Eggplants turn into mush when overcooked. Just like our adobong sitaw recipe, this adobong talong preserves the vegetables' texture by cooking them separately, then adding a meaty adobo sauce to finish.
In this recipe, cornstarch-dredged eggplant rounds are seared in a hot pan until crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. On top goes a ground pork adobo sauce cooked with the usuals: soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, black peppercorns.
Ground Pork Adobo Sauce
- ½ cup ground pork
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1–2 bay leaves
- ½ tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1–2 tbsp brown sugar, optional
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp minced green onions
- salt and pepper
- 2–3 medium-sized eggplants, cut into rounds
Make Ground Pork Adobo Sauce
Sear ground pork: Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add ground pork to the pan in a single even layer and sear until golden on one side. Transfer cooked pork to a bowl or plate and set aside.
Cook ground pork: Remove excess pork fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Sauté garlic in pork fat over medium heat until soft and fragrant. Add ground pork back to the pan, followed by soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, and whole black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Continue cooking until ground pork is tender.
If the mixture becomes too salty, add water to dilute it. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, add 1–2 tbsp brown sugar.
Add slurry: Dissolve cornstarch in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons warm water to make a slurry. Slowly add slurry into the adobo mixture and continue to simmer until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
Dredge eggplants: Add cornstarch to a small baking tray or deep dish and season with salt. Lightly dredge eggplant slices in the cornstarch, patting off any excess.
Cook eggplants: Heat oil in a clean pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add dredged eggplant (it should immediately sizzle on contact) and sear, turning once to cook the other side, until both sides are crisp and golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer eggplants to a plate. Spoon ground pork adobo sauce over the eggplants and garnish with minced green onions. Enjoy over cooked white rice.