Ensaladang talong is one of the simplest Filipino salads to make. It only needs a few ingredients that are easily available in our pantries or at the palengke: eggplant, tomatoes, and red onion.
I’ve been making this salad lately as summer kicks into high gear here and people have been flocking to our lovely beaches. This salad has always reminded me of fun times at the beach. The cottages usually come with an outdoor grill stand that the barkada’s designated cook would take charge of while the rest swim to their hearts’ content. And this grilled salad is usually the easiest vegetable dish one can cobble together that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Ensaladang talong pairs well with fatty meat dishes and grilled seafood, but since turning vegan, I have enjoyed this with fried or barbecued tofu or tempeh.
We are also adding fermented garlic to this salad–we love how versatile this ferment is and use it raw as often as we can for those good garlic benefits.
Some ensaladang talong have bagoong or salted egg mixed in, but we can try adding a small amount of our tausi and calamansi paste for the salty umami.
Use judiciously and start with a small amount then taste and adjust, as this has a high sodium content.
- 3 to 4 eggplants
- 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 to 2 fermented garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 tsp calamansi or lemon juice, or vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp calamansi and tausi paste (optional)
- 1 sliced green chili or spring onions as garnish
- Salt and pepper
- Poke holes into the eggplants and grill until the skin is charred and the flesh has softened.
- Place the grilled eggplants on a plate or mixing bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let cool then peel off the blackened skin. Trim off the stems and set aside.
- Mash or roughly chop the eggplant flesh then transfer to a bowl.
- Add diced tomatoes and onion and minced fermented garlic. If using green chili and tausi paste, mix them in at this point.
- Add lemon juice, mix well, and season to taste.
- Plate the eggplant salad with the stems and garnish with more green chilies or spring onions.
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