Tortang Talong

[vegetarian] Philippine eggplant omelette.

The name comes from the words torta (omelette or flat cake) and talong (eggplant) and is sometimes shortened to tortalong. This is a simple Filipinx dish I grew up with that’s typically eaten for breakfast for lunch. It’s one of the few traditionally vegetarian Filipinx dishes I know — though sometimes this is served with ground meat inside or on top (rellenong talong, from the Spanish relleno or “stuffed”) and patis (fish sauce) on the side. In my adulthood I learned a few optional techniques to make the omelette crispier like a fritter. Normally I don’t like to have most of an egg crispy; I like runny eggs with a crispy perimeter. However, with this dish, the eggplant itself is already mushy, so having a crispy outside and a soft inside suits my taste buds best.

with red bell pepper, onion, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and green onion


  • 2 eggs per eggplant
  • 1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant per person as a main dish; or half per person if paired with other sides
    • these are much thinner than the Italian or American kind
  • a way to cook the eggplant enough to remove the skin, e.g.,
    • a grill or gas stove top burner (the best), or
    • a broiler (second best), or
    • a pot with water to partial steam
  • optional
    • your favorite chopped vegetables for omelettes, e.g.,
      • onion, bell pepper, hot pepper, tomato
    • for extra crispiness
      • a sprinkle of corn starch, or
      • an air fryer
    • green onion for garnish
    • salty/savory/sour condiments
      • banana ketchup, fish sauce, chili oil, soy sauce, lemon/lime juice
    • rice
    • spiced meat
      • longganisa, spam, corned beef, beef tapa, bistek
    • fresh vegetables
      • small salad, sliced tomato, sliced cabbage
  • your favorite omelette spices, e.g.,
    • salt, pepper, paprika, lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.
  • a drizzle of cooking oil


  1. Cook the eggplant(s) until charred (if grilling or broiling) or dark enough to peel off skin.
  2. If broiling, place eggplant on a wire rack and in the oven. Turn each eggplant every 2-3 minutes for even charring. Remove when charred and dark all around; usually takes me about 8-10 minutes.
  3. If steaming, place eggplant in a pot large enough for them to lay, with enough water to cover the bottom about half an inch high. Heat to boiling and cover. Turn each eggplant every 2-3 minutes for even cooking. Remove when dark all around.
  4. If grilling, you can place the eggplant directly over the flame rack or wrap in aluminum foil, using the similar technique as above with broiling and steaming for even charring.
  5. When done, remove from heat and allow to cool off enough for you to safely handle the eggplant.
  6. While eggplant is cooking, beat eggs with optional spices, corn starch, fish sauce, and vegetables in a small bowl.
  7. Carefully pour beaten egg mixture onto an indented plate or pan large enough for the eggplants to be dipped in.
  8. Heat a non-stick or cast-iron pan to medium-high with cooking oil.
  9. When eggplant is cool enough, carefully peel off and discard the skin.
  10. You can use a fork and/or tongs to assist, especially if the eggplant is still somewhat hot.
  11. When pan is hot enough, dip eggplant in egg mixture and coat both sides, flattening the eggplant as you go with a fork or spatula.
  12. Place eggy eggplant in hot pan. Drizzle part of the remaining egg mixture on top.
  13. Cook until bottom side is crisping and browning, about 2-4 minutes.
  14. Flip. Drizzle remaining egg mixture on top.
  15. Repeat step 9.
  16. Remove from pan.
  17. Optionally place in air fryer for about 3 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to further crisp.
  18. Repeat steps 7 to 13 for remaining eggplant(s).
  19. Optionally garnish with green onion.
  20. Serve, optionally with rice, spiced meat, fresh vegetables, and/or condiments.