When Atty. Leezl asked what we wanted to see or do in Ilocos, I told her it was up to her as long as we get to have empanada, okoy and bagnet.=P We reached Vigan around 12:00nn. There wasn’t any argument what we wanted for lunch. We headed to Vigan Empanadahan in the plaza, near of the provincial capitol building . It had rows of stalls which sold, what else — but emapanada… and okoy. There were a lot of people in the empanadahan. We even had to wait for a table. Tourists and locals converge in this part of the city to eat. While waiting to be seated, we hang around the eatery staff that were making the empanadas. From across the counter/cooking area, the heat from the two woks that continuously sat on the fire.
The Vigan empanada is similar to a thin taco that is fried to a crisp, with vegetable and meat filling. Rice flour is used for making the crust or the shell. The galapong or rice flour dough is made a day before it is used. Salt and oil are mixed into the rice. The dough mixture is then kneaded as thinly as possible on a banana leaf. The filling is made up of mixture of grated green papaya, shredded carrots, skinless Vigan longganisa and a whole egg yolk.
We ordered 2 pieces of okoy, 6 empanada and, 6 bottles of soft drinks. it would have been wiser to have gotten the big bottle of soft drinks since we ordered another round each… and also another round of empanada. Emapanada is best eaten with the local vinegar (sukang Ilocos). At Php 30.00 – 35.00 per piece, it was a satisfying lunch.
Unlike it’s counterpart in the north, Vigan empanada has a thinner, golden brown crust… and not orange as that found in the stalls of Batac or Laoag. Even the vegetable and meat filling actually differs. Personally, I prefer the emapanda from north because it has toge (mung bean sprouts) and whole egg instead of just the yolk. But it’s just a matter of preference… and don’t get me wrong, Vigan empanada was really good.
credits: some photos were taken by Argie Villajin