"This eggplant salad has to be my all-time favourite – again, so simple and so effective," says Anderson. "There are a few steps to this, but you could easily make the elements ahead of time and assemble when you're ready to eat. There are a few different variations on this salad, some with nam prik pao (Thai chilli jam), and while I love that too, this is a great version that can be easily made with few ingredients on hand, and perhaps a few soft herbs from the garden, and eaten just as quickly. The best way to grill the eggplant is over charcoal on a barbecue, but they can also be grilled in the oven or charred on a gas stove."
- 2 large long green silken Thai eggplant (see note)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 5 king prawns, peeled, tails intact and deveined
- 200 gm coarsely minced chicken, preferably thigh
- 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 7 coriander stalks, cut into 1cm lengths
- 1 large red shallot, cut into julienne
- Mint leaves and sliced red birdseye chilli, to serve
- 15 gm (¼ cup) dried shrimp, finely ground with a mortar and pestle
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1½ tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tsp soft palm sugar
- ½ birdseye chilli, thinly sliced
- 1Preheat a barbecue to medium. Grill eggplant, turning occasionally, until blackened and slightly yielding (20-30 minutes; skin should peel back without taking too much flesh and reveal a centre that's a soft but intact, and smoky but not burnt). Cool, peel and slice horizontally into 5cm-thick pieces.
- 2Meanwhile, cook eggs in a saucepan of boiling water until medium-soft (6½ minutes). Remove, cool completely in cold water, peel and halve.
- 3For dressing, whisk lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Season to taste and add chilli.
- 4Poach prawns in a saucepan of simmering water over medium heat until just translucent (1 minute). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain, and place in a large bowl. Add chicken to water and poach until cooked (3 minutes). Drain, separate with a fork and add to prawns. Add onion, coriander and shallot, and toss to combine.
- 5Toss eggplant, prawns and chicken in a bowl with dressing, eggs, mint and chilli, and serve scattered with shrimp.
Green eggplant are available from Asian grocers; substitute purple Japanese eggplant.
Drink suggestion: Golden, bottle-aged riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.
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