Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant Salad – slices of smoky, creamy eggplant, tumbled together with aromatic herbs, peanuts, crunchy pickled veg and a spicy lime dressing. Serve as a side salad or as a main with coconut or fragrant rice.Jump to Recipe
Vietnamese cuisine is fresh, vibrant and complex. Nuoc cham, a ubiquitous, multipurpose sauce and dressing, pungent and lively, sweet and tart the nuoc cham serves as the dressing for the salad. The crunchy, quick-pickled daikon radish and carrot is a perfect contrast to the creaminess of the eggplant.
Fresh herbs as always, elevate any recipe. Mint and basil – either Thai or sweet basil are plentiful. Peanuts add more texture and flavor.
Although I don’t declare this recipe authentically Vietnamese, this flavorful salad, in true Vietnamese form, balances chili heat with cooling herbs and textures with soft and crunchy. Serve as is as a side salad with grilled meat such as Condensed Milk Pork or simply with grilled chicken thighs. It’s delicious, perfectly balanced and a must-try this summer. Cheers, Lovoni xo
VIETNAMESE GRILLED EGGPLANT SALAD
- Large and small jars such as Ball or Mason
- Grill or grill pan
PICKLED CARROTS AND DAIKON RADISH
- 2/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
- 12 oz daikon radish, peeled and julienned
VIETNAMESE DRESSING (NUOC CHAM)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 to 3 small red chilies, chopped also called Thai chilies, if you can find them then use 1 or 2 serrano chilies
- 2 eggplants about 2 lbs, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1/3 cup peanut or olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1/3 cup mint leaves, torn, plus extra for garnish
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, torn, plus extra for garnish regular basil or Thai basil
- 3 green onions scallions, thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
- 1/3 cup salted and toasted chopped peanuts, plus extra for garnish
To make the pickled veg:
- Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a 1-quart jar or container. Add the carrot and daikon, seal or cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
To make the dressing:
- Combine water, sauce, sugar, juice and garlic in a 1 cup (250ml) jar, seal and chill until ready to use. The dressing can be made 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.
To make the salad:
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.
- Toss the eggplant slices with oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Cook slices for 3 to 4 minutes per side until softened and grill marks appear. Cut slices in half or leave whole depending on the side of the eggplant; let cool.
- Drain and discard the pickling liquid from the veggies. Toss the veggies together with the eggplant, the dressing, mint, basil, green onions and peanuts. Arrange on a platter. Top with extra herbs, green onions and peanuts. Serves 5 as a side salad or 3 as a main.