Tortang Talong with Crab Meat by
Founder of Jeanelleats
Orange County, CA
“When in doubt – put some patis in it,” Jeanelle recommends. Her eyes light up when talking about fish sauce, a traditional Filipino ingredient. She begins to list the dishes she’s levelled up with a bit of fish sauce: adobo, lasagna, meatloaf. “I always add a splash of patis.”
“When in doubt – put some patis in it.”
Soon it’s apparent that Jeanelle’s eyes light up whenever she talks about Filipino cuisine. It’s her passion and it shows. (And it’s proving to be infectious – her YouTube channel’s has gained over 5,000 new subscribers in the past few weeks alone.) But she wasn’t always so forthcoming about sharing her passion. She initially hesitated to post her recipe videos online, fearing that commenters might question the authenticity of her methods or ingredients. She doubted her credibility compared to lolas with decades of experience or chefs with formal training. Jeanelle took a chance and shared her videos anyway. It was a chance that paid off. Soon she discovered that her videos were enabling Filipinos across the world re-discover the meals they grew up with. One comment from a user whose mother had passed away thanked Jeanelle for helping him relive the Mechado of his childhood. It was proof that authenticity isn’t in the methods or ingredients, it’s in how the meal makes you feel.
On this page, you’ll find Jeanelle’s video recipe for Tortang Talong. Traditionally prepared with ground pork, she uses crab meat instead. The inspiration behind the surprising swap boiled down to necessity: “There was crabmeat in the fridge that was about to go bad. That can was $20!”
When heating the eggplant over a stove, take care to avoid letting the juice drip into the burner. Better yet, grill the eggplant instead. You’ll get the same smokey flavor and less risk of burner clogging.
- 1 eggplant
- 4 eggs
- ½ tsp fish sauce (substitute: salt)
- Ground black pepper
- ½ cup cooked crab meat
- 1 tbsp oil
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Chopped green onions, for garnish
- Sweet chili sauce (or banana ketchup, or vinegar)
- Cook your eggplant by holding it over medium-high flame. Once the whole eggplant's skin is charred and the eggplant is mostly cooked through, remove from the flame.
- Place the charred eggplant in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam, allowing the skin on the eggplant to come off easier. Set aside.
- In a new bowl, crack open the eggs. Add fish sauce and ground black pepper. Whisk until well scrambled.
- Add the cooked crab meat into the eggs, and mix. Set aside.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl with the eggplant. Scrape the skin off the eggplant using the ridged edge of a butter knife. Peel the eggplant until all the skin has been removed.
- Hold the eggplant by the stem and run a fork through the eggplant to create little strands, which allows the eggplant to flatten better for the omelette.
- On a pan over medium-low heat, add the oil. Transfer the eggplant onto the pan. Grab your fork again, and continue to scrape the eggplant into strands to flatten it some more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the whole eggplant feels tender, pour the scrambled egg mixture in the pan over the eggplant. Cover the pan to let the eggs cook a bit, about 2-3 minutes.
- Once the bottom of the omelette has cooked, fold the omelette over itself. Cover the pan again for 2-3 minutes until more of the eggs have solidified.
- After the eggs have mostly cooked in the steam, do your best to flip the omelette over. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until the eggs have fully cooked.
- Transfer the tortang talong onto a plate, and garnish it with green onions. Enjoy with rice, and a dip of vinegar, banana ketchup, or sweet chili sauce!
*I recommend covering your stove that you will use with aluminum foil because the eggplant’s juices will drip!
*You can do this while the eggplant is dunked into the scrambled egg mixture to get some eggs inside the eggplant.
*Watch the video to see how I used a dinner plate to help me flip the tortang talong easily.
- Limit the salt you use in this recipe, since crab is naturally salty.
- To cook your eggplant quickly, you can boil it instead of charring over flame. However, you won't get that delicious charred flavor.