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Thai-style Grilled Eggplant Salad | Yum Makeua | ยำมะเขือ

Thai-style Grilled Eggplant Salad | Yum Makeua | ยำมะเขือ

I love Thai salads.  LOVE.  They are, to me, perfection on a plate.  It doesn’t matter whether they’re made with crunchy vegetables, citrus fruits, or savory meats.  The common denominator for all of these salads is their salty, sour, spicy, and slightly sweet dressing.  It grabs your attention and makes you want more.  Or at least makes me want more!  I can’t get enough of them, and as such, I’m constantly on the look out for new ways to make Thai or Thai-style salads. 

Thai-style Grilled Eggplant Salad | Yum Makeua | ยำมะเขือ

So when I saw these gorgeous Thai eggplant at the farmer’s market this weekend, I knew what I had to do!

Before turning them into a salad, though, I spent a fair amount of time just staring in awe at the sheer size of them!  I mean, have you ever seen such an enormous Thai eggplant before??  I actually bought the purple Italian eggplant simply for size comparison to give you an idea of how huge these Thai eggplant were!  They must have been at least 3-4 inches in diameter.

After I was done gawking, I sliced the eggplant into generous rounds, brushed them with oil, and threw them on the grill.

Thai-style Grilled Eggplant Salad | Yum Makeua | ยำมะเขือ

Then it was simply a matter of tossing the grilled eggplant with fresh herbs including mint, shallots, and cilantro and adding some red bell pepper slices for some crunch.  The finishing touch, of course, was topping the salad with the delicious Thai salty, sour, and spicy dressing made of fish sauce, lime juice, and dried chili flakes.

The charred grill flavor of the eggplant combined so well with this bright, refreshing dressing.  It was a really yummy Thai-style salad, and a wonderful new way to enjoy Thai eggplant — or any eggplant for that matter!

Thai-style Grilled Eggplant Salad | Yum Makeua | ยำมะเขือ

Thai-style Grilled Eggplant Salad | Yum Makeua | ยำมะเขือ

Makes 2 servings

Thai-style Grilled Eggplant Salad | Yum Makeua | ยำมะเขือ


  • 1 small Italian eggplant (or equivalent amount of other types)
  • 2 Tablespoons shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup mint, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon bell pepper slices
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes


  1. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Brush one side with a mild oil such as canola and grill over medium-high heat with the grill lid closed. Once nice grill marks are visible, flip the eggplant and repeat on the other side.
  3. Once the eggplant are cooked, slice them into halves or smaller bite-sized pieces. You should have roughly 1 cup (if you have more or less, adjust the amounts of the other ingredients accordingly).
  4. Combine the eggplant with the chopped fresh herbs and sliced red bell pepper and dress the salad with the lime juice, fish sauce, and chili flakes.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more fish sauce or lime juice as needed. This salad is best enjoyed while the eggplant is still warm.

6 comments… add one
  • Irina @ wandercrush July 16, 2013, 6:02 am

    I just got back from my trip to Thailand (can’t wait to post about it, either) and I still remember being surprised by all the variations of aubergine/eggplant there! They were translated by my friend as various “aubergine cousins,” which I thought was charming. They’re so especially good in green curries… anyway, I completely agree that Thai salads capture quintessential Thai flavours so perfectly… I only wish Western salads were as pungent! Thanks for this recipe—it’s no question that I’ll be craving one again soon.

    • Rachel July 16, 2013, 6:06 am

      Can’t wait to see your posts about Thailand! I’m so jealous :)

  • Elle @ The Cupcake Ballroom July 5, 2013, 11:27 pm

    Oh I love Thai salads as much as you do too and I’ll be visiting Thailand at the end of the year too. I’m excited about all the cuisines that I can try!

  • MisGoldie July 3, 2013, 11:28 pm

    I love eggplant, can’t wait to try this salad! Yum, looks delicious!

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