The Philippine Cookbook: Talong At Kamatis + Sinangag.

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The scent of fried garlic always brings me back to my childhood. In our younger years, my brother and I would wake up during the weekends to a breakfast spread of fried eggs, fried garlic rice, Spam, and mix of talong at kamatis lovingly prepared by our nanay. We would sit at the kitchen table chatting with our parents and rubbing the sleep out of our eyes, and then spend the lazy Saturday watching our favorite cartoons.

In this post I revisit my memories with a dish of talong at kamatis (eggplant and tomato salad) and sinangag (Philippine fried rice). Again, recipes come from The Philippine Cookbook by Reynaldo Alejandro. For a bit of protein, I add a side of eggs, but the choice is entirely up to you.

Talong At Kamatis (Eggplant and Tomato Salad) Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 5 medium-size tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup finely minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste talong1

Directions:

Sometimes eggplant can have a bitter taste to it when it is cooked. To reduce some of the bitterness, I did a little prep work to the eggplant before I cooked it (I learned this trick from my S.O., who learned it from his mother). I cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, keeping the skin on. Then I sprinkled sea salt on the slices and left it to sit for about 30 minutes. After half an hour, you’ll see that some of the moisture from the eggplant has risen to the surface. This is normal. I removed the sea salt by rinsing it off. Now the eggplant is ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and bake them until they are tender.
Take the sheet out of the oven and let it cool. Once the slices are cool, peel off the skin and cut the eggplant into about 1/2-inch cubes.

 

In a mixing bowl, combine eggplant, tomatoes, onion, parsley, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold. Serves 4 (or 2 people with very big stomachs).
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Note: There are a few variations to this dish that you could try out if you don’t like parsley. My mom and my grandma like to substitute parsley with chopped cilantro or green onion. (Then, in the afternoon, if you have any of this salad left over you can add some chopped jalapeno and lime for salsa with chips!) Sometimes, my grandma adds a little fried dilis to the mix as well– I love the crunchy texture this creates. Finally, if you have salad left the following morning, you could use it as topping for a great omelet. So many possibilities!

 

Sinangag (Philippine Fried Rice) Recipe

While the eggplant was baking in the oven, I started cooking my rice.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 4 cups cold cooked rice (or refrigerated leftover rice), mashed lightly with 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

In a 10-inch frying pan, heat oil and fry garlic until light brown.
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Add shallots, rice, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
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Stir the mixture constantly to prevent it from sticking to the pan and to ensure even cooking. Cook and continue stirring for 10 minutes.

 

After about 10 minutes of stir frying, I covered the pan and removed it from the heat. I like letting the rice at the bottom of the pan sit and crisp up a little before I serve it. Serves 6-8.

Protein Additions and Instructions for Poached Egg

At this point, you could add any protein you want to the salad and rice. I usually like Spam or eggs, but I’m trying to be a bit healthier with my diet, so I opted for a poached egg this time around. Here are some quick instructions for poaching an egg (if you have tips for making the egg poaching easier, I am all ears!):

Fill a pot with about 4-5 inches of water and a splash of white vinegar. Bring it to a simmer (i.e., bubbles start breaking the surface).

talong12Break your egg into a ramekin or cup.

Using a spoon, swirl the water around to create a vortex. While the water is still swirling around, slowly pour the egg into the center of the pot. (It helps to keep the lip of the ramekin close to the water to pour the egg into the water in one neat piece.)

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Allow the egg to set around the yolk. The egg should float to the top when the egg white is set.

Remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon. Let the spoon sit for a few seconds to drain the excess water, then gently place it on to a paper towel. Transfer to your plate to serve.

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The Verdict:

talong16Success! This was a pretty easy dish to make. I love eating this type of breakfast food for dinner too, when I can’t think of anything else to cook 🙂

– j.

One thought on “The Philippine Cookbook: Talong At Kamatis + Sinangag.

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