14 Apr2010


Even if you don’t like the thought of sisig, I think you might still try and like these empanadas. :) OMG is right! Why didn’t anyone else think of this sooner, or are these out there and I just haven’t come across them? The incredibly rich lechon sisig has the depth of flavor from the slow roasting, then to that add some chilies and spices and you have a flavor packed filing for an empanada. This was the FIRST batch of savory empanada experiments at our home, and the results were pretty darned good…


This attempt was to try and make a “healthier” empanada, baked rather than fried. It’s rather labor intensive to roll out the individual pieces of dough, but once you get the hang of it, think of it as mindless exercise. It was a hot day and I had to take care not to drip any sweat on the dough that would inadvertently add salt to the mixture… :)


We brushed the baking pans with some vegetable oil, then brushed the top of the uncooked empanadas with a little more oil and stuck them in a hot oven for some 20 minutes or so until just lightly golden. The resulting empanadas seemed promising, and there wasn’t as much of a greasy look and feel to the crust. The crust was almost crisp, and the mouthfeel was definitely not greasy at all. I brought a bunch of them to a board meeting and they were all wiped out, so I wasn’t the only one who thought this worked out pretty well…


A few extra uncooked empanadas were thrown into the freezer to see how they would hold up to baking or frying the next day. We let the frozen half disks thaw for 15 minutes before frying them in hot oil. The condensation on the dough resulted in Zubuchon like blistered skin. Not terribly attractive but we are working on cosmetics!


The fried ones didn’t look as good as the baked ones…


…but they sure tasted good, even after a day in the freezer! Will have to fool around with this recipe a lot more to get the ideal Lechon Sisig Empanadas, but you get the drift…



  1. Ging says:

    Are they available na at btc? Sigh…. I can never seem to lose weight, what with zubuchon and balambab liempo occupying our office lunches :-(

    Apr 14, 2010 | 7:06 am


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  3. atbnorge says:

    I love empanadas, hmmm!!!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 7:23 am

  4. deirdregurl says:


    Apr 14, 2010 | 7:49 am

  5. kitchen says:

    this looks very tasty, i would love to dip them in spiced vinegar or a lechon sauce. yum!!!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 8:15 am

  6. Connie C says:

    Would you use a different dough formula for the fried empanada than the baked empanada? The Latin Americans seem to use a different dough formula for their fried and baked empanadas.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 8:22 am

  7. millet says:

    OMG! as in OMG talaga…i drool as i remember the zubuchon lechon sisig; it was perfect! but you’ve just told us perfection has its levels? OMG!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 8:31 am

  8. Nastassia (Let Me Eat Cake) says:

    Yum! I want to eat those right now!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 8:36 am

  9. natie says:

    brilliant idea!!! inspired!!!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 8:53 am

  10. mojito drinker says:

    mmm =)

    Apr 14, 2010 | 10:09 am

  11. Ley says:

    MM, how do you make the dough? Baking is surely a healthier way of preparing empanadas.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 10:18 am

  12. Ging says:

    I lllooovvve empanadas FRIED! To hell with cholesterol, LIVE LIFE!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 10:46 am

  13. peterb says:

    “healthier”? hehe…MM, you’ve got lechon sisig inside! Fried or baked, i want it, definitely delicious!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:21 am

  14. betty q. says:

    Yes, MM..it is a pain in the you know where to roll out the dough…so here is my next best option which makes it a breeze to roll as many as you want without your kili-kili complaining…use a pasta maker. I have a table top model. Portion your dough and roll into a log and cut into pieces. Then just put each piece into the roller and roll away…

    Happy Rolling!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:22 am

  15. Teresa says:

    betty q, your suggestion is a must try. Kitchen, your mention of vinegar is now making me crave for Ilocos empanada!!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:30 am

  16. zena says:

    MM, we have baked our empanadas for years now. We don’t brush it with oil. Just prick the top with fork tines then when halfway done, we brush it with a beaten egg mixed with milk to give it a more golden color. Our recipe comes out crisp and definitely non-greasy. I sooo much prefer to to the fried ones.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:30 am

  17. Christine says:

    Hi MM, have you considered using a tortilla press instead of rolling the dough? My recipe uses a butter based dough and we cut off pieces and throw it into the press. So easy! In the states you can find them in Chinatown or Hispanic grocery stores. Your empanadas look delicious!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:38 am

  18. millet says:

    i suppose the dough was made with lard? :-)
    zena, we make our empanadas the same way, brushed with eggwash then baked. when my kids were in grade school and were tired of rice and ulam or sandwiches for lunch, i made them big empanadas with different fillings. the empanadas saved me for the rest of the year!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 12:09 pm

  19. betty q. says:

    Millet, Zena: next time you make leche flan,save the eggwhites and freeze. Then use the whites instead of eggwash to brush on empanadas before baking. Just beat the whites lightly with a fork first and then brush away. It gives the surface a nice sheen without being too yellow-y. This is what I use to brush on the surface of my apple pies.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 12:45 pm

  20. GayeN says:

    Yum! One of my aunts used to make fried empanadas that are flaky but not greasy. Sigh! I miss those…

    Apr 14, 2010 | 1:07 pm

  21. Beth says:

    1521 Restaurant at Shaw Boulevard has sisig empanadas. Goodness I feel hungry now.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 1:30 pm

  22. sam says:

    Question po MM: what’s the ideal temperature when baking empanada’s rather than frying? depende po ba yan sa size ng empanada?

    Ms. bettyq! i’m your FAN here in Kuwait!! i created a folder of all your recipes and your suman is creating fanbase here among friends and officemates. Kahit yung Briton & Asutralian naming mga ka-officemates nagre-request. Hay naku! singilin ko kaya sila per piece next time??! mga taga-kain lang! :(
    pero oks lang. mas masarap namang kumain ng may ka-share :)

    Thanks po ng plenty!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 1:33 pm

  23. Olive says:

    great idea..sisig empanada, I’ll try this next time I make sisig, I recently learned how to make homemade empanada.. I’ll try baking it too next time. Thanks..your empanada looks really delicious :)

    Apr 14, 2010 | 1:51 pm

  24. joyce says:

    OMG. what an inspired idea! i loovee ilocos empanadas and these seem to be match made in piggy heaven as well.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 1:54 pm

  25. Bubut says:

    the fried one also looks good…

    Apr 14, 2010 | 3:13 pm

  26. Joey in Dubai says:


    Apr 14, 2010 | 3:52 pm

  27. Cris Jose says:

    Hi, MM! How about trying puff pastry for the crust?

    Apr 14, 2010 | 4:22 pm

  28. Lava Bien says:

    Empanadas were my comfort food when I was in South America, beef , tuna, chicken and they deliver, kinda like inthe Philippines. My daughgter laughs when I tell her that McDonald’s deliver, or KFC hhehehehe. It is unbelievable for kids here in the states.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 7:06 pm

  29. Footloose says:

    Crossing the border between Brazil and any of its neighbors (this means the rest of South America except Chile and Ecuador) can be linguistically disorienting. A swath of innocent words in Spanish all of a sudden take on ribald connotation when used in Portuguese. Lots of common words switch meanings. The common Porteño and Montevideano food empanada becomes pastel as you cross into Brazil and vice versa. Since the Brazilian pastel is always fried, they distinguish the baked ones with the modifier “asado” and if this last one happened to be baked in a wood-fired oven such as in most rural areas of Brazil, the experience can be quite revelatory and transporting. They are usually served in pizza parlours so I suspect they all use the same dough as for pizza. Anyway, as an ex-owner of an empanada shop, I can’t detect a noticeable difference between their crust for fried and for baked empanada. Oh, and they invariably use lard, come hell or high water, as the shortening of choice.

    In Buenos Aires beggars ask you for change for an empanada, a common, ordinary, weekday food whereas our empanada is an occasional special treat. That’s probably why whether fried or baked, our crust is usually discretely layered, tender and flyingly flaky if not intimidatingly labour intensive.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 7:20 pm

  30. millet says:

    great tip, bettyq! many thanks! will try that next time i bake pies and empanada.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:35 pm

  31. betty q. says:

    Hi Sam…glad you enjoyed the suman. I have been meaning to make some for my kapitbahays as well to eat with mangoes (it is mango season here as well!).

    Here is afaster way to do it. If you can find a piping bag there…disposable or the regular one..use that to pipe the filling. You can make an assembly line and can finish a few hundred in no time at all. If you cannot find the piping bag, use a ziplock bag and cut the tip to your desired size of your suman.

    Happy Piping! and while you are a it, make about 500 and freeze them after steaming…saves you a lot of time when your friends have a craving…just re-heat them again by steaming after defrosting.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 12:03 am

  32. Brian Asis says:

    I think what could have made the empanadas better… egg yolk :D just like Ilocano emapanadas :D

    Apr 15, 2010 | 12:19 am


    Mr.MM, Im a big fan, please post recipe of empanada! Naglalaway na ako here. More power to you!!!

    Apr 15, 2010 | 4:12 am

  34. Joy says:

    My husband would love if I made those. He loves lechon sisig but coming from the states, I have no idea what is real sisig. I have seen many versions.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 5:25 am

  35. sam says:

    Hi ms. bettyq. korek! ziplock bag po ang gamit ko in absence of proper piping bag available. Mas mabilis! :) Dun naman po sa freezing part, mukhang malabo po yun..tinatali ko pa lang yung end ng suman for steaming naka-abang na ang mga friendship with their own suggested numbers of allocations. at least nowadays, they’re giving me ingredients i’ll just prepare and cook na lang. Kasi kung sagot ko lahat, tuwing pasko lang sila makakain ng suman, promise! (grrrr…)

    Question po sa tibok-tibok…pwede din po ba yung gawing langka flavor? ini-imagine ko parang masarap sya. kaya lang baka pumalpak yung proportions ko in addition of the langka :( I’ll be doing your flour bibingka version tomorrow for breakfast. Thanks po ng marami! :)

    Thanks din MM! walang lechon dito sa Kuwait kasi bawal ang pork. Though frozen pork parts/meats are ava ilable at PX areas (american base), yun lang tanggal na yung taba, mga KJ :(. I have pork ribs in my freezer for bbq this weekend. I’ll save some and try your empanada. I’m sure masarap to! ;)

    Apr 15, 2010 | 1:46 pm

  36. Renen Racho says:

    May I please have a contact number of which I may be able to use when I call or contact when needed.


    Best regards :)

    Apr 15, 2010 | 3:53 pm

  37. Renen Racho says:

    That is for Lechon Empanadas thank you in advance


    Apr 15, 2010 | 3:55 pm

  38. Marketman says:

    Renen, I don’t sell empanadas. And I don’t give my telephone number out. :) But if you want to order lechon, look up Zubuchon in the archives. :)

    Apr 15, 2010 | 5:25 pm


    please post recipe of empanada, thanks

    Apr 17, 2010 | 1:59 am


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