SMOKED NAM PRIK EGGPLANT SALAD
SERVES 4 AS A SIDE / PREPARATION 10 MINUTES PLUS 20 MINUTES RESTING / COOKING 30-40 MINUTES
Nam prik is a classic Thai sauce that works really well with eggplant. Smoking the eggplant adds another dimension of flavour here, but be sure to get the strips in the nam prik as soon as you can while they’re still warm to allow the eggplant to soak up the flavours. This is a good dish warm or cool, and I like it with rice and a side of grilled fish, as pictured at right.
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
Combine all the ingredients, taste and adjust the seasoning with more palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice as necessary. Set aside.
FOR THE EGGPLANT
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander 2 tablespoons fried shallots
Heat a barbecue with the charcoal on either side so the heat is indirect. When the embers are medium-low, place the eggplants on the grill, add pre-soaked woodchips (or use chunks) and cover. Cook for 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice, until the eggplants collapse.
Remove from the barbecue and allow to cool slightly. Remove and discard the skin and tear the eggplant into strips. While still warm, dress with the nam prik and allow the flavours to meld for 20 minutes. Put into a serving bowl and top with the coriander and fried shallots to serve.