This is one of my favorite Filipino foods – Asian eggplants stuffed with a mixture of ground pork sauteed in aromatics and fried with eggs. This is perfect with a sweet-spicy chili sauce or to be completely authentic, Filipino banana catsup. If you have not tried banana catsup, you are missing out. The sweet-sour taste is addictive and makes fried and grilled dishes better. I have links below if you need it (yes, you need it!).
For this recipe, Chinese/Japanese/Filipino variety eggplants are better just because of the shape. They are elongated and not as big as the dinner-plate eggplants found in mainstream groceries in the US.
I am talking about this
as opposed to this:
Granted, you can still cut the big, fat eggplants to suit the recipe but it is not the same. The eggplant is broiled in the oven or grilled and it needs to be cooked all the way through before you stuff it. Using the rounder eggplant will make it very hard to do that.
Best Tortang Talong recipe - Filipino Stuffed Eggplants
- 4 pcs eggplants washed and dried, note 1.
- 4 pcs eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Ground meat filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 pcs garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 pcs small tomatoes chopped
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
Ground meat stuffing
heat oil in medium pan
saute the garlic and onions for 2 minutes
add the ground pork. Break up clumps with a fork, season with salt and pepper and stir cook until the meat is brown.
add tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Add soy sauce and water.
bring to a boil and let simmer covered for about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the meat is tender.
If you have a gas burner, grill the eggplant on top of the flame until the skin gets charred. You can also broil the eggplants in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure the skin is charred and easily separates from the flesh.
Take the skin off the eggplants making sure to keep the shape intact.
For each eggplant, beat an egg in a wide bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Put the eggplant on top of the eggs and coat it fully with the egg.
Heat oil in a pan and slide the eggplant with the egg into the pan. Place 2 to 3 tbsp of the cooked ground meat on top of the eggplant.
When the bottom side is cooked, flip over to cook the other side. Fry until the color has turned to golden brown.
Do the same thing for all the eggplants.
Serve with rice and dipping sauce of sweet chili sauce or banana catsup. You can also serve it with zigzag squash or other vegetables like I did in the picture.
Note1: try to find Asian eggplants in an Asian market where you are. If not, you can also slice the round eggplant to make it long and thin.
Health Benefits of Eggplants
- it is rich in fiber and low on calories
- it is part of the Mediterranean diet which is considered very healthy
- contains anthocyanins that protect heart health
- it has high antioxidant content
- has anti-inflammatory properties
- may lower blood cholesterol
- may have anti-cancer properties that prevent blood vessels from forming in tumors and block enzymes that help cancer cells to spread
- helps improve memory and prevent age-related mental disorders
- it is known as a bulking agent and helps us to feel full longer
- may help protect the liver from toxins
- does not have a disagreeable taste so can use as substitute for meat in a lot of dishes
Other things you can do with Eggplants
- Cut into slices and saute in olive oil until soft. Squeeze lemon and add soy sauce before eating
- This is a simple side dish commonly eaten in the Philippines. Instead of lemon, we use calamansi, a small, local citrus fruit. This is very tasty. When frying eggplants, make sure to use a little bit of oil at a time because eggplants are very oil-greedy and will absorb as much oil as you put in the pan.
- Eggplant lasagna. Here is a video on how to make it
- I was able try a version of this on a trip to Greece. So simple ingredients and yet so good.
- Also from the same trip to Greece. We tried making this at home and it was very good. It is like lasagna but with eggplants instead of pasta.
- Add it to Filipino soup as in this recipe
- Use it for Japanese vegetable Tempura
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Eggplant Dip as in Baba Ghanoush
What do You Think?
The possibilities are endless. I find eggplants to be very versatile. Given that it has a lot of health benefits, there is no reason not to include this in your menu. The meat is very absorbent so you can add it to any dish and it will absorb all the flavors.
This tortang talong (stuffed eggplants) is a classic in the Philippines. I hope you find it delicious as we Filipinos do.
A word about banana catsup. Legend has it that Americans came to the Philippines and brought a taste of tomato catsup. But, since there was not an abundant supply of tomatoes in the Philippines, and there is an abundance of bananas, locals adapted the catsup and came up with banana catsup.
To be more precise, according to wikipedia:
Orosa (1893–1945) is credited with inventing a banana ketchup recipe. In 1942, banana ketchup was first mass-produced commercially by Magdalo V. Francisco who founded the brand name Mafran (a portmanteau of his given name) which he registered with the Bureau of Patents.
Nowadays, Jufran (probably derived from Mafran) is a popular maker of banana catsup. There are regular versions and spicy versions. Believe me, this sauce makes everything better.
Here is a link to banana catsup:
Kain Na! (Let’s Eat).