Orange you glad you can now make Ilocos Empanadas at home? Here’s how

If we’re talking about eye-catching bright orange food, one thing that comes to mind is Ilocos empanada. This crunchy handheld pie is filled with meaty longganisa, egg, and shredded papaya. Unlike other empanadas and pies out there, Ilocos empanada is known for its bright orange color.

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Isa na ba to sa namimiss mo during Quarantine? Damay damay na tayo! ? Ilocos Empanada is an orange-tinged fried dish stuffed with vegetables or papaya, skinless Vigan Longganisa, and egg. . . Tag mo ang favorite Ilocos Empanada mo sa Metro Manila or try mo na mag luto? #takawtikim . . How to make Empanada! . . Ingredients: Dough: 1 Cup Rice Flour 1 Cup Water Atsuete or Orange Food Color Salt Magic Sarap (Optional) . . 1. Put water, salt and atsuete oil in a pot. 2. Once the water/oil mixture starts to simmer, pour the rice flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon. (You can add Glutinous Rice if you want) 3. Stir until all liquid is absorbed and dough is forming a ball and feels dry to touch. Remove from heat, and let cool. 4. Once cooled completely, knead until you get a smooth ball. Divide into 6-7 circles. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 mins to an hour. . . Filling 1 medium green unripe papaya grated or Cabbage sliced thinly 8-10 pieces Ilocos longganisa casing removed 1 medium onion 3 cloves garlic minced 1/2kg Ilocos Longganisa salt and pepper to taste 6-7 pcs eggs cooking oil for frying . 1. Saute garlic, onion and longganisa. Season with salt and pepper. Cook thoroughly. 2. Prepare veggies in a separate bowl. . . Assembly and Frying 1. Arrange your dough, meat and veggie fillings and eggs. 2. Form 6-7 circles from the empanada dough. Yes Roll it until Flatten each circle. 3. Fill with the papaya/Cabbage, longganisa and make a space and put egg in the middle. 4. Fold the dough and seal the edges by pinching it. Deep fry (ingat sa pag lagay sa oil, isa na akonf biktima ng tumatalsik na mantika) until crisp. Enjoy with Ilocos Suka!

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While this snack used to be a souvenir item after visiting Ilocos, the recipe has also made its way to stores across Metro Manila. And now, you can make your very own Ilocos empanada, too, thanks to this recipe from Nina Tolentino of Takaw Tikim. She shares her family recipe for this crispy treat, and trust us: it’s as legit as it gets!

Ilocos Empanada Recipe

Photo by Nina Tolentino (IG: @takawtikim)



  • 1 cup of rice flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • Achuete oil or orange food coloring
  • Salt, to taste
  • Magic Sarap, to taste (optional)


  • 1 medium green unripe papaya, grated (or cabbage, thinly sliced)
  • 8-10 pieces of Ilocos longganisa, casing removed
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 to 7 Eggs
  • Cooking oil for frying



  1. In a pot over medium heat, add your water, salt, and achuete oil.
  2. When the mixture starts to simmer, pour in your rice flour all at once, and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Mix until the mixture thickens. When it becomes a dough that’s dry to the touch, remove from heat and let it cool.
  4. When completely cool, knead the dough until it becomes a smooth ball. Cut into 6 or 7 circles, then cover with cling wrap. Set aside and let the balls rest for 30 minutes to an hour.


  1. In a pan, saute your garlic until fragrant. Add your onions, and cook until translucent.
  2. Add your skinless Ilocos Longganisa, mash and saute, and then season with salt and pepper. Cook thoroughly. When done, set aside.
  3. Grate or slice your vegetables thinly, and then place them in a separate bowl.

Assembly and Frying

  1. Roll the dough balls into flat disks.
  2. Fill with your vegetables and longganisa, but make sure to leave a space in the middle. Crack an egg in the center.
  3. Fold the empanada in half and seal the edges by pinching it. Repeat for all empanadas.
  4. Get a pan of hot oil going, and set to high. Deep fry your empanadas, but make sure not to overcrowd them.
  5. When their skin gets crispy, remove them from the pan. Serve with Ilocos vinegar. Enjoy!

Do you have any Filipino recipes that you’d like to see on our page? Let us know!

(Cover photo by Nina Tolentino of @takawtikim)

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