Throwback Thursday | Thai Eggplant Rounds

Let me tell you, when I first came up with the idea for this series, I thought the easiest part would be picking a recipe.  It ended up being the hardest part.  I think I had convinced myself that I had to make the most challenging and unique dish possible for my first post.

Throwback Thursday Series: Recipes from the Past >> Blogging Over Thyme

This inevitably led me to over-analyze (as I’m prone to do) and be far too picky.  Luckily, I was able to talk some sense into myself and decided to stop over-thinking everything and just do it already.

And ironically, in the process, ended up picking an incredibly simple dish, which from start to finish, only takes about 20-25 minutes to prepare.  Go figure.

Thai Eggplant Rounds >> Blogging Over Thyme

With so many magazines to choose from, I decided the best way to narrow down my choices would be to work my way through the summer issues–after all, I didn’t really think you guys would enjoy hearing about a delicious, hearty stew, as delicious as it may be, in the middle of August.

Leafing through a June 1994 issue of Gourmet, I ended up pausing at an article entitled, “A Taste of Thailand.”  The feature included recipes for spiced shrimp soup, roasted marinated cornish hen with sweet chili sauce, rice noodles, cucumber carrot salad, as well as sticky rice with mango and…

Thai Eggplant Rounds >> Blogging Over Thyme

minted eggplant rounds.  Blame it on my love for eggplant, but that last one sort of stuck.  I also happened to have some beautiful Japanese eggplant sitting in the fridge just waiting to be used.

I’m not going to lie, I was sort of skeptical.  After all, I tend to question the authenticity of international cuisine from the 80′s and the 90′s–especially at a time when a jalapeno pepper was considered, and I quote, a “hard-to-find” specialty food item.

The appearance of naam pla fish sauce in the recipe ingredients (double asterisk! available by mail order, no less) made me a little more hopeful…

Thai Eggplant Rounds >> Blogging Over Thyme

In the end, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to just go into the kitchen and start to cook.  The recipe called for slicing the eggplant into rounds, brushing each side lightly with oil, and broiling (possibly my new favorite way to prepare eggplant!) in the oven for about 4-5 minutes per side.  At which point, the eggplant turn amazingly soft and creamy in texture.

The sauce is an incredibly simple, but flavor-packed combination of freshly squeezed lime juice, fish sauce, finely minced garlic, and a touch of sugar.  While the original recipe called for fresh mint leaves, I decided to substitute this with fresh Thai basil.  After all, basil is in the mint family and nothing quite beats it in my opinion.

Thai Eggplant Rounds >> Blogging Over Thyme

Without any incredibly high expectations, I dug my fork into the bowl for the first bite.  Despite my skepticism, I ended up really loving this dish.  My initial impression was that it tasted incredibly authentic.  For such a simple dish, it really does stand out.

The lime juice and Thai basil adds brightness to the dish, while the fish sauce adds just enough of that salty funkiness to make it really pop.  If you’re not a big fan of fish sauce (it is quite strong), feel free to adjust the other ingredients as you see fit–however, nothing in this small ingredient list could be considered optional.

Hope you all enjoyed the first installment of this series!  So far, so good.  Next week…jello (just kidding…maybe)!

Thai Eggplant Rounds

Yield: 2-3 Side Dish Servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Print Print Save Save

Ingredients:

  • 2 long Japanese eggplant
  • canola oil (for brushing)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced (about ~1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed Thai basil leaves, finely chopped
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil setting.
  2. Slice the eggplant into 3/4" coins and lay them out on a small baking sheet, leaving some space between each slice.
  3. Brush both sides with oil (do not salt) and broil for 4-5 minutes per side, flipping them as you go, or until each slice is golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, combine fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, sugar, and thai basil in small bowl, whisking until sugar is fully dissolved.
  5. Allow eggplant to cool on wire racking for 15-20 minutes or until lukewarm. Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately.

Adapted heavily from the June 1994 issue of Gourmet magazine.

    Pin It

18 Responses to “Throwback Thursday | Thai Eggplant Rounds”

  1. #
    1
    Tieghan — August 9, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    Yum!! I love all and any thai food and this eggplant looks delicious! Gorgeous photos too!

    • Laura replied: — August 9th, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

      Thanks Tieghan!

  2. #
    2
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie — August 9, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    This looks fabulous! I love eggplant :)

    • Laura replied: — August 9th, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

      Isn’t it the best? Probably my favorite veggie. Thanks Jennifer!

  3. #
    3
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com — August 9, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    I love roasted eggplant – but have never had it like this! Your recipe sounds FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    • Laura replied: — August 9th, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

      Broiled eggplant is amazing. I’ve decided it is far easier than grilled eggplant and yields a similar smoky, creamy texture. So glad you liked this post!

  4. #
    4
    Tasha — August 9, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

    Keep it up!

    • Laura replied: — August 9th, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

      Thanks lady!

  5. #
    5
    Marie-Louise Davidson — August 9, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

    This looks fabulous, Laura, and as always, your photos make it look even more mouth-watering! Good first pick!!!! I may make this very, very soon!!!! Well done!

  6. #
    6
    Joanne — August 10, 2013 @ 5:59 am

    I bet so few people were cooking Thai food back then…crazy to think. Sounds super tasty though! I love eggplant, especially with thai flavors.

    • Laura replied: — August 10th, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

      I know, its amazing to think how many more foods are available just twenty years later. Thanks for visiting Joanne! :)

  7. #
    7
    Samina | The Cupcake Confession — August 10, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    OMG the way you’ve described the entire process makes me hungry! Add in the photos and that’s enough to leave me salivating! This looks sooooooooooo good!!!! :)

    • Laura replied: — August 13th, 2013 @ 12:29 am

      Thanks Samina! You’re so sweet! :) Thanks for visiting and taking the time to say hello.

  8. #
    8
    Emma @ Coriander and Cumin — August 18, 2013 @ 10:15 am

    I just discovered your blog and have been browsing through the recipes and love them all! This one really sounds delicious, I love aubergines (eggplants) and you have great photos. I just started my own food blog, and my latest post is an aubergine/egg plant recipe! You should check it out if you want :) http://www.corianderandcumin.wordpress.com x

    • Laura replied: — August 18th, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

      Thanks Emma! You’re so sweet. Congrats on starting your blog!!! Your salmon and eggplant dish looks superb. Definitely bookmarking that.

  9. #
    9
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens — August 28, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    This recipe has everything – it’s simple, quick, healthy and (clearly from your lovely description and gorgeous photos!) DELICIOUS! I am really excited to try it! Thanks, Laura!

    • Laura replied: — August 28th, 2013 @ 10:48 am

      I’m obsessed with eggplant ;) I definitely loved this dish, so glad that its speaking to you as well!

  10. #
    10
    Amanda — February 2, 2014 @ 3:20 pm

    This sounds like perfect dinner party fare considering it has to rest before serving, giving you time to mix up drinks and chat :) Love it

Leave a Comment