A Crispy and Delicious Filipino Delight
If you’re a fan of flavorful and crispy snacks, then Vigan Empanada is a must-try dish. Originating from the city of Vigan in the Philippines, this empanada is a delightful combination of a crispy thin shell, grated papaya or bean sprouts, meat filling, and a surprise element – a raw egg that cooks inside the empanada when fried.
The distinct taste of Vigan Empanada becomes even more irresistible when paired with the tangy flavors of sukang Iloko, a local vinegar. In this article, we will explore the unique characteristics of Vigan Empanada and guide you through the process of making this delicious treat.
The Perfect Crispy Thin Shell
One of the standout features of Vigan Empanada is its crispy and thin shell. Achieving the perfect texture for the empanada shell can be a challenge, but with the right technique, it’s absolutely doable. Many recipes suggest combining rice flour with water, oil, and coloring to make the dough. However, this method often results in a crumbly dough that easily breaks when filled with the filling mixture. This technique might work well with wheat flour but not with rice flour, which is typically used for Vigan Empanada.
To make a dough that is both elastic and thin, you’ll need to employ a different approach. By creating a roux-like mixture, the rice flour becomes pliable and can be shaped into a thin pastry. To achieve this, cook the rice flour with water until it forms a dough-like consistency. This technique ensures that the dough is sturdy enough to hold the filling without breaking apart during frying.
The Art of Making Vigan Empanada
Now that we’ve covered the key element of the empanada, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making Vigan Empanada.
Prepare the Dough:
In a pan, combine water, cooking oil, salt, and annatto powder. If you have annatto seeds, soak them in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes using a small metal strainer. Then, remove the seeds. Add the rice flour to the pan and stir the mixture with a wooden spatula or spoon. Keep stirring until the water is absorbed, and the mixture forms a dry dough. Once ready, remove the pan from heat and let it cool. Knead the dough until smooth, then divide it into six equal parts and shape them into balls.
Prepare the Filling:
In a separate pan, heat oil and sauté garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the longganisa (a Filipino sausage) and sauté until cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the Empanada:
Arrange the ingredients in separate bowls or containers: longganisa, grated papaya, eggs, and the prepared dough. Place a piece of wax paper on a flat surface and put a dough ball on it (lightly brush some oil on the wax paper and the dough to prevent sticking). Cover the dough with another sheet of wax paper and flatten it with your palm. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick, similar to making a thin crust pizza dough. Remove the top wax paper.
In the center of the flattened dough, place a portion of grated papaya and longganisa (around 1 1/2 tablespoons each). Create a hollow space in the filling and crack a raw egg into it. Fold the empanada into a semicircle shape and seal the edges. To achieve a clean and rounded edge, you can use a plastic plate to trim the excess dough. Repeat this process for the remaining dough and filling.
Fry to Perfection:
Deep fry the assembled empanadas until they turn golden brown and crispy. After cooking, place them on a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil.
Serve and Enjoy!
Once your Vigan Empanadas are ready, it’s time to indulge in their deliciousness. Serve them hot and crispy, accompanied by sukang Iloko as a dipping sauce. The combination of flavors, from the crispy shell to the savory filling and the tangy vinegar, creates a truly satisfying experience for your taste buds.
Vigan Empanada is a delightful Filipino dish that is worth trying if you’re looking to explore unique and delicious flavors. The crispy thin shell, flavorful filling, and surprise addition of a cooked egg make it a standout snack. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can recreate this delicious treat in your own kitchen. Enjoy the process of making Vigan Empanada, and savor every bite of this crispy delight paired with the vibrant flavors of sukang Iloko. Want to try a different empanada? Try making chicken empanada instead!
Notes on The Ingredients:
Rice Flour: The key ingredient for the empanada dough, rice flour provides a unique texture and helps create a thin and crispy shell.
Longganisa: This Filipino sausage adds a savory and flavorful element to the filling of Vigan Empanada.
Grated Papaya: A vegetable option for the filling, grated papaya adds a refreshing and crunchy texture to complement the other ingredients.
Eggs: The surprise element of Vigan Empanada, raw eggs are cracked into the filling and cooked along with the empanada, adding richness and a creamy consistency.
How to Make Vigan Empanada
Empanada dough ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cup rice flour (ordinary rice flour not glutinous rice)
- 1/2 tsp. annatto powder or 1 Tbsp. annatto seeds
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
Empanada Filling ingredients:
- 1 green Unripe papaya, grated
- 8 pcs. Vigan longganisa chopped (remove the casing)
- 1 white onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 6 raw eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking Oil for deep frying
- wax paper
- rolling pin
How to make Vigan Empanada:
- In a pan, put water, cooking oil, salt and annatto powder. Bring to a boil. If you are using annatto seeds, put the annatto seeds in a small metal strainer and soak it in the water while boiling. Then remove it after 1 to 2 minutes.
- Put the rice flour in the pan then stir with a wooden spatula or spoon. Stir until the water is absorbed by the rice flour and continue mixing until it forms into a dough and dry to the touch. Remove from heat and cool.
- Knead the dough until smooth and divide the dough into six equal parts and form into balls. Set aside.
- In a pan, heat oil and saute garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the longganisa and saute until cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble the empanada; Arrange the ingredients in separate bowls or containers; the longganisa, grated papaya, eggs, and dough. Lay a piece of the wax paper on a flat surface and put a dough ball(brush some oil on the wax paper and the dough). Put another wax paper on top of the dough and flatten it with your palm. Then roll it with a rolling pin until flattens into a circle and about 1/8 inch thick. Similar to making a thin crust pizza dough.
- Remove the wax paper on the top surface and fill it in the center with some grated papaya and longganisa, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of each of the ingredients. Make a hollow space on the center of the filling and crack a raw egg on it.
- Immediately fold the empanada into a semi circle shape and seal the edges. You can use a plastic plate to trim the edges and make a nice rounded edge. Do the same to the rest of the ingredients. Deep fry the empandas until golden brown and crisp. After cooking, place on a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve hot with sukang iloko as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Cooking Tips for (Vigan Empanada):
- Properly cook the rice flour: To ensure a sturdy and elastic dough, cook the rice flour with water until it forms a dough-like consistency. This step is crucial for achieving a thin and crispy shell.
- Use wax paper for easy rolling: Place a dough ball between two sheets of wax paper when rolling it out. This prevents sticking and makes it easier to achieve a thin and even dough circle.
- Create a hollow space for the egg: When assembling the empanada, make sure to create a hollow space in the filling for the raw egg. This allows the egg to cook along with the empanada and adds a delicious and unique flavor.
- Seal the edges properly: To prevent the filling from leaking out during frying, ensure that the edges of the empanada are properly sealed. Use a plastic plate or your fingers to trim and shape the edges for a neat and rounded finish.
- Fry until golden brown: Deep fry the empanadas until they turn a golden brown color. This ensures a crispy and delicious exterior. After frying, drain excess oil by placing the empanadas on a wire rack or paper towels.
- Serve hot with sukang Iloko: Vigan Empanada is best enjoyed hot and crispy. Serve it with sukang Iloko, a local vinegar, as a dipping sauce to enhance the flavors and add a tangy kick.