I put the newly-cooked Filipino classic Tortang Talong – Roasted Stuffed Eggplants on the dinner table. “I don’t like eggplant!” sulked my son, who was little at that time. He defiantly glared at me, arms folded. I learned through many years of cooking for hungry kids how to solve the “I don’t like” situation.
If you’re ever faced with this, restrain the impulse to scream back at the little ones. You’re tired, nerves are frayed, everyone’s hungry. Chances are, this scenario happens a lot during the holidays when the days are short and your patience is tested.
I have just the solution. A good meal combination of ground meat, potatoes, eggs and eggplant. Yes, I used the ‘V’ word there. But if you’ll notice, it was carefully concealed.
First, calm down. The world will not end if they refuse veggies today. Just keep putting it on the table every day. A dear aunt once advised me “Everyone gets hungry, everyone needs to eat. Eventually they will.” Yes, my aunt was right. My kids always came to the table. Especially if the meal was this good.
Serve the family with this Filipino tortang talong (say ‘tor-tang-tah-long’ ). It is a great combo of ground meat sautéed in potatoes and tomatoes, topped with eggs. Promise them they can slather ketchup on everything. Pour the ground meat, potatoes, eggs, breadcrumbs on a bed of well roasted eggplants. Pan sear for a few minutes. And presto, there’s your meat-veggies dish – the Filipino Tortang Talong. This has become such a family favorite at our table that I can never make enough of it. You will never ever hear the sentence “I don’t like” again after serving this!
Tortang Talong - Roasted Stuffed Eggplant
- Large Non-stick Skillet: 12 inches in diameter
- 4, whole char-grilled or roasted Asian eggplants then peeled
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil divided- Use 2 Tablespoons for ground meat, 2 for eggplants vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 1/4 pound ground pork or beef
- 1 whole large tomato chopped
- 1 whole large potato peeled, chopped
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 2 whole large eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- for serving : steamed jasmine white rice
- for serving: ketchup
- To prepare eggplants: Char-grill eggplants over high heat or open fire for 20 to 25 minutes. Or else place eggplants in a greased shallow baking sheet, and roast in the oven at 400 F for 25 minutes. The eggplants will look dark and shriveled after this. Cool the eggplants for a few minutes till easy to handle. Peel off the outer skin using a serrated knife and fork. Leave the stem part intact, so you can grip the bare-skinned eggplant. You should have the inner part of the eggplants with a dark green color and a fibrous texture. Set aside for use after the ground meat is cooked.
- To cook the meat stuffing: In a medium skillet, over medium high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Saute the garlic, onions, tomatoes. Add the ground meat and cook for 8 minutes or till beef or pork turns a dark color. Add the potatoes, raisins and cook for 8 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To cook the Tortang Talong: In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat. add the remaining 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Place the peeled eggplants, flatten them with a spatula or turner in the center of the large pan.
- Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cooked ground meat and potatoes over the bed of eggplants. Sprinkle a tablespoon of breadcrumbs on the meat mixture.
- Pour the beaten eggs, starting from the center of the meat mixture that’s over the eggplants. Using a flat turner or spatula, move any excess eggs that fall on the side, to the top of the meat mixture.
- Cover and cook this eggplant-meat assembly for 6 to 8 minutes more or till there is no more trace of liquid in the eggs. Serve warm over rice and with ketchup on the side.
- Cook's comments: If the Asian eggplants are not available, use regular large aubergines for this recipe. Instead of 3 or 4 Asian eggplants, substitute one large aubergine, following the same process for char-grilling or roasting, then peeling.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary. The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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