Whenever I am asked about favorite Filipino dishes, I think about what meal I most look forward to when visiting the Philippines. Hands down, it’s Filipino breakfast for me. A common breakfast meal that can be found in the Philippines or Filipino households are ‘Silogs’. There are a lot of fun portmanteaus in the Tagalog language, but Silog is probably the most delicious one. The name is a combination of ‘Sinangag’ for garlic rice and ‘Itlog’ for egg. Silogs are complete breakfast plates that usually include a protein, cucumber & tomato, garlic rice, a vinegar dipping sauce, and a fried egg with crispy golden edges. And if you’re lucky, even some fresh cut tropical fruit.
With that, I would like to talk to you about the eggiest dish that can be enjoyed Silog-style: Tortang Talong! One day while browsing my socials, a video was featured about how to make ‘2022 TasteAtlas Best Egg Dish in The World’. To my delight, it was Tortang Talong! A dish I grew up with and love and was something my parents would make for ‘lazy dinner’ nights. A humble eggplant omelet dish that is hearty, healthy, and gives just a touch of delicious diner-style indulgence from the savory smokiness of the eggplant. It can be easily made with just two ingredients (you guessed it- eggplant & eggs) and makes a satiating meal served with rice or any grain/starch of your choice.
If you’re a fan of eggplants and omelets, I highly recommend trying Tortang Talong and am excited to share a modified recipe!
Tortang Talong for 2
Modified from https://panlasangpinoy.com/filipino-vegetable-food-eggplant-omelet-tortang-talong-recipe
Notes: While this dish is relatively easy to make, I recommend using only Chinese eggplant which can be found at most Asian grocery stores. I recently watched a friend make Chile Relleno and noticed the step of whipping egg whites to stiff peaks and whisking and folding in the yolk after. This gives the Chile Relleno it’s beautiful crisp and fluffy texture on the outside. I immediately thought of Tortang Talong and experimenting with this technique. It’s an optional step, but it can enhance the crisp and adds a souffle-like airiness to Tortang Talong.
- 2 Small (6”-7” length) Chinese eggplant. Also, large eggplant approx. 9”-10” in length could easily feed 2
- 2 Large Eggs
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Neutral Cooking Oil (Vegetable or Canola)
- 1 stalk green onion – cut green parts only
- Use approximately 1 tablespoon of cooking to lightly brush on eggplants
- Char skin of eggplants by using direct heat from a gas stove or under a broiler. You want most of the skin to be very dark brown or black.
- Let the eggplant cool until safe to handle (about 5 minutes) then peel off the skin with a spoon. Set aside.
- Egg Mixture Options
a. Traditional: Crack both eggs into a bowl and whisk w/salt
b. Relleno Style (requires hand mixer or stand mixer)
i. Separate egg yolks and egg whites
ii. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat egg whites into stiff peaks
iii. Whisk egg yolks, add salt, and fold into egg white mixture
- Place the eggplant on a flat surface and flatten using a fork. You can also use the fork to separate/shred the eggplant
- One at a time, lay the flattened eggplant in the beaten egg mixture
- Heat a nonstick pan to medium and pour the remainder cooking oil
- Bring container with dipped eggplant closer to pan. Handling by the step, transfer the eggplant into the pan. To make sure both sides are cooked, using a flat spatula flip eggplant after 2-3 minutes and cook other side for additional 2-3 minutes
- Set cooked Tortang Talong on plate w/paper towel and garnish with green onions before serving
Rachel Mina (she/her) was born in the Philippines, immigrated to the Pacific Northwest at the age of 5, and grew up in the White Center area. After spending a decade working in healthcare admin, Rachel found her love for food justice through volunteer work. She has since worked at FareStart’s School Meals & Shelter Meals program in Seattle and helped open Librairie Gourmande, a culinary event/training space, in Grays Harbor. Currently, she is the program coordinator for HIP’s Shelter Meals program, providing dinners and breakfasts to residents of The Oaks Enhanced Shelter seven days a week. Her interests include both playing and watching basketball, visiting museums in small towns, and taking the ferry on a nice day.