Sunday, March 20, 2011


This month's Kulinarya Cooking Club challenge is Vegetables, Philippine Style. Thanks to Erika for a refreshing theme!

Ask a fellow Filipino what their favorite home cooked dish is, and most often you'll hear them craving for adobo, kare-kare, longganisa, or lechon kawali. We're a carnivorous bunch!

According to Encyclopedia of the Nations, the country's main agricultural crops are rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, bananas, pineapple, coffee, mangoes, tobacco, and abaca (a banana-like plant). Secondary crops include peanut, cassava, camote (a type of rootcrop), garlic, onion, cabbage, eggplant, calamansi (a variety of lime), rubber, and cotton.

My featured dish is a grilled eggplant salad, which is a perfect accompaniment to all that meat we're craving! The tanginess of the dressing comes from calamansi, or Philippine limes. Adjust the sourness according to your taste, and if calamansi is not available, limes or lemons can be used. A drizzle of coconut cream rounds out the flavors. Add some crushed peanuts, chopped cilantro and more chili to the dressing for a Thai twist.

Grilled Eggplant Salad

1 Asian eggplant (long)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced
1/2 tomato, diced
1 chili, minced
2 tablespoons fresh calamansi juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons coconut cream

Grill the eggplant until skin is blackened. Let cool for a minute, then peel off the charred skin.

Dice eggplant and place in a serving dish. Top this with the diced tomatoes, shallots and minced garlic (which can be pan-fried in a bit of oil until lightly brown for a milder flavor).

For the dressing, combine the calamansi juice, fish sauce, sugar and minced chili. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour dressing over the salad and drizzle the coconut cream over to finish.


  1. this is a refreshing salad. sarap to go with fried fish or ihaw. or maybe with pork chop. but sometimes we pair this with pochero din. But I never had it with coconut milk. Would love to try it with gata.

  2. This is something new to me with the gata. I will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mmm. I feel like I'm cheating as I haven't made my veggie dish yet. Looks fab.

  4. What a delicious dish! I love eggplants especially when grilled. Love the dressing and toppings.

  5. mmmm...i can smell the grilled talong, love the charred smell! Mama prepares her kinilaw na talong w/ 1st pressed coconut milk w/c i also do but unfortunately using the canned coco milk, the next best thing to fresh! lol! I will try your version w/ the peanuts, cool idea!

  6. Yumm... this sounds delicious!!! Love the flavor combos - I've been looking for new recipes with eggplant, I'll have to try this one!

  7. That looks wonderful. I love love egg plant.

  8. Grilled talong it! Your pictures are beautiful.:)

  9. Bello il tuo blog! Ho deciso di seguirti perchè mi piace molto! Molto belle anche le foto! Complimenti

  10. I love the taste of eggplant done this way, that smoky flavor always gets to me. Though never had it with coconut cream, will try now.

  11. I love eggplant salad, and I like your version with the coconut milk, crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro! Delicious!

  12. Hmmm...never thought I'll be this crazy craving for vegetables dishes=) Love the addition of the coconut cream. I love eggplants, addik ako...hehehehe!