly like the ones in Batac/Laoag.

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  23. Anonymous25.9.10

    Mac's Deli Vigan Empanada & Okoy has the best Vigan Empanada here in Manila. No comparison to the others being sold here. Nice pa their presentation and cooking demonstration. Have eaten at their stores in Tiendesitas, SM Moa, SM NEDSA and at Cash & Carry.

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  24. I prefer the Vigan Empanada, having a veggies on it makes you less guilt free LOL

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  25. Anonymous24.1.11

    I'm from Batac and currently living in qc. I know some people who tried the supposed "Batac empanada" in Metro Manila and they told me that it's nothing like the one in Batac. Well if you asked me, I don't really know the diff coz I would never try any other empanadas around (sarado isip ko sa ibang empanada eh). Anyways, Glory's Empanada in Batac is the best.

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  26. ang sarap ... nangangasim na ako .... mapaVigan o Batac empanada... tapos sukang iloko wow... sa may FariƱas Bus station along Lacson Ave (former Forbes Ave.) lapit sa corner ng Dapitan Street mejo tapat ng UST... meron nagtitinda ....Php35.00 lang

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  27. food tripper16.2.12

    try the vigan empanada at duty free fiesta mall paranaque, i like the taste, try nyo

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  28. Bobot17.2.12

    the Ilocos Empanada @ Katipunan around P50 depende pa kung gusto mo special..it is superb, bagong luto kase e. nagtitinda rin sila ng mga iba't ibang products like longanisa etc. Sa Tiendesitas din may Ilocos Empanada 3 for P100 yata last time na kumain ako dun, kaso a year and half ago pa yun.

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  29. Anonymous25.4.12

    mahal empanada sa tiendesitas to think na its so small in serving..i tasted a home based vigan empanada at Riverside pasig..Its really the best ever! true and authentic Vigan empanada and has generous serving!

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  30. Anonymous18.7.12

    i tried pinakbet pizza and it was awesome

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  31. Try the Ilocos Empanada in front of Farinas Terminal. Laon Laan Cor. Lacson street. The one who makes the empanada is from Vigan.

    http://simplemomrizza.blogspot.com/2011/04/ilocos-empanada-in-manila.html

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  32. Anonymous15.10.12

    The Best Batac Empanda is the one's in Mercato Centrale in BGC. The line is long, but it is definitely worth it. The only truly authentic batac tasting i've had. Their dough has a meatier taste, and they also serve the Bagnet Empanda with cheese, on special request, it's not on the menu, but definitely the one to get!

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  33. Anonymous15.4.13

    Glory's Empanada in Batac is the original of all this ilocos empanada... the rest just imitate it.

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  34. Anonymous15.4.13

    I know Manang Glory, the original maker and creator of all the empanada in Ilocos who is from Batac. I live in London and we really have the original empanada since Manang Glory's brother Manong Berlin also a resident here in London always ake empanada for us. Actually even the Bagnet and Longanisa as far as I know was really originated in Batac but since it was really a great food the other part of the province imitated it.

    Original is still the best.

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  35. I like the vigan empanada better! :p

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  36. VIGAN EMPANADA is better than Batac's specially in ELP at Plaza Burgos and Irene's along Calle Crisologo. I like the use of cabbage in Vigan. it gives that sweet vegetable taste to the empanada playing with the garlicky longanisa and sour sukang iloco.One can only have a single order of Batac's empanada. In Vigan, you will go for second or third order. Vigan in eaten on a plate unlike Batac's - its on brown paper.

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