I don't know how many times I've been to Ilocos since Hubby and I got together but I can count how many times I've eaten an Ilocos empanada! ZERO!!! Haha . . .We haven't eaten one in the many times we've been there! I guess because we know that we always go there anyway plus I am not really a fan of this empanada because I didn't like it the first time I tried it . . .in Manila! I know, I know, I should know better. Of course I have to try it in its birth place!
As they say, everybody deserves a second chance . . . including this empanada! Haha!
After we checked in at Hotel Luna, we had some time to spare before attending the 7PM Sunday mass in St. Paul Cathedral in the Plaza. We thought this is a good time to get some.
My sister told me that the two famous empanadas in Vigan are Irene's and CJ's. Our Aunt though recommended Insiang's which she has personally tried and liked. Now, if a local tells you that it is good, you have trust them because they know what they are talking about!
We walked along the streets of Vigan and we couldn't find it (because we got the wrong directions, haha). We asked several locals but somehow they couldn't give us an answer (a bad sign? haha). We were even second guessing ourselves if we have the right name!
But we (our tummies) didn't give up!
But thanks to Manong Kutsero, we found Insiang's!
|Yes, it exists! Haha|
Literally, a roadside eatery.
There is a funny story about the picture below. The table wasn't there when we got there. They literally pulled out the table from somewhere (ala bunny out of the hat trick, haha) and just set it up for us when we told them we are going to "dine-in".
|Food adventure ba kamo? haha|
Since we were on a rush (because we are still going to attend Mass), we just ordered Empanada. They actually have different choices for Empanada (e.g. Special, Double, etc.) and they also have Okoy.
So here it is. . . Insiang's Empanada! (aka the first Ilocos Empanada which I loved, haha)
Best when eaten hot and with Sukang Iloko! I love how the crust is thin and crispy and not doughy.
I also like how the egg yolk came out runny. I am not sure if this was meant to be runny or if it was just probably fried quickly than the rest but at any rate, this worked well for me!
I love that Insiang uses Papaya instead of Cabbage for Empanada. They said there are times that they use Cabbage if there is no Papaya on hand.
Side story: My sister got the chance to eat Empanada in Paoay (a place North of Ilocos) and she told me that they (at least the one that she tried) have an orange-colored crust which is thicker versus the empanada which we had in Vigan (down South) which we had. One difference too is that the empanada from the North uses cabbage and togue as filling.
If there is one thing that Insiang's can improve on, we wish there was more meat (they use Vigan Longganisa) in it. The longganisa they use is actually good. We liked the Empanada so much that we ordered 50 pcs of Empanada to bring back home (to share with family and friends), haha! We also ordered longganisa from them. We appreciate that they delivered everything to our hotel too.
I have yet to try the other empanadas in Vigan but for now, I am happy to say that I enjoy eating the Ilocos Empanada now, thanks to Insiang's! (Agyamanak Manang Insiang!)
In case you are wondering about the Empanadas we brought back home, I have to say that they are really best when eaten hot and freshly cooked. We re-heated them in a toaster and let them cool for a bit (so they will get crispy) and still enjoyed eating them the day after.
Do you have a favorite Ilocos Empanada? Care to share? 😁
Calle Salcedo and V. De Los Reyes St.
near Gordion Hotel