Ginataang Talong made of eggplant and pork belly stewed in a creamy, spicy coconut sauce for an easy dinner meal the whole family will love. It's creamy, delicious, and perfect with steamed rice!
I know I can be a bit exaggerated and tend to get overly excited about every recipe I post here at Kawaling Pinoy. But let me tell you, I am excited now for a good reason. Just take a look at those tasty pork morsels and smoky eggplant pieces swimming in all that luscious sauce; I am sure you understand.
If there is but one recipe here you'd try, let it be this ginataang talong. Trust me; it's pure indulgence!
Eggplant pieces are first briefly pan-fried and then simmered with fatty pork belly strips to finish in a thick, slightly spicy coconut sauce. The resulting dish is rich, creamy, and absolutely heaven over heaps of steamed rice.
- Choose eggplants with smooth, shiny skins free of wrinkling or blemishes and fresh-looking stems without signs of molds.
- No need to peel the fruit (yes, it is a fruit and not a vegetable); the skin is edible and packed with fiber and nutrients.
- Keep the cut eggplant in a bowl of water until ready to cook to prevent darkening.
- Eggplants are like sponges and tend to absorb a lot of oil when fried. Make sure to drain well on paper towels to keep the sauce from becoming overly greasy. If you want to skip the pan-frying altogether, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and roast in a 425 F oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and use in the recipe as directed.
- For a smoother sauce, do not allow the coconut milk to a rolling boil lest it curdles and separates.
- canola oil
- 5 large eggplants, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound pork belly, cut into ½-inch strips
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut cream (kakang gata)
- 1 cup water
- 3 Thai chili peppers, stemmed and minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a wide pan over medium heat, heat about two tablespoons of oil.
- Add eggplant and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned. Eggplant absorbs plenty of oil, and you may need to add more oil a tablespoon at a time during the brief pan-frying. With a slotted spoon, remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- In the pan, add another 1 tablespoon oil if needed. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add pork belly and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Add fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes
- Add coconut cream and water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
- Add chili peppers.
- Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until pork is tender and sauce is reduced. Add more water in ½ cup increments if the liquid is drying out before pork is fully cooked.
- Add eggplant and gently stir to combine. Continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until eggplants are tender and sauce begins to thicken and render fat.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.