Asian eggplant is grilled, and tossed while warm with mint, cilantro, and a dressing of rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, shallots, garlic, chile, and a touch of sugar.
For more light and easy Vietnamese dishes, try Chowhound’s summer rolls with peanut sauce.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 45 mins, plus at least 30 mins cooling time
- Active: 30 mins
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 small shallots, halved, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 1 fresh red Thai chile, seeded and chopped (or Thai chile paste to taste)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 2–3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
For the salad:
- 4 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices
- Canola oil
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/3 cup water, the rice vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, add the shallots, chile, garlic, fish sauce, and lime juice. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use, at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 days.
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for medium heat, or heat a stovetop grill. Oil the grill. Brush the eggplant slices with oil and season with salt. Grill the eggplant slices, turning once, until nicely grill-marked and tender.
- Cut the eggplant into smaller pieces and add to a shallow serving bowl. Toss with the mint and cilantro and drizzle with some of the dressing. Serve warm.