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
- 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
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.
Sinangag (Philippine Fried Rice) Recipe
While the eggplant was baking in the oven, I started cooking my rice.
- 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
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).
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.)
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.