The Stove

Ever since I tried bicol express cooked not just with chilies but with eggplant, many many years ago, I have become an eggplant convert. At first, the thought of eating something mushy, kind of like okra (so sue me for my poor descriptive skills), didn’t really appeal to me. But a lot has changed since the first time I tried and actually enjoyed eggplant.

Now, one of my all-time favorite comfort foods would have to be tortang talong or eggplant omelet. There’s something about biting into soft, slightly toasted, smoky eggplant meat that is an experience all on its own. I usually just use liquid seasoning to flavor it some more, but when Mama Eng is in the mood (and I encourage her), she makes a mean “pritong sawsawan” or fried dipping sauce. Toasted minced garlic, onions and a few pieces of sliced bird’s eye chili cooked in oil and soy sauce, paired with the omelet, is a winner.

Today I observed how she makes tortang talong and also helped out in the kitchen a bit, but I don’t have a recipe to share since I’d like to hone my eggplant omelet- making skills some more. I think I’ll let this post simmer a bit before I belt out my own recipe. For now, here’s something you standardized stove owning folks around the world don’t get to see everyday:



Using this (I’m not really sure what to call it) traditional stove top (?) fueled by burning wood and dried coconut husks…she makes magic. This is also where we cook our paella, and it’s pretty much practical and economical to use.

Well, it’s probably more cumbersome than the regular stove, but it gets the job done.



14 thoughts on “The Stove

  1. I love cooking on those things, I remember when I was in the Philippines we have one of those and big palayoks, boiling or braising meat on those yeild a very flavourful result specially with the coconut husks, it adds to that smoky flavour

    • Woah it looks like Mama Eng’s becoming an online celebrity na ah! hahaha! sure, on my future posts. πŸ˜€ On okra – I used to love it as a child, but now, I don’t. Dunno why. hahaha!

  2. mmm I love eggplant omelet! one of those foods that I haven’t yet learned to make on my own yet — I still have to get my mom to make it for me when I have that craving. and now I have that craving. πŸ™‚ just found your blog and love the photos and recipes!

    • aww thanks for that! We’re on the same boat on the eggplant omelet – I know how to make it but I have yet to perfect it. My ‘elders’ make a better omelet so most of the time I just let them be. But since it’s comfort food, I do want to master it so wherever I’ll go, cooking it will remind me of home. ;D

    • thanks for the info! I learned something new today. πŸ˜€ well, siling labuyo imparts not really a distinct ‘taste’ but more of the ‘heat’ to the dish and it really varies eh. it depends on the numbers of chilies you do put in. πŸ˜€

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