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Smoky Aubergine Salad with Soft-Boiled Egg

yum makhua yao

© by Maureen M. Evans


Serves 2

  • Dried Shrimp 4 Tbs (omit if making a vegetarian/vegan version)
  • Egg 1 large, at room temperature
  • Long Purple Japanese Aubergines 2 or 1 regular Italian aubergine
  • Red Onion 1/2 small, thinly sliced with the grain of the onion
  • Makrut Lime Leaves (fresh or frozen) 2, finely shredded
  • Cilantro Leaves 4 Tbs
  • Mint Leaves 3 Tbs

For the salad dressing (nahm yum)

  • Palm Sugar 2 Tbs
  • Water 1 Tbs
  • Fish Sauce 1½ Tbs (or use thin light soy sauce for a vegetarian/ vegan version)
  • Lime Juice 2 Tbs
  • Red Pepper Flakes1 1 tsp
  1. Light a charcoal grill or preheat an indoor grill (broiler), if using.
  2. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a pestle and mortar until the sugar has completely dissolved. It will taste spicy, sweet and sour with a salty finish. Set aside.
  3. To prepare the shrimp, if using, pound the dried shrimp in a stone pestle and mortar until a floss-like texture is achieved. Alternatively, use a spice grinder or small food processor to achieve a light flossed texture. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if making a larger quantity.
  4. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and cook the egg to your liking. I prefer an egg with a fudgy yolk, so I boil mine for 6 minutes before plunging it into a bowl of iced water. Once cool enough to handle, peel the egg and set aside for later.
  5. Grill the aubergines over hot coals, or over the highest flame on your hob, or under a very hot grill. The skins need to be completely blackened so the flesh inside becomes soft and tender with a smoky flavour. Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel off the blackened skins and discard. Roughly chop the aubergine flesh while still warm and arrange on a serving plate.
  6. Combine the sliced onion, makrut lime leaves, coriander and mint in a medium bowl with the dressing. Gently toss the salad together and arrange over the aubergine, then pour over any remaining dressing. Halve the soft-boiled egg and place on top of the salad. Finish by generously sprinkling with the shrimp floss.

1 According to John Chantarasak, red pepper flakes are an acceptable substitute for prik bon, Toasted Chilli Powder. If you prefer to make prik bon, find John’s recipe here.

Recipes reprinted (adapted slightly) from Kin Thai: Modern Thai recipes to cook at home by John Chantarasak (C) 2022 Reproduced by permission of Hardie Grant. All rights reserved.

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