Kitchen & Pantry

How to cut down on meat and fat without sacrificing flavor and texture

So, my mother has gone back to her house in the city. Meanwhile, I have a few more recipes and kitchen tips for the dishes that I cooked during the days that she stayed with us. Low-fat, low-sodium, easily digestible food for a 74-year-old.

Let’s start with eggplant omelet, one of the easiest dishes to prepare. A comfort food for many Filipinos. A favorite with my daughter, Sam. Traditionally, Filipino-style eggplant omelet is cooked with a generous amount of eggs. Although there is a meatless version, the more popular way to prepare it is to stuff the eggplants with ground pork. Then, the stuffed eggplants are fried.

Okay, so the ground pork may contain a substantial amount of fat. Too many egg yolks can raise the level of cholesterol in the body. Too oily food can make digestion harder. Solution?

First, draw a lesson from Mushroomburger, that iconic burger joint in Tagaytay City that sells burgers made with 50% beef and 50% oyster mushrooms. Mushrooms are nutritious (some more than others), practically fat free and they have such delightfully delicate flavors. The oyster mushroom is among those with the most subtle of flavors and aroma. Moreover, it is very inexpensive and one of the most widely available all year ’round.

Rinse the mushrooms, dry and chop.

Then, add color, and more flavors and aroma. Use veggies like bell peppers and scallions and chop them as well.

The ground pork can be substituted with ground chicken or turkey, or even flaked fish.

Use less eggs. For 250 g. of ground meat and 100 g. of oyster mushrooms to fill four large eggplants, I used only one egg. To make sure that the ground and chopped ingredients would stay bound together despite the use of only one egg, I added bread crumbs.

Just mix everything together with some salt and pepper (a teaspoonful of oyster sauce and a drizzle of sesame seed oil add even more flavor and aroma) and stuff the eggplants.

How to minimize oil when frying? Use a non-stick pan. A teaspoonful of olive oil is enough to cook one eggplant omelet. So, fry them one by one. After cooking one, wipe the pan clean, add a teaspoonful of olive oil and fry the next omelet. Repeat until you have fried all of the eggplant omelets.

Note: This is not a recipe post. This is a kitchen tip / health post. For the procedure for making eggplant omelet, see:

Tortang Talong
Meatless tortang talong
Baked tortang talong
Crab meat and eggplant omelet
Tortang sisig at talong
Pig’s brain and eggplant frittata

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