Eggplant omelette (Filipino tortang talong) brings together the smokey, sweet taste of grilled eggplant and the homey flavour of ground pork omelette. Eat it with rice, on its own, with potatoes, but ask any Filipino – always with ketchup!
(Want to try another savoury Filipino dish? This traditional pancit canton recipe is a favourite!)
Summer isn’t just about all these glorious fruits. Let’s not forget the wonderful vegetables in season too!
Visit your weekend farmer’s market and there’s an abundance of greens and yellows and yes, purples. Although eggplants are available year-round, they’re at their best in the summer until early fall.
Grilled eggplant is a summer staple and this eggplant omelette recipe takes your favourite grilled eggplant to another delicious level. Let’s get to it!
What is tortang talong or eggplant omelette?
Eggplants (or talong, pronounced tah-long) are a staple Filipino vegetable – it’s put in stews and grilled and fried and pickled.
Red and I make eggplant lasagna and eggplant parmesan and all other fancy eggplant dishes. But we always return to the talong recipe we grew up eating – tortang talong or eggplant omelette.
No, we don’t chop the eggplants up and throw them in with scrambled eggs like how you would a Spanish omelette. Tortang talong is made with grilled eggplant that is then squished, then topped with ground pork, then fried. It’s delicious.
What’s the best eggplant to use for this Filipino eggplant recipe?
When I lived in Manila, I only knew of one eggplant – the Filipino eggplant. Long, skinny and light purple.
Then I moved to Canada and realized there’s a whole wide world of eggplants out there. Unfortunately Filipino eggplants are not available here.
So for this Filipino eggplant recipe, we usually use the Globe or Italian eggplant, cut into thirds. You can also use Japanese or Chinese eggplant if you happen to find them; you can grill those eggplants whole.
Read all about eggplants here.
How to make eggplant omelette
There are 3 distinct steps to making this eggplant omelette recipe.
Grill your eggplants
First you need to grill your eggplants. We usually just use a stovetop grill though grill outside if the weather is nice!
Take each eggplant slice and drizzle with olive oil on both sides. Grill until they’re soft.
Cook your ground pork
While that’s happening (it takes about 15 minutes on each side to grill the eggplants), get to cooking your pork (or turkey or chicken, those can work too).
Sauté garlic and shallots in vegetable oil until the garlic is crispy (but not burnt) and the shallots are translucent. Then add your pork and cook until brown.
Add your bell peppers and seasonings. Allow this mixture to simmer for a few minutes then remove from heat and divide into 3 portions.
Cook your tortang talong
The eggplants should be ready by now. Remove from the grill and allow to cool. When they don’t burn anymore, peel the remaining skin off (if they don’t easily come off, you need to grill them some more).
In a bowl, beat 1 egg. Put a slice of peeled eggplant into the same bowl and mash with a fork until it’s completely flattened and squishy. Add a portion of ground pork and mix to incorporate with the egg and eggplant completely.
Carefully slide off the eggplant from the bowl into a skillet with oil and cook until it’s golden brown (about 2 minutes) before flipping and cooking for another 2 minutes. Repeat for the rest of your eggplants.
What do you eat with tortang talong?
Filipinos are known for being rice fans so yes, eggplant omelette is typically eaten with rice. But it’s so filling that we’ve learned (yes, we had to unlearn eating rice lol) to eat it on its own or with a side of potatoes or salad.
But one thing we can’t (don’t want to) unlearn? Eating tortang talong with ketchup. Filipinos have a love affair with ketchup too – have you seen our delicious recipe for Filipino spaghetti? The sauce has ketchup in it!
Hope you try this much-loved Filipino dish.
Other delicious Filipino recipes
Filipino cuisine is hard to define – there are Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Malay and American influences. Needless to say, it’s very unique! And delicious.
For breakfast, you can try champorado or chocolate rice porridge (told ya we love our rice!). It’s made with pure chocolate and is the perfect excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast!
For lunch or dinner, make a batch of this chicken sopas recipe (our version of chicken macaroni soup) for a hearty, filling meal.
There are so many Filipino desserts to choose from but you can’t go wrong with this national treasure of a cake, ube cake, made with purple yam. It’s stunning too!
Eggplant Omelette (Filipino Tortang Talong)
- 1 pc Globe or Italian eggplant (about 1 lb/450 g) sliced into 3 pieces lengthwise (see notes)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/8 cup chopped shallots
- 1/2 lbs ground pork
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/8 tsp Old Bay seasoning optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 pcs large eggs
- Canola or vegetable oil for cooking
- While the eggplants are grilling, cook your pork. Using a medium-sized skillet on medium heat, sauté 3 cloves of garlic and 1/8 cup chopped shallots in about a tablespoon of canola oil until the garlic turns brown (not burnt) and the shallots transparent.
- Add 1/2 pounds ground pork. Stir and let it brown (about 5-7 minutes) before adding the 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper. Stir for another 2 minutes to allow the flavours to incorporate. Add 1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, if using, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Switch to low heat and let the pork mixture simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and equally divide into 3 portions. Set aside.
- Let's go back to the eggplants. Once they are properly grilled and allowed to cool so they're not too hot to handle, peel the remaining skin off the edges (if they don't easily come off, you need to grill them some more).
- In a small bowl, beat 1 egg. Put a slice of peeled eggplant into the same bowl and mash with a fork until it's completely flattened and squishy. Add a portion of ground pork and mix to incorporate with the egg and eggplant completely.
- Carefully slide off the eggplant from the bowl into a skillet with about 2 tablespoons of canola oil on medium heat and cook until it's golden brown (about 2 minutes) before flipping and cooking for another 2 minutes. Repeat for the rest of your eggplants.
Happy grilling and cooking!
Did you make tortang talong or eggplant omelette? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.