Ensaladang Talong with Bagoong Dressing

This recipe pairs roasted eggplants with a bright, umami-rich bagoong dressing and finishes with some chicharon on top!
Difficulty
Easy
Servings
4 servings
Prep Time
20 Mins
Active Time
10 Mins

Traditionally, ensaladang talong is a one-bowl side dish. It's made up of roasted eggplants, tomatoes, and red onions, mixed with a sour vinegar dressing. It goes with almost every Filipino dish, and it's a favorite pairing for any fried dish.

Our take on the dish follows the foundations of ensaladang talong. However, this version doesn't mix everything together in a bowl. It piles the mix-ins on top of the butterflied roasted eggplant. We used a bagoong-based dressing for a salty and tangy, umami-rich finish.

Eggplants

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • salt, to taste

Bagoong Dressing

  • 1 tbsp bagoong
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp calamansi juice
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil

Bagoong Mix-Ins

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chicharon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 red eggs, chopped (optional)
1

Take the eggplants and coat them in oil. Salt generously, then place directly over a medium open fire.

2

Roast eggplants, turning continuously until skin is blackened and eggplant is softened.

3

Remove from fire and place on a tray. Cover with a towel and let eggplant rest until cool enough to handle.

4

While eggplants are cooling, make the dressing by whisking together bagoong, mustard, sugar, calamansi juice, and oil.

5

Once eggplants have cooled, use a spoon to remove the skins. Take care to leave the meat intact.

6

Make a lengthwise slit on top of the eggplant, cutting the eggplant open without cutting through.

7

Flatten the eggplants carefully. Then using a spoon, mash the eggplant meat.

8

Spoon some dressing onto the eggplant then top with chopped tomatoes, red onion, and chicharon. You may also add red eggs, if using.

9

Pour over more salad dressing before serving.

Notes

To test your roasted eggplants' doneness, insert a toothpick into the thickest part of the eggplant. It should go in without much resistance.

For a meat-free version, skip the chicharon.

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