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Talong: The Filipino Eggplant

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  July 25, 2022

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Talong is an eggplant or “aubergine” variety grown in the Philippines. It has a long slim shape and purple skin like the Little Fingers, Ichiban, Pingtung Long, and Tycoon.

The name is derived from the Malay “terung”.

What is talong

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What does talong taste like?

Talong has a similar flavor to zucchini. It’s tender and mild but also a bit sweet, a little less bitter than other eggplant varieties. Talong will absorb moisture and flavor even better than the thick oblong shaped eggplants because of its long narrow flesh.

How to cook with talong

If you find yourself with a bit of eggplant and you’re not sure what to do with it, never fear! Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes.

While it may have a bit of a reputation for being bitter, eggplant can be quite delicious when cooked properly.

Here are some tips on how to cook with eggplant so that you can make the most of this delicious vegetable.

1. Rinse, drain, and slice the eggplant. If you find that your eggplant is a bit bitter, rinsing it, draining it, and slicing it thinly can help to remove some of the bitterness.

2. Season the eggplant. Eggplant is quite absorbent, so it can take on a lot of flavor. Seasoning your eggplant with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices can help to give it a delicious flavor.

3. Cook the eggplant. Eggplant can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, roasting, and sauteing. Experiment to find the cooking method that you like best.

4. Use eggplant in your favorite recipes. Eggplant can be used in a variety of recipes, including soups, stews, curries, stir-fries, and more. Get creative and experiment with different ways to incorporate eggplant into your favorite dishes.

Filipino dishes with talong

The most popular Filipino dish with eggplant is tortang talong, an egg omelet with talong. It’s also used in pinakbet a lot and for adobo.

Tortang talong

Is made by grilling talong, dipping it in beaten eggs, and then frying the mixture. The dish is usually served with the stalk attached. There are several variants of tortang talong, including rellenong talong, which is stuffed with meat and vegetables.

Pinakbet

Is a dish made with eggplant, squash, string beans, okra, and other vegetables. It’s usually cooked with shrimp paste to give it a salty-sour flavor.

Adobo

Is a popular Filipino dish made with chicken or pork that is cooked in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and spices. Eggplant is sometimes added to adobo to give it a more stew-like consistency.

Talong can also be grilled, skinned, and eaten as a salad called ensaladang along.

Conclusion

Talong is a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. So get creative and experiment with different ways to incorporate it into your favorite recipes.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.