Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant with Scallion Oil
Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant with Scallion Oil (Ca Tim Nuong Mo Hanh) is a rustic Southern dish. Whole eggplants are grilled until charred and served with fragrant scallion oil, fish sauce dressing and roasted peanuts.
Servings: 3 people
- 2 Asian eggplants (medium, use 3 if they are small)
For the dressing/sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 bird's-eye chili, minced (optional)
For the scallion oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil (light olive oil or neutral-flavored oil)
- 1/3 cup thinly-sliced scallions (about 4-5 stalks)
Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Use a toothpick or chopstick to poke a few holes around the eggplants. Place them on the grill and grill until the outside is charred, about 15-20 minutes. Rotate every 5-6 minutes for even charring.
When the eggplants are almost ready (about 5 minutes to go), combine all ingredients to make the dressing in a bowl. Taste and adjust to your liking, it should be on the salty-sweet side.
Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and wait for the oil to be hot. Drop a piece of sliced scallion into the oil and if it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready. Add the remaining scallions and cook for a few seconds until fragrant and scallions are soft.
Transfer cooked eggplants to a clean cutting board and peel off the skin. Be careful since they can be very hot. You can slice the eggplants into chunks or leave them whole and run a fork along them to separate the flesh into strips.
Place eggplants on serving plates. Drizzle dressing, scallion oil and sprinkle roasted peanuts on top.
It is optional to use lime juice in the dressing. I like to add it to brighten the dish. Please adjust the dressing to your liking.
If you don't have a grill pan or an outdoor grill, you can roast the eggplants at 400F in the oven for 40 minutes or until soft.
If you want to make the dish more substantial to be a main dish, you can stir-fry some ground pork with minced shallot, garlic and fish sauce. The sautéed ground meat will then be an additional topping on the eggplants.
If you want to make the dish vegan, eliminate the fish sauce. Use lime juice, salt and sugar to make the dressing.
Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 181IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg