There are two versions of the Ilocos Empanada. One is the VIGAN EMPANADA, in Ilocos Sur, and the other is the BATAC or LAOAG EMPANADA, in Ilocos Norte. The latter is more known and always referred to as the “Ilocos Empanada” in terms of appearance and popularity, being sold in all of Ilocos Norte including some towns in Ilocos Sur.

Below are some of the [my] noted differences between the two Empanada’s, from a genuine Ilocano tongue who can eat Ilocos Empanada anytime: 🙂

To begin, Vigan Empanada has thinner crust and more pale in color. Laoag or Batac Empanada has thicker crust and brighter in color:

While the basic ingredients, manner of preparation, way of cooking are the same, I personally prefer Vigan Empanada, though I am from Norte, because of the ‘thinner’ and ‘crispier’ crust providing better texture and fuller taste. On the other hand, Batac/Laoag Empanada with a thicker crust may make chewing difficult especially when it gets colder because the crust tends to get harder. I don’t mind about the color and it may be good if they can make some other colors too. 🙂 Laoag/Batac Empanada uses “achuete” as food color and Vigan does not. Hence, their color comparison.

The two Empanada’s of Ilocos have basically the same ingredients: rice flour for the crust with or without achuete; filling of egg and mongo sprout or parboiled mongo or grated green papaya for ordinary orders, and additional Ilocos longanisa for special. They both use Ilocos [black] vinegar with out without sili. However, in Laoag or Batac, a ready bottle of Catsup is available. I have tried catsup once, and never did it again. It just takes away the authenticity of the empanada’s flavor. I always eat mine with Ilocos vinegar, it brings out a better taste and it bites you back in every bite of your Ilocos Empanada! 🙂

I was browsing through the web for the recipe before this post and there are a lot. I found two which are very simple. You may check it  HERE and HERE.

I am also uploading a short video on the preparation of the Empanada. The orange PVC pipe at the bottom of the video screen serves as a”roller” to flatten the dough, incidentally orange also but other colors may also do. I know this may not be advisable but its just the way they do it.

Update 20 January 2010: During my Christmas vacation last year[2009] in Ilocos, the Empanada was definitely an Itinerary! Although I missed my preference Vigan Empanada, Laoag/Batac Empanada was not a second best.

Almost everyday I got my Ilocos Empanada. However, just like what I have observed some 2-years ago in my original post, the consistency of the dough depends on the preparation. I was looking for a thinner and crispier dough and I got some, definitely! More stalls selling Laoag/Batac Empanada have some thinner crust this time…

However, there are still some with the “thicker, doughier & gummier” dough although I got more of what I wanted. I was thinking, if all the ingredients are the same, the difference in taste therefore lies in the crust. Your preference. From a genuine Ilocano and proud Ilocos Empanada fan and eager eater, the secret is really in the consistency of the crust. You have to start with a perfect dough to get a perfect one.

Whatever it is, whether from Vigan, Laoag or Batac, or anywhere from Ilocos, even in Manila and lately I saw one in Davao, as long as it is Ilocos Empanada, it must really be good!:)

Update June 2012  – Introducing Four-other Variants/Flavors of the Ilocos Empanada by Johnny Moon Cafe:

Just like the Pinakbet, Ilocos Empanada has started to evolve into new variants to challenge the taste of food lovers. From the original and main fillings of Ilocos longanisa, Johnny Moon Café at the Tabacalera Lifetyle Center in Laoag City has introduced 4- other variants. These are the Bagnet, Sisig, Dinuguan and Higado.

Early this year, I tried the “Bagnet Empanada,” the  closest to being Ilocano than the others. With a price mark-up of about 20% from the sidewalk, the Bagnet Empanada needs improvement. The new flavors are enticing but the fullness of the taste and fillings is still nothing compared to the empanada sold in the sidewalk. After a deeper thought, however, I came to realize that with improvements in time, these variants may give the usual Ilocos [loganisa] empanada a good challenge.

The taste, presentation and “over-all impact” of the new Ilocos empanadas served by Johny Moon may have improved by now and I can’t wait to go back to Ilocos and taste it one more time.

Below are pictures of the Bagnet Ilocos Empanada by Johnny Moon. Trivia: “Johny Moon” is a loose translation of “Juan Luna” – the famous Ilocano artist from Badoc, Ilocos Norte.

Below are photo updates of the original Ilocos Empanada [Longanisa filling] Taken in “Dap-ayan,” Laoag City.

See another Ilocos delicacy that’s something sticky but yummy! –  Ilocos Royal Bibingka


Gallery | This entry was posted in A. ILOCOS, D. MY PHOTOART, Ladawan (Photos), Mabuya (Videos), Makan (Food) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

101 Responses to Two Kinds of ILOCOS EMPANADA

  1. Rebel Nurse says:

    Empanadas in the northern part of the Ilocos usually have savoury fillings of green papaya or mungo sprout and sometimes chopped Ilocano sausage (longanisa) and egg yolk. Rather than the soft, sweet dough favoured in the Tagalog region, the dough used to enclose the filling is thin and crisp, mostly because Ilocano empanadas use rice flour coloured orange with achuete (annatto), and is deep-fried rather than baked..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Batac empanada is the best for me, good taste for the longanisa and the eggs are whole when cooked. Beside form Vigan’s thin crust, the vegetables inside is also thin. Laoag empanada needs a little more taste and the eggs are usually scattered. Well, anyway, i like ilocos foods.

  3. hi…since you know your empanada so well, i deemed it’s necessary to include your link to my entry to wp’s weekly photo challenge. naging malaking tulong sa aking kaalaman at gana sa empanada. hope it’s okay…maraming salamat “,)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Have been to Ilocos and tried this native food… the wait is over and no need for you to travel just to taste this again…. Come and visit us and try also the other food from Ilocos Region. try there ‘unique’ bagnet dishes like ‘hawaiian bagnet’ , ‘tahitian bagnet’ , ‘bagnet con tuna’ , ‘bagnet sisig’,,,

  5. Akeeno says:

    I have seen a lot of empanada dough recipes on the internet and have tried them a couple of times. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful because when I mix the ground rice and achuete water, the dough does’nt seem to bind well. There must be something missing here.

    Is there anyone here who knows the secret? Many thanks!

  6. koomarko says:

    TO ALL:
    Anyone who wants to try BAGUIO EMPANADA?parang ilocos but I have some revisions of the ingredients!heheheh.I am also from San Nicolas I.N and the stores have different secrets,but anyways
    who started this EMPANADA?

    I will post the Baguio empanada soon!


  7. VANNES says:


  8. VANNES says:

    empanada…if u are fr manila sa ust, forbes may store, i mea stall mala burger machine dun beside american eye center and Farinas transit….masarap and it is like fr. batac, dami ingredients………u can order specialmor just ordinary…Go Go na

  9. Jane says:

    can anyone give me this empanada recipe please. thank you.

  10. GREAT REVIEW! I pretty much agree with all your thoughts you said in your article, especially at the end of your article. Thank you, this info is very useful as always. Keep up the good work! You’ve got +1 more reader of your super blog:) Isabella S.

  11. Lubna Rani says:

    awanan nga bain u amin. dayta lang bassit nga empanada ket isu t PAGDISDISKUSYONAN u. Agyaman tayo ah ta adda t empanada nga producto tayo tapno dapat isu t maipromote tayo nga “sariling atin”. Kasla kayo la nga dagiti pre schoolers nga kumporme t banag nga pagap apa anda. God bless you all. Enjoy your empanada. we can find the empanada dough recipe on the web cause it is not only here in the north that we have empanada. just surf in the internet and you can find many versions of empanada recipe. Good luck. ENJOY YOUR EMPANADA.

  12. liezl obando says:

    uuuhhh,,,,,,,,yummy ilocos here i come!!!

  13. kees says:

    pasalubong naman ng enpanada… namis ko talaga… penge…

  14. Lynfa says:


  15. tintinsuyom says:

    what is the main ingrediens of empanada?

  16. YlocanaBelle says:

    kasla ‘TACO’. hehehe naimas!

  17. feuse says:

    you must try the empanada of Bacarra.. the one sold in brgy 11.. i assure you better than the two your comparing.. very worthy to try..

  18. virginia says:

    referring to the comment that was made by hulobos on oct.11,2008.Hello ,this is Virginia.i’m living in shanghai.Actually people know the danger of this chemical that they uses to flatten the dough.They just chose to ignore it.I understand that you are just trying to inform us the bad it can cause,and thank you for that.But in terms of using the words “please use your brain” in your comment is unacceptable. Empanada is not the only food that has harmful chemical in it.The foods that we eat at the restaurant,the fruits and vegetable that we eat everyday.packed and frozen foods at the supermarket has all have harmful chemicals in it that can cause us sick sometimes and as you said can cause cancer.So if you have’nt eat any of these foods that i mentioned,then well must have a very sharp brain in there.

  19. virginia says:

    referring to the comment that was made by hulobos on oct.11,2008.Hello ,this is Virginia.i’m living in shanghai.Actually people know the danger of this chemical that they uses to flatten the dough.They just chose to ignore it.I understand that you are just trying to inform us the bad it can cause,and thank you for that.But in terms of using the words “please use your brain” in your comment is unacceptable. Empanada is not the only food that has harmful chemical in it.The foods that we eat at the restaurant,the fruits and vegestable that we eat everyday.packed and frozen foods at the supermarket has all have harmful chemicals in it that can cause us sick sometimes and as you said can cause cancer.So if you have’nt eat any of these foods that i mentioned,then well done.

  20. Esther says:

    I’m from Batac as well, for me it’s the best but, no matter what, everybody has their own taste. Anybody who knows the dough (wrapper) mixture, will greatly appreciate if you can share.

  21. vissia cabanela says:

    I am from Candon, while we also go to Vigan just to eat empanada, we now have our own version of the Ilocos empanada in Candon, try it when you pass by going north, the stalls are near the town plaza. HAPPY HAPPY EATING ! ! !

  22. Diel88 says:

    I want empanada so badly….uhm. I haven’t had empanada for a few years. I am from Ilocos Norte and there were a couple of street vendors in my town selling empanadas. I want to make empanadas but I don’t know how to prepare the grated papaya. And, I am not sure where to get Ilocos longanisas in Seattle. One of these days, I will try to make some. Thanks for the postings.

  23. Javablues says:

    I have tried Laoag, Batac, Vigan and San Fernando La Union. My vote goes to Laoag’s empanada. There is something in the recipe of that empanada which suits my taste.

  24. emjay says:

    I would go with the Batac Empanada…I’m sorry guys but let’s face it, no matter what you say.. nothing beats the Batac empanada..if it’s not made in Batac it’s imitation and you are not getting the real thing…if you have the chance, visit Batac and try it for yourself..then you’ll know what I’m talking about. =)

  25. mimi says:

    I was surprised to see how many people yearn for that Ilocos empanada,sometimes ther are times when i dream eating it,also the pipian.I love cooking ilocano dishes,reminds me of my childhood days in Laoag but making the empanada dough is really hard.Am desperate,maari ba mag hire ng cook ng empanada.Iuwi ko lang sa Mindanao.hehehe.any takers!!!

  26. Adventure says:

    hmmm, naimas! haven’t tried either version but San Nicolas empanada 🙂 SN version is an exact copy of Laoag/ Batac’s so it’s all good! i was looking for the empanada recipe, particularly the dough when i stumbled upon this site. Thanks for sharing the recipe. We will be making a dozen or two this weekend.

  27. greed says:

    for the didnt actually posted how batc empanada is made.hehehehe

  28. brianitus says:

    I’m glad I found your blog. I’ve been craving for the Ilocos empanada. Going to try to make my version this weekend.


  29. Thanks for linking up! We’ll do the same! 🙂

  30. Thanks for your post on the recipe. I made some myself and had to write a recipe. I’d like to use some of your great photos. You can find my travel blog here:

    Thanks again!

  31. rai says:

    I’ve been in America for over 20 years but I still remember when I was little, we used to go to Vigan just to eat empanadas. They sell them along the streets near the church with this vinegar dip with purple little onions. Thanks to internet, I found the recipe so I can make it for my kids:)

  32. Jhona says:

    I’m planning to visit Philippines this June and can’t wait to eat empanada. I’m from Laoag, but i go to Batac(that’s where they usually take me) for the empanada. This time, I want to try Vigan and Laoag naman. Will let you know which is the best.

  33. excel says:

    ok. LAOAG EMPANADA is da best.
    If i wanted thin crispy empanada,then I am dreaming of an Okoy NOT empanada. Laoag okoy, full of kuros…yum!
    If Iwanted thick empanad…then I would want the TAGALOG version of chicken empanada.
    Laoag tastes best, perfect meal. Or perfect with coke as a merienda. Went to Paoay 7 mos ago, and ate the pinakbet pizza…ngeee..oks lang then I ordered Paoay empanada. Made up for my rumbling tummy.
    And to all readers …TRY IMUS LONGGANISA made in Bayan Luma (#2) not in their palengke. Pare,Madre..daig ang vigan at laoag. Seriosong garlic (same timpla) pero nilagyan lang nila nang atchuete.
    I make my own now…..yummmmmm.

  34. Chloe says:

    I prefer the Vigan empanada because it does not use monggo, which in my opinion is heavy on the stomach. I like the grated papaya which feels lighter and the color is just fine. Whenever I go home to ilocos, i always visit my favorite empanadaan (Irene’s Empanada) which is beside the Syquia Mansion. They open at 9am. They can even put your order in a box if you are bringing it to manila.

  35. dindin says:

    ive tasted laoag empanada, superb talaga. gusto ko matuto panu gawin ung dough kc ive tried many times pero d ko pa din nakuha…gusto ko malaman sana ang exact measurement, kung ok lang sa noy…hehehe…ang layo ko kc para pumunta northern luzon para lang makakain ng empanada…help me please, im begging

  36. juliet paat says:

    please gusto ko pong matutong gumawa ng ilocos empanada so as to have an additional income.thanks

  37. franzmaia says:

    I really miss the empanada especially the Batac/Laoag Emapanada. It reminds me of the days when I was still in college and after ng duty sa hospital diretso sa stall ng empanada.So, when I go for a holiday soon, I really am heading straight sa empanadahan…

  38. maeracela says:

    It was my husband who introduced me to this delicacy and I love Ilocos Empanada! But I have only tried the one in Katipunan. The name of the stall is “Ilocos Empanada” and I think the one they make is the Batac kind because of the orange-y dough. I really love it!
    I would love to learn how make it, good thing I came across your blog. Thanks and God bless!

  39. chai says:

    tga ilocos dn ako kso d ako kumakain ng empanada. . pero ung mga frenz q sobrang addict. . matikman nga,jeje..

  40. Laufenberg says:

    Good post and nice design.

  41. I dont mean to be too in your face, but Im not sure I agree with this. Anyhow, thanks for sharing and I think Ill come to this blog more often.,

  42. lilibeth says:

    nakaka2mjons tignan.. infairness!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. ruben baleros says:

    We dropped by at the Marcos Hospital in Batac last Friday and yes the empanada … really is better tasting… I’ll try it again when we get back to Manila.

  44. louie cuesta says:

    Yeah Batac empanada is better, but I’ve tasted one that’s really really good at an empanada cum carinderia at the pay parking area of Mariano Marcos Hospital. Unique yung taste at distinct and empanada. They also have Sinanglao Baka Vigan Style!

  45. Bon says:

    i tried making the dough..its thin but it is still hard like not sure if i used the same RICE FLour..

    may nabili kasi ako sa palengke na giniling na bigas with flour consistency pero finer pa rin ung actual flour..

    but if i go thinner nasisira lang ung dough at nabubutas.ended up feeding to my tatay’s alagang baboy..mataigas kasi and whn i decide to make the crust thicker, as hard as rock pa rin.. what went wrong kaya?

  46. kc. says:

    laoag and batac empanada are pretty much the same but i like batac empanada better. you can visit the stalls by the river.
    nakakahilo yong empanada ng vigan pero may masarap somewhere near chavit’s baluarte. hidden garden

  47. mClemente says:

    Batac empanada is the best,nagbakasyon nga ko galing dito sa qatar, bili kaagad ako bago dumeretso sa bahay.

  48. manang says:

    Masarap nga ang empanada mahirap ding gawin.Kailangan mag-practice sa pag “laddit” .Yung wrapper niya we call it “tender” don’t ask me why.Empanada making has been in my family for several generations already.My mom told me that my great grandparents moved to Laoag from Vigan at one point and started making and selling empanada. It must have been the 1920’s in fact my grandmother was born there in Laoag. Eventually they came back to Vigan . And you can still see our relatives selling empanada at the Vigan plaza, my great grandparents grandchildren.

    BTW yung ingredients ng “tender” ay simple lang
    rice flour
    praktis din kayong mag “laddit”
    it takes a little skill ….

  49. ma,teresakabigting says:

    Empanada is really known in all over the world.I have not really tasted one of the empanadas of Vigan or Laoag,but I tasted the specialty of Maliwat Catering owned by Ma.jesusa kabigting maliwat of Ayusan,Sta.Lucia,Ilocos Sur.If you visit Peru of the Latin Americans they will serve you from morning to evening and this is one of there main snacks.Im proud to be an ilocana,it is time for us to upgrade even our empanadas.My thanks and more power

  50. VERNIE says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….. can somebody help me with the ingredients of the filling and how it is prepared…plssssss i am from mindanao and vigan or manila is way too far to be able to taste this yummy food. thanks.

  51. suerte says:

    can you please tell me the ingredients of the dough. thank you

  52. Ariel Paolo Tejada says:

    Batac empanada is more delicious than Vigan’s.. yet, dapat tangkilikin natin mga local products natin, mapa Vigan empanada man o Batac empanada. 🙂

  53. sweetchai says:


  54. jaree says:

    i really like the empanada in batac…. twing nauwe kasi ako sa paoay, dun ang province namin… nakain agad ako ng empanada sa batac or sa herencia de paoay kasi meron din dun… yummy tlalaga lalo na pag may sukang iloko na maanghang…

  55. Karen says:

    typos are under your care..sorry about it !

  56. Karen says:

    It seems like everything we eat nowadays are contaminated with this and that but who cares? We got to live only once so Enjoy the Empanadas guys ! I am now based in the US, the last I had empanada was when I was 16 and I have never forgotten it. I was browsing for recipe when I got into this site so whoever got a recipe of the dough please email it to me… I would relly appreciate it. Its not necessry to us PVC to roll your dough — there are plenty of cheap wooded rolling pin so thats not even a problem…have fun !

  57. genalyn says:

    hmm i was wondering..if am correct.Arent water passed through a PVC pipes if not the usuall thick metal pipes that is.,

    I think there should be further comment as to how a PVC pipe can affect.

    So far i have eaten alot of these empanada’s and it taste yummy and delicious.If ever you pass through around magsingal,try their empanada’s.It taste alot better.

  58. hulabos says:

    Your empanada is contaminated with PVC toxins. You are using PVC pipe to flatten your dough! Don’t you know that PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is manufactured from cancer-causing chemicals such as phthalates, lead and cadmium, which is toxic to humans. PVC can cause cancer and harm reproductive and immune systems. Children are at risk from even small exposures to these toxic chemicals. Please use your brain…

    • rod says:

      ipatangal monarin yung pipe na dinadaanan ng tubig sa bahay nyo at sa kapaligiran nyo. atsigurado nakainom kanarin non. maarte ka!!!

    • Mackoi says:

      uu nga… dami2 mo sinasabi eh… ung bahay nio palang may toxin na…. tsaka ang buong mundo may toxin… so get used to it…

  59. balazubaz69 says:

    batac empanada has many mixes..
    it’s far tastier than that of vigan..
    empanada after al originates in the then town, now city
    of the “Apo Lakay” (Marcos)..

    there are just a lot of empanada stands alongside the basketball court
    (infront of the Batac Junior College) yung parang wedding cake na building..hehehe..
    at hindi lang empanada ang tinitinda sa batac..

    their main products include miki too..
    doon talaga authentic ang empanada at miki..

    yung sa vigan, ang masarap doon ay ukoy at sinanglao sa may post office..

  60. chuck patricio says:

    adayo nak ngamin bro… no mabalin kuma a ket paki email mon to man tay dough recipe na, pinadas ko ti nagaramid ngem madi latta..

  61. Rose says:

    Hi Torn,

    How would u like to help me make the dough too, ung from batac pero manipis na parang sa Vigan naman, hehe, kc they said, thinner and Vigan but better taste ang Batac/Laoag. I hope you will allow me join u when you will teach marilyn please. Marilyn, what’s that machine u mentioned ealier? Pwde ba un sa paggawa ng empanada? Kelan kau simula training with Torn, hehe, I will join u guys if ok with you please. Please contact me thru my email: Many thanks and God bless you Torn for your willingness to teach marilyn, sana me too hehe. God Bless u too Marilyn mapeperfect mo rin yan.

  62. grace says:

    i really like batac empanada.. sobrang attractive tapos masarap cya.. i was planning to make a business here in canada kc wla pa nakakagaya nang empanada nang batac empanada. i am proud to present our empanada mga “bataqueno”.

  63. marilyn cruz says:

    cge ha i’m counting on you kasi gusto ko talage siyang matutunan at ma perfect nakailang attempt na ako ng dough di ko pa rin maperfect . and by the way torn, if you’re lined with sales we do have gadgets and machines for boosting health concerns. Thank you for your time in answering my notes salamat uli. God Bless

  64. Torn says:

    marilyn, i am from ilocos but based in manila at present. cge ba, best efforts po 🙂

  65. marilyn cruz says:

    cge torn please ….please ha pati procedure at kung paano at ilang minutes para maluto and gaano karami yung tubig ha ha ha favor naman taga ilocos ka ba gusto ko lang kasi makatulong since cooking is my cup of tea. please torn sorry makulit God Bless

  66. Torn says:

    marilyn, i’ll see what i can do to help you with you empanada dough. i will let you know. 🙂

    chuck, yan mo? ilocos? ket agpaggatang kan a bro! 🙂

  67. chuck patricio says:

    batac/laoag empanada all the way syempre..lalo na kung malasado yung itlog..mabisin nak pay nga agitatype…

  68. marilyn cruz says:

    anybody can share the procedure in making ilocos empanada specially the dough i cannot perfect it please help me in doing it on how to know if it is cook or not please help me please… God Bless

  69. C Ryan says:

    Batac empanada is much much better… kulay palang, mabubusog ka na.
    Sa Vigan kasi, mukhang anemic.

  70. Batacquennak says:

    Viva Batac Empanada!

  71. Wilmar says:

    mouth watering tlg….HmmMmm…i’m asking for the recipe to my cousin in vigan..
    goosshh!!! wnt to sell empanada here in palawan…pahinge recipe ha!!!hehehe

  72. dark_angel(utube) says:

    batac empanada anytime! there’s no substituting the taste and the batac longanisa. yum!

  73. monet says:

    i love the uploads but i need arecipe…hehe

  74. i love empanada with longganisa… some even substitute the EGG with a BALOT egg.. Everything but the hard stuff on the balot egg… it costs more and they don’t make you one if you are not a regular customer!:)

  75. bong says:

    VIGAN all the way! I love the way how they prepare it, it looks so unclean yet so beautiful. tama si jon, nakakagutom nga to!

  76. GLORIA REMO says:


    • christine says:

      +_+ true mas MSARAP BATAC EMPANADA, mas maraming sahog…. kysa naman sa vigan empanada…. tga vigan punta kaya kyo d2 sa batac tazk magluto kau ng empnada nyo,,, tignan natin if cno tlaga mas masarap…

    • cely says:

      Naimas da nga dua ngem siyempre taga Norte ako Paoay, I love my own but I eat Vigan empanada too. I would like to make my own empanada the Ilocos Norte way and thanks for the wrapper recipe.

  77. ayay says:

    I love vigan empanada!!!

  78. Torn says:

    Korrina and Jon: I can door-to-door you! Ahihihi! 🙂

  79. jon says:

    lintek..nagutom ako

  80. korrina korrina says:

    It’s actually kind of an effort to read this enty without my mouth watering;it went right down to my keyboard!

    • machelle says:

      Vigan Empanada is the best!!!! Especially the one from Mac’s Deli Vigan Empanada & Okoy here in Metro Manila. Go to their branches at SM MOA, Tiendesitas, Cash & Carry and SM NEDSA.

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