I was hoping for a quick dinner by making a salad. Turns out, it took me even longer to prepare than what I regularly make for dinner! Hayyyy....But it sure was worth it. There's not a lot of Filipino salads, but Ensaladang Talong or Filipino Eggplant Salad is one that I absolutely love. It distinguishes itself from other eggplant salads because of the use of Filipino white vinegar (coconut vinegar) and Bagoong (shrimp paste). I loved our dinner tonight because it reminded me of one of my favorite meals back in the Philippines. Ensaladang Talong, Grilled Fish, White Rice, and the hot summer....all that was missing was the beach!
We don't have thin Filipino eggplants here, only the big, fat ones like the ones in the photo above. You have to grill the eggplant completely through, which took nearly close to an hour. Poke several holes to help. My mom used to grill them on the flames stove-top and I am told that they can be roasted in the oven too.
When the eggplants are cooked through, transfer to a plate. Slice the crown, peel the skin completely, dice and smash.
Transfer the eggplant to a salad bowl. Add diced tomatoes and diced onion. Add a splash of white Filipino vinegar. Season with fish sauce and black pepper. Mix together well.
Top with good Filipino Bagoong and enjoy!
Dinner is served: Ensaladang Talong, Grilled Sardines, and White Rice