Dining Out

Ilocos empanada… in Quezon City!

My daughter, Sam, went on a school field trip to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur a few weeks ago and came home bearing a box of delicious bibingka royal. I asked her if she was able to sample Ilocos empanada and she said she didn’t. She wasn’t even able to take a lot of photos because it was either cloudy or raining the whole time they were in Ilocos. Have you tried carrying an umbrella on the beaches of Pagudpud? She has.

Too bad she wasn’t able to try authentic Ilocos empanada. Her father was luckier.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

While driving in the Scout area in Quezon City recently, he saw a small eatery called Emapanada Nation, bought an empanada and even managed to chat with the Ilocano owners. He took all the photos in this entry.

Emapanada Nation is located near the corner of Scout Tuazon and Roces Avenue.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

The list of the varieties of empanada they sell there should give you an idea of what makes Ilocos empanada different from others. Choose vegan or go with the traditional filling — spicy and garlicky Ilocos longganisa (sausage) and egg.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

The crust is rolled, chopped sausage, raw egg and some vegetables are placed at the center then the crust is folded, sealed and deep fried.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

Now, about the orange crust… From what I’ve learned, there are two kinds of Ilocos empanada — the Batac empanada (named after a town in Ilocos Norte) and the Vigan empanada (named after the capital of Ilocos Sur). The Batac empanada, sometimes called Laoag empanada (Laoag is another town in Ilocos Norte), is orange because annatto extract is added to the dough. Vigan empanada does not include annatto extract among its ingredients and is lighter in color.

Now, let’s take a look inside this Ilocos empanada.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

Unlike empanadas sold in bakeshops, the crust of the Ilocos empanada is thinner.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

When raw egg is included in the filling, the egg yolk is still runny after deep frying. Of course, there’s a well-done version but the one with runny yolk does seem more exciting.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

Speedy says I should really try it because it’s very good.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

I agree. Next time we’re in the area, I’ll make sure that we go there and I’ll order the Double Double — with two whole longganisa and two eggs.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

Maybe I’ll even order more for take-out.

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

And if we’re in the area again after that, I’ll try the full meal. The King’s Meal, probably, with red (salted) egg, longganisa and bagnet (fried pork belly). If you’re wondering what KBL means, it’s not related to Marcos’ political party. KBL means kamatis (tomato), bagoong (shrimp paste) and lasong (small onions).

casaveneracion.com Ilocos empanada

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