I had the opportunity to visit Vigan with some of the sweetest people I've ever met in September of 2017. There, I was introduced to Vigan empanadas, which are beautifully crispy shells stuffed with vegetables, meat, and eggs. I longingly craved for these empanadas when I came back to the states that I even tweeted about it.
The videos I watched made me super determined to recreate my own version at home. I am telling you... the craving was real. So, I looked up some recipes and decided to make a version of my own inspired by whatever else I found in my refrigerator. Here's how!
3/4 Cup Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Water
1 1/2 Tsp Annatto Oil
9oz Ground Chorizo
2 Cups Spinach
10 Quail Eggs
1/2 Cup Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Onion
1 Clove Garlic
Grated Edam Cheese
Pepper to taste
1/2 Rice Vinegar
1 Clove Minced Garlic
1 Tbs Minced Shallots
- Mix the dough ingredients in a bowl and knead dough lightly.
- Take a small golfball-sized portion of the dough and flatten out with a rolling pin in between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Set aside and start making your filling.
- Preheat your frying oil to 325*F
- In a skillet, add vegetable oil and saute onions until soft and starting to brown. Add mushrooms and cook until soft then add minced garlic, chorizo, and spinach + pepper to taste.
- Remove skillet from heat and wait for it to cool down.
- Once cool, add about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each empanada round. Make a well and crack one quail egg inside + grate edam cheese to top.
- Seal the sides of the empanada and deep fry.
- Once cooked on both sides, transfer empanadas on paper towels and sprinkle with salt while still hot.
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl :)
This recipe is definitely a modern way of making empanadas. Traditionally, Ilocos has two different kinds—Vigan and Batac. After making my dish, I realized I was inspired to create by a Vigan trip only to have created a Batac inspired empanada. Both kinds of empanadas are prepared and cooked in the same way, but here are the differences!
- Found in Laoag, Ilocos Norte
- Crust slightly thicker than Vigan empanadas
- Orange color because of annatto oil
- Uses Laoag longganisa (meat) which is salty
- Has a lot of variations—bean sprouts, papaya, hot dogs, etc.
- Found in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
- Thin crust
- No coloring added
- Uses Vigan Longganisa (meat)
- Has one variation which is to add cabbage
And since we're here, here are some photos from my trip in September as well as two history videos I learned a lot from! I'm a visual learner if you can't tell by now :)
One of my favorite facts is that "Vigan" translates to "beautiful shore" in Hokkien Chinese.
Can we also just appreciate how beautiful this empanada process is? It's so fast!