Now let’s talk about breakfast or what we Pinoys call agahan or almusal. There are a lot of dishes I could highlight and I will start with one dish. We tend to like the start to our mornings with something hearty and filling, more salty than sweet. One of my most favourite is what we call Tortang Talong or simply eggplant omelette. It’s pretty simple really, just three ingredients and paired with fresh steamed rice, I am all set to start my day.
The key to a good tortang talong is to be able to make the eggplant soft before adding the egg. The original way of softening the eggplant was to roast it over open fire. We normally place the whole eggplant on top of the heating element and let the flames scorch through the skin, turning it gradually to let the flames touch every part and cook it through. It takes a lot of patience and attention to get it done right. But it is very well worth the detail to make a good tortang talong.
My present living conditions present a different problem though as I have a ceramic topped range and I reinvented the recipe to match my condo living. I tried different ways, from placing it in the oven to boiling the eggplant in water to microwaving. I find the best way is microwaving. Just remember to score the eggplant with a fork in ample areas to release the moisture when using the oven or the microwave. That buildup of moisture trying to escape while roasting/cooking the eggplant can give you a magnificent boom if you forget to poke holes on the eggplant.
Do try this very simple dish. It is a comfort food I love and I hope you would start up your day on a positive note like mine.
2 Chinese long and thin eggplants
2 eggs, large
2 tbsp cooking oil for frying
soy sauce for dipping, preferably Marca Pina or Silver Swan
1. Score the eggplant with a fork, making holes to release steam while it cooks
2. Soften the Chinese eggplant (stem end intact) for about 2 minutes in a microwave for every eggplant. If using oven, preheat at 500 degrees F for about 20 minutes before roasting the scored Chinese eggplants for another 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. When eggplants are cooled down to room temperature, peel the skin off gently, keeping the stem intact.
4. Break two eggs into a shallow bowl and beat eggs until frothy.
5. Heat a frying fan with the cooking oil for frying.
5. Place the softened and peeled eggplant on the bowl with the beaten egg and fan out the eggplant to thin it out and transfer eggplant to hot frying pan.
6. Fry until golden brown.
7. Serve warm with steamed jasmine rice. Use soy sauce for dipping.
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