Kulawo Talong Recipe – Eggplant is one of many popular vegetables used in Filipino cuisine. One Filipino favorite that uses eggplant is Tortang Talong. Another popular cuisine in Filipino cuisine is coconut and a popular savory dish that features this ingredient is Bicol Express. Some dishes that feature both vegetables and coconut in one dish are Pancit Buko and Ginataang Isda. If want a dish that highlights both the flavor of the vegetable and coconut, you should try Kulawo Talong. Kulawo Talong is a version of the Filipino dish Kulawo.
Kulawo is a traditional Filipino salad hailing from the provinces of Laguna and Quezon. This pre-colonial dish offers two delightful variations: one with minced banana blossoms (kulawong puso ng saging) and the other with grilled eggplants (kulawong talong), both cooked in rich coconut milk extracted from toasted grated coconut meat. As a vegan delicacy, Kulawo falls into the categories of kilawin and ginataan, featuring a distinctive smoky flavor reminiscent of smoked meat or fish dishes.
If you want to try your hand at the eggplant version, here is one Kulawo Talong Recipe to try:
Ingredients for the Grilled Coconut:
- 8 pieces Chinese eggplants
- 1 tablespoon sea salt (add to taste)
Ingredients for the Burnt Coconut Cream:
- 250 g desiccated coconut thread
- 1 can coconut milk (400ml)
- 1 can coconut cream (200ml)
- 2 tablespoons coconut or cane vinegar
- 2 red chillies (chopped)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1- inch piece of ginger (thinly sliced)
- 2 shallots (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Fish sauce (add to taste)
- 1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper (add to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Oil (add as needed)
- Start by pricking the surface of the eggplants all over with a fork. Then, season the eggplants with salt and set them aside.
- If you have a charcoal grill or stove top grill, use that to grill the eggplants until they are charred and cooked. Once done, allow them to cool, and then remove and discard the skin. Set the grilled eggplants aside.
- In a bowl, combine half of the coconut milk with the coconut thread. Let the coconut thread absorb the milk. Then, spread the coconut thread on a baking tray and bake it in a preheated oven at 200°C until the threads turn brown. Once they are nicely browned, remove them from the oven and set them aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté the minced garlic, ginger, and shallots until fragrant.
- Add the remaining coconut milk, coconut cream, and the burnt coconut threads to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid using a fine mesh sieve and transfer it to a separate saucepan. Add the grilled eggplants and lightly mash them. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Season the dish with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper according to your taste.
- Finally, garnish with chopped red chillies and serve your delicious Grilled Asian Eggplants with Burnt Coconut Cream.
Other Options to a Kulawo Talong Recipe
As stated, another version of Kulawo is one that uses banana blossoms. Kulawong puso ng saging, also referred to as minanok, is a name occasionally used for this dish, which translates to “done like chicken.” This name stems from the texture of the minced banana blossoms resembling shredded chicken, even though the dish is entirely meat-free. While certain variations of kulawong puso ng saging may include cooked meat, such as pork belly (liempo), particularly in adaptations from different regions, it is important to note that these additions are non-traditional and not part of the original recipe.