There’s no singular definition for Filipino ensalada—many versions exist, like talong, mangga, lato, etc. But what’s common among all of these is their ability to showcase our rich agriculture. Ensaladas are proof that with great produce, you can create magic. This recipe for Filipino ensalada dumplings recipe is no exception. The filling makes use of five different and readily available vegetables. And in lieu of dressing, we throw in a sweet bagoong and calamansi dip!
This recipe was developed in partnership with Rural Rising Philippines, a social enterprise that aims to support the country’s food security, achieve environmental sustainability, and drive economic opportunity by harnessing the full potential of our local agriculture.
Sweet Bagoong-Calamansi Dip
6 tbsp water
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp calamansi
1 tbsp bagoong
1 tbsp honey
½ cup roasted, peeled, and chopped eggplant
½ cup chopped spinach or kangkong
4 tbsp finely chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp finely minced red onions
1 tbsp chopped chives
3 tsp liquid seasoning
1 tbsp hibe (dried shrimp), finely chopped, optional
ground black pepper, to taste
1 pack dumpling wrappers
neutral oil, for frying
minced chives, for garnish
Make the dip: Mix dip ingredients in a bowl, whisking until well combined. Set aside.
Make the dumplings: In another bowl, combine eggplant, spinach or kangkong, tomatoes, red onions, chives, liquid seasoning, and hibe (if using). Season mixture with ground black pepper to taste and mix.
Take your dumpling wrapper and scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling onto the center.
Fold the dumpling upwards, forming a taco shape and pinch to seal the center (not the sides).
Starting on the left side of the dumpling, create pleats by folding the wrapper towards the center. The pleats should be facing away from you. Stop in the middle and repeat pleating, this time from the right side moving towards the center. Use your thumb and index finger to gather the pleats and to seal it.
Place folded dumplings on a plate or container and cover with a towel or plastic film.
Fry the dumplings: Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the dumplings for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
Pour about ¼ cup of water into the the side of the pan. Cover with a lid and steam dumplings for 6-8 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, make sure to check if the water has evaporated—if it has, add a bit more water to prevent the dumplings from burning.
Remove the lid. Once the dumplings turn translucent, transfer the dumplings to a plate. Garnish with chives and serve with sweet bagoong and calamansi dip.