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23 October 2011

Ensaladang Talong (Eggplant salad)

Ensaladang Talong is an appetizing side dish that goes well with fried fish and meat.  When you eat something fried, there is that greasy after-taste which this salad helps cleanse.  It is a bit sour (due to the vinegar) but works really well if you are able to get a harmonious mix of the flavours of the tomato, eggplant, and onion.

The bagoong (fish paste) is optional; I just love bagoong with eggplant so I decided to add some in this recipe. So I also have an element of saltiness in it.  Also, this recipe can fill a 340 g bottle so this might be too much if you are preparing for a small meal only.  You can use smaller sizes and portions if needed.


Ingredients:
1 large eggplant (just because this is the only eggplant we currently have.  However you can also use around 3-4 of the thinner variety, which is actually preferred because grilling is more uniform).
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
1 medium / 2 small chilli pepper (siling pang-sigang), deseeded and chopped - skip it if you're not fond of spicy food
1/2 tbsp bagoong (shrimp paste) - I used the canned, ginisang bagoong
1/4 cup vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
Grill the eggplant.  In my case, since the eggplant is quite big I decided to quarter it and enclose it in an aluminum foil packet so it gets cooked through.

Allow it to cool and then remove the skin and roughly chop up the flesh.

Next, combine all the ingredients (except the last item) and mix thoroughly.  Then season with salt and pepper.

You can add more vinegar if you wish, for as long as the salad does not get too watery.  Allow to settle for half an hour before serving a small portion.  Refrigerate remaining ensalada and use within 3-4 days.

PS Thanks Archie de Lara for this recipe inspiration!