Tortang Talong (Stuffed Grilled Eggplant Omelet)

I tried out this simple eggplant omelet recipe from Kristine Keefer, public relations coordinator for the French Laundry in Yountville, California.

Kristine Keefer, public relations coordinator for the French Laundry in Yountville, left her native Philippines after college to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. This omelet can be enjoyed with the accompanying recipes for mango salad and garlic fried rice for a complete meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I am pretty sure overseas Filipinos will love these recipes.

2 Japanese eggplant (the narrower the better, as they will cook faster)
Vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 medium onion, cut in small dice
10 ounces ground pork
1 large plum tomato, cut in small dice
1 tablespoon fish sauce (Keefer prefers the Thai brand Tiparos)
4 medium eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste

eggplant omelet

1. On a grill or open flame, scorch eggplant skins until blackened. (Using stem as handle, try to turn eggplants on every side to char as much of the skin as possible.) Place them whole in a heatproof dish and cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. Let eggplants steam in the residual heat until they turn limp. Once they have had a chance to cool, gently peel away skins and discard. Set peeled eggplants aside.

2. In large pan, heat about 1 tablespoon oil until a smoky haze appears. Add onion and saute until softened and caramel in color. Mix in ground pork and saute until cooked. Add diced tomato and cook until softened. Add fish sauce and cook until it evaporates or until the sharp fish smell disappears and is replaced by a more mellow aroma. Remove mixture from flame and set aside to cool until needed.

3. In medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add both eggplants, laying them side by side with stem ends sticking up and out of the bowl together. Using a fork, mash eggplant meat until flattened. Add pork mixture and make sure it and eggplant are well-coated with beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. In 8-inch nonstick skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon oil until a hazy smoke appears. Carefully slide eggplant and egg mixture into pan, once again with stem ends sticking up together. Lower flame to medium heat. Once egg mixture looks opaque around edges, cover pan with a large plate (should be at least 1 inch bigger than pan circumference) and quickly turn pan upside down so the eggplant mixture lands on the plate (the cooked side should be on top). Return pan to stove, add a little bit more oil and heat until a hazy smoke appears. Carefully slide the torta, uncooked side down, into the pan. Lower heat to medium and cook until eggs are cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish immediately and serve with mango salad and garlic fried rice if desired (see accompanying recipes below).


Serves 4 as a side dish
1 large unripe/green Kent mango (usually found in Asian groceries), peeled and flesh diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 pint Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 of a large red onion, cut in small dice
Jarred sauteed shrimp paste, to taste (Keefer prefers the Filipino brand Barrio Fiesta)
Cilantro leaves, plucked from stems (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; toss well and season to taste with shrimp paste. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Serves 4
6 large cloves garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 cups steamed jasmine rice, cooled
Salt and pepper, to taste

In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, saute garlic in about 1 tablespoon oil until fragrant and lightly golden in color. Add fish sauce to pan and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates and the sharp fish smell turns more mellow. Using spatula, stir in rice and let cook on medium-high until a slightly crunchy bottom is achieved. Toss rice once again and keep repeating until all the rice has had a chance to crisp. Add more oil if needed. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Photo credit: I forgot to take a photo but thanks to What’s On My Dinner Palate.

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