Vigan Empanada

If you have been to Vigan then this dish would not be foreign to you. This bright orange tinted fried wonder is a very popular and perhaps the most favourite street food in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, a humble dish of annatto coloured rice flour dough filled with green papaya, Vigan longaniza and egg deep fried to perfection. This reminds me of a crispy buchi or karioka as it is nearly prepared the same where glutinous rice balls are fried to a crispy state but still has a bit of chewiness inside, it is circus of texture without a doubt. It’s not just that which sets this apart from other empanadas as the filling is quite unique as well, using Vigan longaniza, green papaya and freshly cracked egg, certainly there is no lacking flavour and texture in that department.

This empanada though its unique on its own right, it was highly inspired by the Spanish empanada and like empanadas around the world each have its own variation of stuffing depending on the region. While most empanadas are baked this one is fried since baking is not a popular form of cooking in the Philippines. This is my first attempt in making it and trust me this is one of the hardest things to prepare at home, making that dough is relentless especially when you are working with glutinous rice flour, hence to make things easier I tried the roux method to make the dough easier to handle.

Vigan Empanada
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 green unripe papaya, grated
  • 4 pcs Vigan style longaniza, removed from the casing
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 fresh eggs
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil, for deep frying
  • wax paper
  1. Combine water, salt, annatto and oil in a large pan. Let it boil.
  2. Once its boiling add the glutinous rice flour, lower heat then continuously stir with a non-stick spoon.
  3. Continue until it forms a dough and dry, remove from heat then let it cool. Set it aside until it cooled down, knead then divide into 6 balls, place in a container, set it aside and let it rest for an hour.
  4. Prepare your filling by sautéing garlic and onions in oil.
  5. Add Vigan style longaniza then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat then let it cool.
  6. Once meat has cooled down add papaya, mix it well. Set it aside.
  7. Grab one ball of the dough, using two large square wax paper, place the dough in the middle then flatten it to a circle shape until it is thin.
  8. Place two tablespoons of the meat and papaya mixture in the middle, crack a piece of fresh egg in the middle. Fold and seal edges then deep fry immediately in a 180C preheated oil in a deep fryer. Cook until crisp, this would take around 3-4 minutes then place in a paper towel lined plate. Serve.



2 Responses

  1. suituapui says:

    Interesting pastry, never seen that before. Now I gotta google and see what annatto powder is.

  2. mjskitchen says:

    Pastry made with rice flour … that is interesting. Love the filling even though I don’t remember the flavor of green papaya. It all looks great!

Leave a Reply, your comments are my inspiration

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: