When thinly-skinned Asia eggplants are difficult to come by, I turn to their American cousin to make this simple yet irresistible salad. It makes a fine appetizer, or a perfect little side salad when you’re serving Asia food. Sometimes, at lunch, I’ll just eat the eggplant over rice.
1 ½ pound (650g) Baby Eggplants or long, thin Asian eggplants
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 big or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- A few Thai Bird Chili, finely sliced
- A few cilantro or mint leaves for garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F (or 200°C)
- Cut the eggplant into half, prick the eggplants all over with a fork and place them in a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes till the flesh becomes soft and the skin is charred.
- In the meantime, let’s prepare the dressing. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except cilantro.
- Carefully peel the skin from the eggplant (this can be fussy, and you want to get the skin off.) Pull the eggplant into strips and lay them in a shallow bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the eggplant and marinate in the fridge for a few hours. When ready to serve, garnish with a few leaves of chopped cilantro or mint.