Filipino food is one of the most underrated cuisines from around the world. If you like bold, contrasting flavors and dishes that aren’t afraid to mix savory, sour, and umami all in one bite, then you have to try Filipino food.
One of the more popular vegetables to cook in Filipino cuisine is eggplant (or aubergine, if you’re from some European countries), but what kind of meals can you make with this versatile legume?
In this article, we’ll take a look at 14 exciting Filipino recipes that make eggplant the star of the show.
From the sizzle of Inihaw na Talong’s char-grilled perfection to the comforting embrace of kare-kareng talong’s rich peanut stew, these recipes promise a symphony of flavors.
Elevate your culinary repertoire with the savory notes of adobong talong or the crispy delights of eggplant lumpia.
Each dish invites you to savor the unique blend of spices and textures that make Filipino cooking a true delight.
So, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, these recipes will bring the warmth and richness of Filipino flavors straight to your table.
Grilled And Pan Fried Eggplant
The first recipe on our list is this amazing Inihaw na Talong. Dive into smoky goodness with these grilled eggplants stuffed with a medley of tomatoes and onions, bringing a burst of flavor to every bite.
Cooking Tip: Char the eggplant skin for that distinctive smoky flavor, enhancing the overall taste.
Pairing Dish: Serve Inihaw na Talong with a side of garlic rice and a soy-vinegar dipping sauce for a satisfying meal.
This next dish is a Filipino classic. Tortang Talong features grilled eggplants dipped in egg and pan-fried to perfection, creating a simple yet delightful dish.
Cooking Tip: Peel the eggplant skin after grilling for a smoother texture in your omelet.
Pairing Dish: Enjoy tortang talong with a side of steamed rice and a drizzle of banana ketchup for a tasty combination.
Elevate your salad game with char-grilled eggplants mixed with juicy tomatoes and onions, creating a refreshing and flavorful Ensaladang Talong.
Cooking Tip: Use ripe tomatoes to enhance the juiciness of the salad.
Pairing Dish: This salad pairs perfectly with grilled fish or meat skewers, offering a balanced and light meal.
Saucy Stir-Fries And Stews
Experience the fusion of soy sauce, vinegar, and spices, creating a savory Adobong Talong that beautifully complements the natural taste of eggplant.
Cooking Tip: Marinate the eggplant slices for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors penetrate.
Pairing Dish: Serve Adobong Talong with steamed white rice and crispy fried fish for a satisfying Filipino meal.
The next recipe on our list is this quick and easy Ginisang Talong. This meal features stir-fried eggplant with garlic, onions, and your choice of meat (typically pork), offering a delicious and comforting experience.
Cooking Tip: Slice the eggplant evenly for consistent cooking.
Pairing Dish: Enjoy ginisang talong with a side of bagoong (shrimp paste) and steamed jasmine rice for a tasty Filipino combination.
Indulge in a flavorful vegetable stew. This Pinakbet features eggplant, squash, and shrimp paste, creating a rich and satisfying Filipino dish.
Cooking Tip: Use a variety of fresh vegetables for a colorful and nutritious stew.
Pairing Dish: Pinakbet pairs well with grilled or fried fish, providing a wholesome and balanced meal.
Our final stir-fry recipe is a creamy and delightful ginataang talong. This dish features eggplant cooked in coconut milk with shrimp, ginger, and chili, creating a rich and flavorful dish.
Cooking Tip: Use coconut cream for a thicker and more luscious sauce.
Pairing Dish: Ginataang talong pairs well with steamed jasmine rice or garlic rice, offering a more substantial Filipino meal.
Innovative And Fusion Dishes
A Filipino twist on the classic, this Eggplant Lasagna layers grilled eggplant with meat sauce and cheese, creating a hearty and satisfying dish.
Cooking Tip: Try to slice the eggplant as thinly as possible for a lasagna that holds together beautifully.
Pairing Dish: Serve the eggplant lasagna with a side of garlic bread and a fresh green salad for a complete and comforting meal.
If you want to indulge in the bold and sizzling flavors of sisig without eating meat, then you want to check out this eggplant and mushroom sisig.
The vegetarian meal features a savory blend of eggplant and mushrooms, delivering a delightful and meat-free twist on a Filipino favorite.
Cooking Tip: Achieve the perfect texture by sautéing the mushrooms until golden brown and allowing the eggplant to absorb the flavors.
Pairing Dish: Serve eggplant and mushroom sisig with a side of garlic rice and a squeeze of calamansi for a zesty kick, creating a satisfying and vegetarian-friendly meal.
Head straight for flavor town with this delicious Kare-Kare variation featuring eggplant, banana hearts, and a peanut-based sauce. All of these ingredients come together to create a rich and indulgent Filipino stew.
Cooking Tip: Roast the peanuts before grinding for a more intense peanut flavor.
Pairing Tip: Serve the kare-kareng talong with bagoong (shrimp paste) on the side and a bowl of steamed rice for a satisfying meal.
The next recipe on our list is a family favorite. Crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside, Eggplant Lumpia features seasoned eggplant rolls, fried to perfection, creating a delightful Filipino appetizer.
Cooking Tip: Ensure the eggplant filling is well-drained to prevent sogginess.
Pairing Tip: Dip eggplant lumpia in a sweet and tangy vinegar dipping sauce for a delicious snack or appetizer.
Experience the umami explosion of binagoongang talong, where sautéed shrimp paste meets succulent eggplant slices. This dish offers a unique combination of savory and briny flavors.
Cooking Tip: Toast the shrimp paste lightly for an aromatic boost, and cook the eggplant until tender but not mushy.
Pairing Dish: Binagoongang talong pairs perfectly with steamed rice and grilled or fried fish, creating a symphony of flavors that will satisfy your taste buds.
Next, we’re going to look at a sour pork soup with the addition of eggplant, string beans, and tamarind broth. Sinigang na baboy with talong is a comforting and tangy Filipino dish.
Cooking Tip: Use fresh tamarind for a more authentic and vibrant flavor.
Pairing Dish: Serving sinigang na baboy with talong with a bowl of steamed rice and fish sauce on the side for a complete meal.
Spice up your palate with this Bicol express variation, featuring a crisp pork belly and eggplant in a creamy and spicy coconut milk sauce.
Cooking Tip: Render the fat from the pork for an extra layer of flavor in the sauce.
Pairing Dish: Enjoy eggplant and Bicol express with a side of steamed rice or garlic fried rice for a hearty and satisfying meal.
Let’s wrap up our exploration of these Filipino eggplant recipes. In celebrating the diversity of Filipino culinary heritage, we’ve explored an array of delectable eggplant recipes that bring a symphony of flavors to your table.
From the smoky notes of grilled eggplants to the savory delights of adobo and the comforting richness of kare-kare, each dish encapsulates the essence of Filipino home-cooking goodness.
These recipes showcase the versatility of eggplant, transforming it into the star of a lot of these dishes.
Whether you opt for the simplicity of the sautéed dishes or the more intricate layers of an eggplant lasagna, each recipe invites you to enjoy the unique blend of spices that define Filipino cuisine.
We hope these recipes inspire you to bring a taste of the Philippines to your kitchen, fostering a connection to the heart and soul of Filipino cooking.
Generally, the difference between these two eggplants is that Chinese eggplants are long and thin and dark lavender in color. On the other hand, Filipino eggplants are a dark green color with flashes of light purple.
In Chinese cuisine, you can expect to see eggplant used in stir-fries, braises, and pickles. In Filipino cuisine, eggplant is often braised, stewed, and fried.
There are a few reasons why you might need to soak an eggplant before cooking. One of the reasons is to draw out any bitter juices and remove any excess greasiness. However, if your eggplants are fresh, then there shouldn’t be any need to soak them.
Only eggplants with seeds that are too defined or hard will need to be soaked because they’re old and might be bitter.
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