Tortang Talong

The humble Filipino eggplant omelette is one of my favourite ways to eat eggplant.  I grew up eating it at home as a side dish for a simple weeknight meal. We didn’t serve it at dinner parties when guests came over because look at it, it’s not exactly the prettiest dish.  But we all loved it just the same and we knew we were having it for dinner once we smelled the eggplant charring on the stovetop fire.  It’s such a simple and delicious dish that I can eat it every day and never tire of it.

I never learned how to make it until my trip to the Philippines earlier this year when I asked our helper Annie to teach me.  I also had the enlightening discovery of learning that eggplants should be checked for WORMS before cooking.  You’ll know there’s one if the eggplant has a hole (or holes!) on the outside.  I shudder thinking about the countless times I’ve cooked eggplant and the countless worms I’ve eaten along with it.

Tips for making Torang Talong

  • Steam the eggplant to remove the skin easily by placing it directly on the fire on the stove and turning it to ensure all sides get burnt by the flame. This technique allows the skin to be removed easily while lending a nice smoky flavour to the dish. Alternatively, I know some people who boil theirs instead for convenience.
  • Holes on the skin are a good indicator that there are little worms inside the eggplant so be sure to check after peeling.

This dish is perfect for vegetarians and can definitely be served as a main.  When we were younger we would eat this a lot during Lent when we gave up meat on Fridays.  I’ve always loved mine with ketchup on the side.

If you’re looking for other vegetarian dishes, try this shrimp and broccoli dish or make something warm and comforting like this hearty lentil soup because it’s official, fall is here.


Tortang Talong

Tortang Talong

What you need:

1 Chinese eggplant
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup oil

What to do:

1. Use a fork to poke holes all over the eggplant.

Poking holes with a fork before steaming the eggplant.

2. Heat the eggplant directly over the open flame on the stove until the skin of the eggplant turns black, rotate until all parts of are almost burnt.

Steaming the eggplant over open flame helps to peel the skin off easily.

3. Once the eggplant has cooled, hold the stem and peel the skin off using your fingers.

4. Place the peeled eggplant on a plate and then use a fork to flatten. Look for any worms to remove at the same time.  Set aside.

Making Tortang Talong

5. Beat the egg in a bowl and add salt and pepper, beat well to combine.

6. Dip the eggplant in the egg mixture.

Dipping the eggplant in egg mixture before frying

8. Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil gets hot, start to fry one side of the eggplant until it turns medium brown.

Making Tortang Talong

9. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top of the eggplant. Flip it over and fry the other side until it turns light to medium brown.

Tortang Talong


10. Remove and lay it on a paper towel on a plate to absorb excess oil.

11. Serve with ketchup (optional) and enjoy!




  1. Q: What can be worse than discovering a worm 🐛 in your eggplant?

    A: Ready – finding half a worm 😜

    Miss you Steph.


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