Thai eggplant salad


Thai eggplant salad

Thailand has many kinds of eggplants.  Before I moved to Thailand the only eggplant I knew of was the big purple one and it wasn’t even used in that many dishes (that I knew of).  Well, they don’t have the big purple eggplant over here.  Instead they have long eggplants (makua yao [มะเขือยาว]), small green eggplants (makua [มะเขือเปราะ]), bitter eggplants (makua kuen [มะเขือขื่น]), pea eggplants (makua puang [มะเขือพวง]), and even miniature versions of some of these.  They all taste somewhat similar, but not very similar to the big purple eggplant we know.  They also differ in that, while they can be cooked, many are commonly eaten raw and dipped in chili sauces (nam prik [น้ำพริก]).  The bitter ones mentioned above are used in somtom for flavor and not typically eaten as a vegetable.  All in all, I enjoy eggplants of all types, but I find these Thai eggplants to be much more versatile.

Pictured here is a cooked and prepared version of the long green eggplant.  This is yam makua yao [ยำมะเขือยาว] which is basically a Thai version of a salad.  The eggplant is mixed with shrimp, chilis, and a sour sauce.  Most Thai style salads [ยำ] are mixed with a similar sour sauce.

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