I wouldn’t have guessed that a simple stroll in SM mall could bring me to one of Laoag’s delicacies. In the trade hall of SM Taytay, my friend and I came across this stall that says “Ilocos Empanada.” She has roots in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. She was excited to try out that one and I went along with it. There was a long line so I guess that’s a good sign.
Ilocos Empanada is this snack that is made up of a crunchy orange-colored crust. Inside, it’s loaded with a lot of stuff: shredded green papaya, mongo sprouts, egg, Ilocos longganisa. And you have to pair sauce it up with Ilocos vinegar (sukang Iloko) which I suspiciuosly eye because of its dark color. I was assured by my Ilokana friend that that’s okay. But you know, it’s not like I need to be re-assured, I practically devour anything edible.
Like most food, you have to eat this while it’s still hot and crunchy. The wrapper is just made out rice flour so it get really dough-ey if you let it out cold.
The orange color is only achuete. It’s like fake tan.
This snack is heavy — it’s got rice, fiber and protein.
This is how it is prepared: