recipe for eggplant omelet (torta talong)

recipe for eggplant omelet (torta talong)
3 whole japanese eggplant
1/4 cup onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 lb ground beef
1 tbsp oyster sauce
6 whole eggs
plus a few pinches of salt
canola oil
cooked white rice
  • stainless steel skillet
  • large shallow bowl
  • whisk
  • fork
  • medium non-stick skillet
  • 1-2 large spatulas
In Filipino cuisine, a torta is basically a stuffed omelet that is served as a main course with rice. We always look forward to torta meals; they are savory, filling, and comforting. While ground meat is a common filling for torta, the meat filling is augmented with smoky, fire-roasted eggplant in this version. I learned how to make this dish by watching my aunt cook it in her kitchen. Many thanks Tita Menchu!
Fire roast the eggplant for about 10 minutes. You can roast 2-3 at a time over an open flame. Turn the eggplant regularly; the skin will char. Transfer the eggplant to a large shallow bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. The trapped steam from the cooling eggplant will make it easier to peel.
In the stainless skillet, sauté the onion, then the garlic. Add the oyster sauce, then add the ground beef to brown. Drain and reserve the meat mixture.
Carefully peel the charred skin from the eggplant.
Break 2 eggs into a large shallow bowl, add a pinch of salt, then beat or whisk.
Submerge the eggplant in the egg mixture. Gently flatten the eggplant with a fork into the egg. Flip the eggplant in the bowl and gently flatten the opposite side.
Preheat the non-stick skillet over medium heat, then coat with canola oil. Lay the egg-soaked eggplant into the pan perpendicular to the handle. Distribute a portion of the reserved ground beef over the eggplant, then pour in the rest of the beaten egg over the ground beef, allowing it to spill over the sides of the eggplant.
Once the egg layer is firm enough to fold, fold the sides of the egg over the eggplant and meat mixture.
Flip the torta in the pan (having the stem perpendicular to the handle facilitates this). Repeat step 4 and on for the remaining eggplants. Serve immediately with rice, ketchup, and Tabasco.
Try and purchase eggplants with a large top stem. This stem will come in handy when turning the eggplant over the open flame and when flipping the omelet in the pan. I performed an AB test to see if oven roasting the eggplant would be just as good as fire roasting. While oven roasting frees your hands since it doesn’t require you to stand over the stove, you won’t get the nice smoky flavor unless you fire roast. While fire roasting, when you think you’ve burned the eggplant, give it a few extra minutes over the flame. You’ll end up peeling all the charred skin, and the remaining flesh will be smoky, complex and delicious!