Chef's Recipes

Grilled eggplant salad with prawns

Fire up the barbecue for maximum flavour.

  • 40 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 4
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"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."

Ingredients

  • 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
Chilli-lime dressing
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp soft palm sugar
  • ½ birdseye chilli, thinly sliced

Method

  • 1
    Preheat 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.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cook eggs in a saucepan of boiling water until medium-soft (6½ minutes). Remove, cool completely in cold water, peel and halve.
  • 3
    For dressing, whisk lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Season to taste and add chilli.
  • 4
    Poach 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.
  • 5
    Toss eggplant, prawns and chicken in a bowl with dressing, eggs, mint and chilli, and serve scattered with shrimp.

Notes

Green eggplant are available from Asian grocers; substitute purple Japanese eggplant.
Drink suggestion: Golden, bottle-aged riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.