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.
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp bagoong
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp calamansi juice
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- ½ cup chicharon, chopped (optional)
- 2 red eggs, chopped (optional)
Take the eggplants and coat them in oil. Salt generously, then place directly over a medium open fire.
Roast eggplants, turning continuously until skin is blackened and eggplant is softened.
Remove from fire and place on a tray. Cover with a towel and let eggplant rest until cool enough to handle.
While eggplants are cooling, make the dressing by whisking together bagoong, mustard, sugar, calamansi juice, and oil.
Once eggplants have cooled, use a spoon to remove the skins. Take care to leave the meat intact.
Make a lengthwise slit on top of the eggplant, cutting the eggplant open without cutting through.
Flatten the eggplants carefully. Then using a spoon, mash the eggplant meat.
Spoon some dressing onto the eggplant then top with chopped tomatoes, red onion, and chicharon. You may also add red eggs, if using.
Pour over more salad dressing before serving.
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.