November 17, 2010

THE ILOCOS EMPANADA

I am back! :) Sorry for being MIA, we took a trip North for the second time this year.  This time it was for Tito Andring's funeral.  It was a sad event but it was nice seeing family again, especially our cousins from Hawaii (who I met for the first time).  We stayed there for a week - a week of living the simple life. 

The trip was memorable because I enjoyed eating Ilocos empanada for the first time.  I was able to eat it before but couldn't appreciate the taste of Sukang Iloco.  This time
I ate the empanada with Banana Ketchup and boy, I downed 3 pieces in one seating!  It was that good!   

For those not in the know, empanadas made in Ilocos are different from your usual.  It is cooked deep fried and has different fillings than the chicken empanadas you're used to.  The regular Ilocano empanada has mongo sprout, grated green papaya and egg.  The special has the same filling with additional Ilocos longganisa.  Eat this with either Sukang Iloco or Banana Ketchup (or both if you prefer) and I swear it'll wow your taste buds!  The regular ones sell at P25, I think and the special ones sell at P32 - P35.

I've only tasted the ones made in Ilocos Norte (you'll find these aplenty in Laoag or Batac) but there's a variation being sold in Vigan. The difference between the two, they say, is the crust. While the empanadas in Laoag/Batac/Bacarra are thicker and has brighter color (due to the achuete), the ones sold in Vigan are thinner and crispier and has a lighter color.  But the fillings are the same.  I guess, they would taste different because of the crust.   

Empanadas sold in Laoag/Batac/ Bacarra look like these.
Photo borrowed from this blog

Vigan Empanada. Photo borrowed from this blog.

Since we were staying in the family hometown of Bacarra, we bought ours there.  During our recent trip, we tried the one in Baranggay 11 which was a short distance from the house.  It's quite famous and really yummy!  If you happen to visit the town of Bacarra in Ilocos Norte, make Baranggay 11 a part of your itinerary!  I'm sorry I wasn't able to get the street name but it's near the Plaza. 

I am salivating right now and really wish I could have some of those empanadas.  I heard there are stores selling them here in Manila.  There's a stall at the Salcedo Market selling some for P60 and another one at the Mall of Asia near Fully Booked.  I will pay a visit very soon! 

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