Talong (eggplant) steak is inspired by the Filipino favorite Beef steak or more popularly known as bistek. Hmmm, should I call it talongstek instead? Anyway, back to regular programming, This recipe I got from my mother-in-law. It’s so simple and so yummy that I had to do it for myself and have been cooking this for lunch or dinner ever since, especially when I have to put food on the table real fast.
It’s a good alternative if you wanna cut back on your meat intake and it only has four ingredients: eggplant, onion, soy sauce, and calamansi. Okay, five ingredients if you count the vegetable oil for frying. If you don’t have calamansi, you can substitute it with vinegar or lemon, but it’s yummier with calamansi.
Before you begin, you should already prepare the soy sauce mixture. Just combine the calamansi juice or vinegar with soy sauce. The amount of each may vary depending on your tastes. If too salty, add more calamansi juice. If too sour, add more soy sauce.
Cut the eggplant crosswise into 1-2 inches then cut lengthwise. I used Japanese/Chinese eggplants as these are the ones good for stir frying.
Get your hankies ready because it’s time to cut the onions. Cut it the way you would cut onions for burgers or onion rings. I used red onions but you can use the white ones for a sweeter taste.
Preheat a skillet on a low to medium heat. Stir fry onions for about 30 seconds or until the rings become loose then set aside. Since it will still be cooked again, I try not to overcook the onions and I do like for it to still have a little crunch. But, hey, it’s your choice how you want the texture of the onions to be like.
Stir fry the eggplants on low to medium heat. This time I let the eggplants to really cook until very soft. I find that the soy sauce mixture doesn’t blend in really well with the eggplants if they’re not cooked well done.
Now add the soy sauce mixture and stir carefully. Continue stirring until the eggplants and soy sauce mixture are well incorporated. Again, do it carefully. Do not punish the eggplants. They can’t take it and might disintegrate and leave you guessing where they went.
Add in the onions and continue stirring. Cook for 20-30 seconds more and it’s all done. Transfer to a plate and serve with steamed rice. Your talong (eggplant) steak is now ready. Enjoy!
6 medium to large sized Japanese/Chinese eggplants
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon calamansi juice or vinegar
1 large onion
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Prepare the soy sauce mixture by combining the soy sauce and calamansi juice. Set aside.
* Rule of thumb: If mixture is too salty, add more calamansi; If too sour, add more soy sauce. You can also add more sauce if you like or you think it's not enough.
2. Cut the eggplants into 1-2 inches crosswise then slice them into two lengthwise.
3. Cut the onions (as you would cut for burgers or onion rings.)
4. On a skillet, stir fry onions on low to medium heat for about 20-30 seconds or until the rings become loose then set aside.
5. Next, using the same pan, stir fry the eggplants on a low to medium heat until cooked well done. You'll know it's ready when it's really soft.
6. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir until eggplants and soy sauce are well incorporated. The eggplants are really soft at this point so carefully stir.
7. Add the onions. Carefully stir for about 20-30 more seconds and it's done.
8. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy.