Grilled Talong (Eggplant) Salad

When the grill is fired up and you talsal1throw on some serious fat (like liempo, pork barbecue, pork chops) or a nice hunk of fish, the perfect salad or side dish to serve with it is this totally simple but delicious talong or eggplant salad. I personally love the pairing of fat and acid – thus pork barbecue served with atsara (picked papaya), deep fried dried fish dipped in vinegar, grilled tanguigue served with green mango relish, etc. The acid does a nice job of “cutting” and or balancing the fat. If I want a taste of home even when I am thousands of miles away from home, this salad does the trick and its ingredients are so common there are few places that I have been unable to do this.

To make: fire up a grill or barbecue. Before you talsal2do the meat or fish or whatever main course you are having, take several Asian eggplants (the long skinny purple or white green varieties) and grill them close to or right on top of the coals. Their skins will burn, blister and turn generally wicked looking. Be careful to keep turning them around to burn or singe evenly. I have read that this is possible just over an open flame on a kitchen stove but I have never done that. I do have an indoor grill on my Viking and that works pretty good and is my second choice after an actual outdoor barbecue grill. Once they look cooked and have softened a bit, take them off the fire and let them rest on a plate for several minutes (they will continue to cook). Next, the only pain in the neck step, you have to peel off the charred skin and remove any remnants of “black” to yield these “naked” but cooked eggplants.

Chop them up into cubes and put in a bowl. talsal3Add chopped ripe red tomatoes, chopped white or red onion (volumes to your liking), add salt, and a nice native vinegar. I like my version to be spicy so I use the homemade sili (chilli) vinegar that I wrote about several weeks ago. It is very spicy. If you want a bit of color, some chopped chives or green onion would do the trick. Serve immediately with the barbecue you have just taken off the grill. Yum!


6 Responses

  1. hi marketman!
    you can easily peel-off the skin of eggplant after broiling by washing/blanching them with tap water first. the skin will not stick to the flesh.

  2. Will try that the next time around. You can also place them in a paper bag and fold the top to let them steam in there for a while. It works for capsicums or peppers so it must work for eggplants as well. Thanks for this info.

  3. Yup I’ve tried placing post-charred eggplants in a bowl and covered with a kitchen towel — the “sweat” does wonders for getting the skin off easily.

  4. I will be happy to exchange my strogganof with this.
    Thanks for this basic instruction ,will try if I can get it right- ako lang yata Pinay mahilig magluto but cant do this basic talong salad.

  5. Our family have done this for a long time, and it still is a favorite, especially with inihaw na tilapia. I sometimes even make it my main ulam, using bagoong alamang as sawsawan. Yum yum!

  6. Yum! I ate this all the time while growing up, my parents
    seasoned it with patis and a little lemon. So tasty!



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