How-To: Make These Ilocos Empanadas at Home and Stuff Them with Chorizo, Kesong Puti, and Quail Eggs for a Change

July 13, 2019
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I used to frequent an Ilocos empanada store near my university. If I needed a quick, deep-fried fix, I’d cross the bridge, grab a couple of empanadas, and drown them in garlicky-peppery vinegar. Fast forward to two years ago when a trip to Laoag and a bite from their empanada sobered me up after enduring a grueling hangover. The steam from the freshly fried snack jolted me awake, and in between bites of mung bean sprouts, egg, and Vigan longganisa, I found comfort in the breakfast-esque meal encased in a bright orange shell.

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An Ilocos empanada store also recently opened near my house, which was perfect for late-night runs when hunger pangs ensued. The problem though with this place was that you knew they reused the oil since it would have a greasy aftertaste that stuck to your throat, and ruined the experience of biting into a shatteringly crisp empanada, which is why this recipe comes in handy.

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Ilocos empanadas use atsuete oil to give it its signature orange hue—the same technique used in making tokneneng or kwek-kwek batter. Roll out the dough lightly—but not too thinly—until you reach the right diameter to fit the filling in (you can just eye this depending on how big you want your empanadas to be). A good gauge is the egg, which sets the boundary for the excess dough allowance when folding (around ½ inch to 1 inch).

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Now that you’ve nailed the backbone recipe for the Ilocos empanada, get creative with the stuffing. Today’s filling of choice adds a twist to the traditional Ilocos empanada we’ve been used to. We skipped the mung beansprouts but kept the unripe papaya. Instead of longganisa, we used some finely chopped chorizo and sprinkled a bit of kesong puti to add a bit of creaminess and tang. Quail eggs take the place of regular ones since we’re doing mini empanadas in this recipe. Deep-fry, cool, and pass that garlic-loaded vinegar, please.

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Mini Kesong Puti and Chorizo Ilocos Empanada

Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 10 mini empanadas

Ingredients: Empanada Dough

  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup mochiko rice flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp atsuete oil
  • salt

Ingredients: Filling

  • 1 pc green unripe papaya (grated)
  • 2 pcs chorizo, finely chopped
  • kesong puti, cut into small cubes
  • 10 quail eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • oil, for deep frying

Procedure: Empanada Dough

  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl and knead dough lightly.
  2. Take about a 1/8 cup of dough and flatten with rolling pin in between plastic wraps or wax paper.
  3. Set aside while you make your filling. Before you make your filling preheat your deep fryer by adding the cooking oil and set aside.

Procedure: Filling

  1. In a small pan with a bit of olive oil, cook the chorizo and add the grated papaya until it has softened a little. Let cool.
  2. Spoon out 1 tablespoon of filling to flattened dough and crack a quail in the middle egg. Seal the sides and deep fry in the preheated deep fryer.
  3. Place Empanadas in a plate topped with plenty of paper towels to blot oil.
  4. Serve in another clean platter and with garlic vinegar on the side.
Mikka Wee Mikka Wee

Mikka Wee is former editor of and was part of the team until she got whisked away to Singapore in 2016 where she worked in advertising and eventually found herself back in the food industry. She currently does marketing work for two popular Singaporean dessert brands and is a weekly columnist for The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s lifestyle brand, She has always been crazy about travel, food, and her dog Rocket.

11 comments in this post SHOW

11 responses to “How-To: Make These Ilocos Empanadas at Home and Stuff Them with Chorizo, Kesong Puti, and Quail Eggs for a Change”

  1. Noni Cabrera says:

    You make that plastic container look classy. This looks uhhmazing.

  2. joannedvm says:

    Hello! I want to try this, thanks !
    Where can i get mochiko rice flour?

  3. Nica Vidaure says:

    Hello! any other flour substitute? 🙂

  4. Jenielyne Sabado says:

    If there is no available mochiko rice flour can we use the flour only?

  5. Nia says:

    Hi,I have a mochiko sweet rice flour,is that the flour in the recipe? Pls reply.thanks

  6. Marge says:

    Hi, I love ilocos empanada too, so crazy about it. Thank you for sharing this recipe and I sure will make this one. Juat a couple of queries though. Where can I buy atsuete oil? And can I bake it instead of deep frying? Thanks much. 🙂

  7. […] sauce with vinegar Dinengdeng – local vegetable dish Poqui-poqui – smoked eggplant dish Empanada – Delicious Ilocano Street […]

  8. Jeo says:

    Pangilaukan tay keso ngay?

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