Today’s crunchy Thai eggplant salad is a recipe I’ve made as part of a roundup of Asian bloggers called the #AsianSaladFeast! Thank you to Kimchimari for including me in this very fun project.
Sometimes I dread eating salad. I feel like eating salad to me is like wearing socks. I need to wear socks because my feet would be cold and smelly otherwise, but putting on socks aren’t a particular activity I look forward to. The same is true of salad. I love cooking for my family, but many times after I’m done making the main course, I sigh and look back at the refrigerator, knowing I have to throw together some raw veg to help round out the meal.
One of the few exceptions (besides this amazing carrot salad and this super tart apple and celery slaw) I make is for this Thai eggplant salad — it’s a delicious blend of zesty, spicy, sour, and sweet, making it interesting and fun to eat, bite after bite.
This Thai eggplant salad is pretty easy to prepare — just roast a few strips of eggplant in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then throw together a mix of Thai red birds’ eye chillies, shallots, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro, green onions, toasted peanuts and a touch of sugar. Sometimes I add Thai fish sauce too for that extra swirl of fishy goodness, but I’ve done without it and not missed it, either.
The piece de resistance on this Thai eggplant salad are the medium-boiled eggs that I slice and use as a garnish on the side. The ever-so-slightly yolk runs all over the charred bits of eggplant, making this really intoxicating mix of velvety smokiness. You’ll be addicted to this salad within minutes. Trust me on this.
I love making this salad on curry night. It’s just the right amount of freshness to balance a rich, creamy curry. It’s also more filling and substantial than a leafy salad.
Traditional Thai eggplant salad doesn’t have toasted peanuts, but I love the added crunch. Roasted eggplant is really soft and sexy; it needs some textural balance to make the dish pop.
I wrote this recipe as part of a collaboration with other Asian food bloggers for the 2018 Asian Salad Feast organized by JinJoo of Kimchimari.com. Check out these other great Asian salad recipes and follow these fabulous folks!
- Tofu Salad with Iceberg Lettuce and Sweet Corn by Kimchimari
- Thai Larb Salad by Wok & Skillet
- Gado Gado Salad by Brunch-n-Bites
- Paleo Asian Coleslaw by What Great Grandma Ate
- Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Vermicelli Salad by Nut Free Wok
- Salad with Spiced Grated Coconut Topping (Urap Sayur) by What to Cook Today
- Authentic Thai Fish Salad by Healthy World Cuisine
- Thai Seafood Salad (Yum Talay) by A Taste of Joy and Love
- Springtime Sushi Bowl by The Sasha Diaries
- Burmese Ginger Salad (Gin Thoke) by Love is in My Tummy
- Shabu Shabu Cold Noodle Salad by Chopstick Chronicles
- Japanese Potato Salad by V for Veggy
- Broccoli Sesame Dressing by Daily Cooking Quest
- 4 medium eggplants
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
- ½ cup peanuts
- 1 shallot
- 2 Thai red birds' eye chillies, deseeded and minced
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 garlic clove, minced and crushed
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 4 eggs
- olive oil, salt and pepper for seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, then slice each half into long 1-inch wide strips. Rub the eggplants all over with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant strips into a roasting pan and roast the eggplant for about 15-20 minutes until the eggplants are browned and soft.
- While the eggplant are roasting, toast the peanuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the peanuts are just browned.
- Put the eggs in boiling water for 7-8 minutes, then remove and immediately plunk into a bowl of ice water to cool until you're ready to serve.
- Half the shallot lengthwise, then slice the shallot crosswise into thin half-moon shaped pieces. Put the shallot in a small bowl, then add the chillies, cilantro, spring onions, lime juice, garlic, sugar and fish sauce (if using). Whisk everything together until well-blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- When the eggplant are cool enough to handle, slice them in half or thirds into 3-4 inch lengths. Place the eggplant on a serving dish and drizzle or toss the eggplant in the dressing. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top, then shell the boiled eggs and slice to serve on top.