Pan-Fried Eggplant with Lemon-Soy Sauce Dip

Hmm…so much for Fuss-Free Fridays! How about Too Lazy Tuesdays? Hahaha.

I used to be a picky eater as a young child. It’s not that I won’t eat vegetables or that I will only eat burgers (McDonald’s burgers were actually a rare treat because it wasn’t a place we .). The thing is, when I likes something in particular, could you just please cook it for me everyday until I tire of it? I had a lot of phases: fried chicken, corned beef, Mah-Ling, Spam, tomatoes, green beans, peas, broad bean, mung beans, etc. My blood was also half soy sauce and calamansi juice because I will dip almost anything in that sauce. Take for example, one of my favorite Filipino dish,  Pritong Talong (PREE-tong Ta-LONG; talong = eggplant; prito = fried). It’s as simple as what the name suggests: Fried. Eggplant. No salt. No pepper. Just wash, cut, and fry in oil.

Our Philippine eggplants are long and slender, similar to the Chinese and Japanese ones, and they’re cut in half lengthwise and crosswise, leaving you four pieces per eggplant. You can also use the much plumper variety, American globe, for frying, just cut them across, about a third of an inch in thickness.

Now depending on who’s cooking, it can be very oily, and that’s one thing I avoid. The older I get, the more naturally averse I am to oily food. What I do instead is to fry them in little oil and then steam by adding a small amount of water, just like when you cook potstickers.

The Method: Put enough vegetable oil on a frying pan, just enough to coat it. Heat on medium. Place eggplant slices (about 1/3 of an inch thick) sliced side down and cook until it it begins to turn brown on the edges. Flip to the other side, and wait until the edge starts to brown. And then quickly add about a tablespoon of water per slice of eggplant in the pan and quickly cover the pan until all the water evaporated. Transfer eggplants onto a plate. Coat pan with oil with every batch of eggplants cooked.

The sauce is just soy sauce with calamansi juice, lemon or lime juice. The salty and tangy sauce with the slightly sweet eggplant is a match made in heaven. Filipinos are huge rice eaters, and the fried eggplant is one of rice’s concubines. Give me plain steamed rice with fried eggplants for breakfast and I’ll be happy. Unless you make me some Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette), which I also love. I’ll be posting about that soon!

What about you — How do you cook your eggplants?

6 Responses to “Pan-Fried Eggplant with Lemon-Soy Sauce Dip”

  1. alice says:

    I love fried eggplant.. but have never heard of calamansi juice. I’m going to look for it next time I’m in the Asian market.

    • joy says:

      I hope you find it. I love it more than lemons and limes. :) Sometimes they’re even sold in small pouches (like the ketchup at fastfood).

  2. Paula says:

    what a great blog!
    everything here looks so delicious!

    have a nice time!
    Paula

  3. Dana says:

    Eggplants are tricky for me. I try to avoid frying them because I find that no matter what I do, they soak up all the oil. I like your partial steaming trick. I am going to have to keep my eye out for that sauce!

  4. Joseph says:

    It iw also good with bagoong and sinamak na suka. I usually buy the Chinese eggplant and cook it as tortang talong.

  5. kris says:

    joy! i was looking for this recipe so i can cook it for a vegan friend and i saw that Gourmeted has it. site ni joy ito! for that, ito ang gagamitin kong recipe. yun lang, walang calamansi dito sa switzerland. i’ll use lime instead. and maybe kikoman soy sauce. pero available naman ang silver swan soy sauce sa asian store na malapit.

    i’ll be following your site now that i need to cook more often (and with non-pinoy ingredients). keep in touch…this time with your correct address please. hee hee.

    hugs.

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