Food Spotting: Ilocos Empanada
Of all the suggested foodies people have asked me to try while in Ilocos, I took fancy on their popular Empanada (baked pastry). Why? Oh! I simply love empanadas.
And so, when we reach Batac town (still in Ilocos Norte), I chance upon this new building just in front of the Marcos Museum. Locals call the building Batac Riverside Empanadahan. The well-maintained building comprise of a series of eatery with its famed empanada taking the centerstage. While other moms are busy shopping for souvenir stuff, I tag two of my mommy friends to have a taste of the Ilocos Empanada.
As I said the place is well-maintained plus the empanadas are cooked in front of you. So, you get that piping hot and crispy pastry.
I bide my time to watch this empanada maker how he kneaded the dough until it becomes too thin and filled with nutritious veggies and then, finally, deep-fried few pieces into the hot pan.
Why Batac Empanada is popular?
The Filling: Not your typical meat pies. Ilocos empanada is made of vegetable filling -grated green papaya, bean sprouts, and their very own local longganisa.Plus of course, the egg in the middle which makes it all the more, Oh! So temptingly delicious. Really.
The Dough: Where we often use flour as our dough for our pies, in Batac or the rest of the municipalities there, they use rice flour instead of flour. That must’ve made the empanada more crispier and tastier.
The Color. Golden orange which makes the empanada more inviting. This golden empanada distinguished itself from other empanadas particularly the Vigan Empanada at Plaza Burgos which uses no food coloring but equally delicious also. Cooks use atswete (annato) as food color.
The Price: 35 pesos each or 3 for 100. Not bad. Considering its size and the filling and a whole egg in every piece.
Enough saying… LET’S EAT!
PS: If you haven’t yet decided where to go this summer, why not explore the province of Ilocos. Surely, it’s an enjoyable place where the whole family could truly enjoy. Definitely worth a visit.
Our Ilocos Norte tour: Bangui Windfarm in Ilocos Norte
Our Ilocos Sur tour: Vigan Heritage Site