Monday, February 16, 2015

Malaysian Sambal Eggplant

I picked up some Chinese eggplants from the Asian grocery store with the very noble intention of including more vegetables in my diet. Eggplants are not my favorite vegetable, so you can appreciate just how noble an intention this was. The only way I enjoy eating them is in a baingan bharta - mashed and spiced beyond recognition. Sometimes when you are an adult you have to sneak veggies in your meals, even the ones you don't like. These long skinny eggplants though, are not ideal for bharta so I decided to try something new and exciting. Sambal Eggplant! The idea came to me in a flash - I am not sure from where. It might have had something to do with random ingredients in my fridge that needed to be used up or it might have been this flighty little bird called inspiration. Either way the Sambal Eggplant was fantastic.

Yield - Serves 2 - 3

Total Time - 40 Minutes

Sambal Eggplant


5-6 Chinese Eggplants
5-6 Cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon Shrimp Paste
1 Red Chili Pepper
3-4 Dried Red Chilies (Mild)
2 Scallions
Half a Lemon
2 Tablespoons Oil


Soak the dried red chilies in a little hot water. Clean the garlic, cut the fresh red chili and chop the scallions, just the white part for now.

Remove the chilies from the hot water after about 5 minutes and with a mortar and pestle, roughly pound all the above pictures together. Use a Magic Bullet or a small blender if you are feeling less hardcore!

In a pan, toast the shrimp paste over low heat for about 6-7 minutes. This can be quite strong smelling so open up your windows and air out the house!

Remove the shrimp paste and mix it with the chili onion garlic "paste" along with the juice of half a lemon. It looks kinda nasty here but trust me, it smells good!

In the same pan, heat some oil and toss in the eggplants. I have cut them lengthwise into quarters.

Once the eggplants start to wilt, add the spice mixture that you just made in.

Toss together and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes.

 Toss in the scallions (greens)

Note: The shrimp paste usually has a lot of salt so you don't need to add any extra to the dish.



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