Rellenong Talong (Eggplant Omelet)
In recent years, the eggplant has been the number one vegetable crop in the Philippines, planted in 20,000 hectares and yielding close to 200,000 metric tons a year. Eggplant is especially abundant in Northern and Central Luzon as well as in the Visayas in Central Philippines. It is a versatile crop used in many dishes and is relatively inexpensive.
Rellenong Talong, much like the Mexican Chile Relleno, is made in a similar style as an egg omelette.
2 pieces Chinese eggplant
1/4 lb. ground pork
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cubed
1 medium tomato, peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup green peas
1 sprinkle of fresh ground pepper (adjust to taste)
5 pinches of salt (adjust to taste)
4 Tbsp. pure olive oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 medium-sized eggs
Broil the eggplants until the skin is blackened. Peel the skin, leaving the stem intact. Use a fork to flatten the eggplants. Set aside.
Place a large skillet (or wok) on the stove at high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once hot, add garlic and continue heating until garlic is golden brown. Then add onions, followed by tomatoes, and stir. Then add ground pork. Add three pinches of salt and a sprinkle of pepper. Continue stirring until the pork is brown and cooked evenly. Once pork is brown, add soy sauce and the green peas, reduce to medium heat and cook for an additional two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs, adding two pinches of salt. Add the ground pork and mix well. Place the eggplants in the bowl, making sure to soak them evenly in the mixture.
In a medium-sized skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Place one eggplant at a time in the skillet, browning the eggs then turning the eggplant over to brown the other side.
Garnish with scallions and fresh parsley leaves, and if desired, serve with fresh tomato slices and ketchup.
(Makes 2 servings)