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Ensaladang Talong – Roasted Eggplant Salad

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Last week, I cooked a leftover dish of adobo garlic rice but I felt we needed a hefty side vegetable dish like Ensaladang Talong – a Roasted Eggplant Salad. It was a soft blend of eggplants roasted to a nutty flavor, afterwards peeled, then mashed with onions and minced garlic.

For this Filipino Ensaladang Talong (eggplant salad) I used a recipe I found in a cookbook  purchased from foodie friends and cabalen Claude Tayag and wife Mary Ann Quioc (‘cabalen’ in the Pampango dialect translates to town mate or someone from the same region).  I make this often because this recipe has a unique dressing made of coconut cream, vinegar, garlic, ginger, scallions. When you boil it quickly, the ivory-colored thick creamy coconut milk glistens and has a sweet-gingery aroma that makes the salad just magical. Pour the coconut vinaigrette into the eggplant mash, then swirl it around and you’ll see what I mean.

Mom used to prepare this Ensaladang Talong often as an accompaniment  to a beef pochero dish for our family Sunday suppers. The eggplants’ tangy, garlicky zesty flavors were a great contrast to the savory  dishes typical in Filipino cuisine. How I loved it!  And don’t even get me started on what a bowl of Ensaladang Talong did to our char-grilled barbecue meals.

So we had this again for dinner last night, to accompany the crisp roast pork entrée. For me, the best part is when I mash this up even more and mix it into boiled jasmine white rice. Eaten as a meal by itself or as a side, this eggplant salad is sheer excellence.

EnsaladangTalong3

 

Ensaladang Talong - Roasted Eggplant Salad

Ensaladang Talong is a classic Filipino eggplant salad that is so simple to make, yet filled with layers of savory flavors. Start with roasted eggplants, peel and mash them. Mix in chopped onions, garlic and peppers. Flavor it with seasonings and a thick coconut cream vinaigrette. Serve this as a side or an entrée by itself. This recipe was adapted  from the cookbook ‘Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine’. Serves 2 as a side dish.
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Eggplant Salad Ensaladang Talong
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 204kcal
Author: Asian in America

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 whole Asian eggplants about 1 cup when mashed (or use 1 large aubergine) - Asian markets have the Japanese variety
  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced fine garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons patis fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped divided, half for eggplants mashed, half for garnish scallions or green onions
  • 1 to 2 whole salad tomatoes sliced 1/4 inch thick , to layer salad
  • boiled jasmine white rice for serving

Instructions

  • Roast the eggplants. You can do it different ways. Open flame : roast the eggplants over an open flame until charred, for about 12-15 minutes. Or oven roast : place the eggplants in a shallow roasting pan, at 400 F degrees for 20 to 23 minutes. (Note: if oven roast, the outer skin will not have a blackened charred look, but that’s okay because you peel it off anyway.)
  • When eggplants have cooled for a few minutes, peel the outer skin off the eggplant carefully. The eggplant has turned soft by now, so peel off slowly. Use a serrated knife to help scrape off the skin which has turned dark brown and wrinkled.
  • In a medium bowl, mash and mix the eggplant filling with the rest of the ingredients : chopped onions, minced garlic and red peppers, scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or till ready to serve.
  • In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, mix together the coconut cream, ginger, vinegar, fish sauce. Allow to boil in about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let the coconut burn. Turn off heat and remove from stove top.
  • To assemble salad: arrange the tomato slices with a layer of eggplant salad in between. Place 2 to 3 tomato slices atop each other with the eggplant in between. End with the top layer of eggplant salad. Pour a few tablespoons of the coconut vinaigrette. Garnish with scallions. Serve hot or cold with an entrée and boiled jasmine white rice.
  • Cook's comments: In the Philippines, we use Japanese or Asian eggplants which are slim and long, measuring about 8 - 10 inches in length, about 2 inches wide. They are sweeter in flavor and smoother in texture. In America, I buy the Japanese eggplants from Asian markets. If not convenient, I buy the large aubergines and the recipe is just as delicious.

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    Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1636mg | Potassium: 136mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 0.8mg

    Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

    Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

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    4 Comments

    1. I rarely have eggplant in salad, but it’s my favorite veggie! I remember on hot days in Japan I used to eat cold eggplant. We didn’t call it “salad” but if I translate to English, it’s probably end up with “salad” in the title as I don’t know how else to describe. This looks really good Elizabeth. Totally inspired to make it.

      1. Thanks, Nami. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant, which I love as you’ve noticed. Last week, I had this eggplant salad EVERYDAY! Nice of you to stop by 🙂

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