My husband doesn’t care much for eggplant. Unfortunately, this meant that one of my favourite vegetables became unwelcome in our home. In the eight years that we’ve been together, the only times I could use it in the kitchen was during tax season (when my husband disappears into the void for 3 months) or on nights where I’m left to cook for myself. What a terrible dietary restriction.
Since our trip to the Philippines, Kurt has happily relaxed his scorn. His new interest in eggplant is thanks to a simple dish that most Filipinos know and love: tortang talong. Below is a visual recipe of the dish that is no longer blacklisted from our household.
Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette)
Step 1 – Torch Eggplant
My favourite step. Using a gas stove, roast eggplant on all sides until skin is puffy and charred. If you don’t have access to open flame (like our kitchen, sob) you can use your oven’s broiler, set on high. It’ll take a little longer to do.
Optional Step 1b – Steam Eggplant
If you are finding it difficult to peel the blackened skin off the eggplant, you can wrap said eggplant in foil and let steam a few minutes. The skin will peel off like panties at a Tom Jones concert.
Step 2 – Peel Eggplant
Remove the skin from your roasted eggplant. It should look like this. Having trouble? Try Step 1b above.
Step 3 – Egg eggplant
Scramble an egg in a bowl and submerge your eggplant into it. Fan out the eggplant fully with a fork. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Step 4 – Fry Eggplant
Heat a frying pan with a smidgeon of olive oil (low-med heat). When the oil is ready, use the stem of your eggplant to lay it onto the pan. Make sure to fan the body of the eggplant out and use extra egg to fill in any gaps. Fry for 1-2 mins on each side or until each side is a toasty golden brown.
If you have extra egg left over, you can fry that up separately. It’ll taste like the eggplant omelette but without the veggie bits.
Step 5 – Eat Eggplant
Blot excess oil off the omelette with paper towel if desired and you are done!
In my family, these omelettes are served over steamed rice and accompanied with some sort of pork. I usually eat it with pork chops but have been known to eat it with (gasp) Spam as well. If you want to be truly Filipino about it, create a dipping sauce of equal parts bagoong and white vinegar and spoon a little over each bite.