The last of the Easy Exciting Grilled Eggplant Extravaganza series is Thai dish. I can go on and on with this, to share the versatility of grilled eggplants, yet just like me in Turkey (if you missed my Turkey eggplant story last week, click here), some of you may be wondering “would Mari turn this into an ‘eggplant blog’?”
No… As I said many times, I thrive on VARIETY. Even for writing. Don’t forget, I cook things I write about and EAT them for dinner. I’ll save other eggplants recipes for later (nice fall/winter dishes….).
In Thai restaurants, this dish is often made with dried shrimp. But that’s not the easiest to come by for most of us, or even if you find it, could take years to finish unless you cook South-East Asian dishes all the time. Therefore, my version is simplified with something you can use more often, and every grocery store should have, and some people like me always keep some in the freezer… regular shrimp.
What’s exciting about this is that you can double the amount of the sauce and onions, to make Thai Chicken Salad (Laab Gai) as well. It’s a bit like that Indian spread, you can have two Thai salads really quickly. (or one today, another next day.) Or make a large batch, keep a jar in the fridge, and use them for other Thai as well as Vietnamese dishes such as fresh spring rolls and Bun, cold Vietnamese vermicelli noodles salad.
I’ll share the Laab recipe on my next post. Again, make sure to subscribe from the top right, so that you won’t miss it. You have 3 options: email, RSS or Networkedblogs Facebook application.
Thai Eggplant Salad (Yaam Makhuea Yow)
Ingredients – serves 2-3:
- Eggplants (Japanese, Chinese or Italian) 4 small to medium, grilled, and cut in bite size pieces (click here for how to make grilled eggplants)
- Cooked shrimp 2 large (cut in 1/2” pieces) or 3-5 medium (if frozen, thawed)
- Red onion 1/2 C, thinly sliced
- Green or red chili 1-2, seed removed, and thinly sliced, or red pepper flakes
- Sugar 1 -2 ts
- Fish Sauce 1 1/2 TBS
- Lime juice 2 TBS
- Water or lime juice 1 TBS
- Mint leaves or julienned ao-shiso as garnish
- Dissolve the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice. Taste and if you like it a little milder, add water. if you like it more sour, add lime juice.
- Mix shrimp, eggplant, onion and the sauce. Let it sit for about 15-20 min to allow flavor to blend. Garnish with mint leaves (or my favorite, julienned ao-shiso leaves).
Note: You can also omit shrimp and serve with hard-boiled egg wedges. Or to make it more substantial, cook 1/4 lbs ground meat (chicken, turkey or pork works best) in oil, and proceed to 2.
If you are vegetarian or vegan and cannot use fish sauce, here’s the resource for the alternative. http://www.thaigrocer.com/VegAdapt.html
I LOVE the balance of sweet, sour and spicy burst in my mouth, along with cold slippery texture of eggplants and shrimp in summer. (It’s great in any season.) As you can see, you can make this with everything you have at home (or easily accessible.)
As in my past post (click here if you missed it), fish sauce adds depth and flavor to many dishes, both Asian and non-Asian. Be sure to click the link at the bottom of the post for San Francisco Chronicle article how celebrity chefs are using fish sauce to add umami to their dishes, and recipes. So, if you don’t have one, get a bottle, and use it often as your favorite flavor booster. They are available at Asian market (best selection and price) or large supermarket’s international section.
Sneak Preview of the next post… mmm….