Spicy Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad with pork or Yam Makeua Yao is a refreshing salad made with grilled Asian eggplant mixed with fresh herbs and seasoned with fresh lime juice and fish sauce. All the Thai flavors are here in one bowl. Simply delicious!
For more light meals, check out these delicious Thai recipes. Thai crispy egg salad yum kai dao. A light, crispy, and flavor bomb that people are raving about. Also, check out NamTok beef waterfall salad. I can't get enough of this grilled beef salad!
What is Spicy Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad with pork? (Yum Makeua Yao)
Thai grilled eggplant salad or Yam Makeua Yao (ยำมะเขือยาว) is a delightful salad with eggplants typically cooked on a hot grill at high heat until the skin of the eggplants is soft and charred. The eggplant slices are added to a salad with ground pork, dried shrimp, peanuts, shallot, green onions, cilantro, and fresh Thai chilis. The salad is seasoned with fish sauce and lime juice for a light and fresh salad. It can be eaten as a starter or as a main course served with jasmine rice.
The eggplants perfect for this Thai salad are Thai long green eggplants, purple Japanese eggplants, Chinese eggplants, or Fairytale eggplants.
Why This Recipe Works
- This eggplant dish is easy to put together. It can be served in less than 30 minutes, perfect for a light lunch or quick weeknight dinner.
- It is one of the most healthy dishes on my blog! No sugar, low fat, gluten-free, and full of healthy herbs and options to add more vegetables.
- It is a perfect recipe to make during the summer grilling months.
- You can also turn this recipe into a roasted eggplant salad for those winter months when you don't want to be outside using the grill.
- Many eggplants are great for this recipe, making it easy to find all the ingredients in your local market.
Ingredients for Spicy Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pork
- Thai, Chinese, or Japanese long purple eggplant. You can find these eggplants at your local Asian supermarkets. The Thai long green eggplants may be more difficult to find, but the long purple Asian eggplants are perfect for this recipe.
- Ground pork. (About 1 cup, or use ground chicken, beef, or tofu)
- Dried shrimp. Soak in water for 5 minutes before using. A great addition to the extra umami flavor!
- Thai chilis or serranos work great! Adjust as needed for spiciness level.
- Shallots. Sliced long and thin. Red/purple onions work wonderfully too!
- Jalapenos pepper for extra crunch and spiciness. Removed the seeds for less heat.
- Spring onions, chopped small.
- Cilantro, chopped small. Use both cilantro leaves and stems
- Ground white pepper. Black pepper is ok as a substitute.
- Fish sauce. Use 3 crab or red boat brands for this recipe if possible. They are lighter and sweeter.
- Fresh lime juice. Lemon juice or rice wine vinegar works great too. Adjust as needed.
- Peanuts, cashew, or almonds work great too!
- Eggs, soft or medium boiled. (optional)
- Oil or cooking spray. Use a tiny brush of oil to brush on the eggplant halves before grilling to help prevent the skin of the eggplant from sticking to the grill.
How To Make Yum Makeua Yao
Step one. Wash, dry, then cut the long eggplants in half. Lightly brush each side with oil. Grill on high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Look for the grill marks before flipping to the other side. If broiling, place the eggplants on a large baking sheet and broil for 3-4 minutes until charred but not burnt.
Step two. Remove the eggplants and leave them to cool at room temperature before slicing them into small pieces.
Step three. Cook the pork on medium heat in a small frying pan until lightly browned.
Step four. Soak the dried shrimp in a small bowl for 5 minutes, drain and set aside for a minute. If using boiled eggs, boil it now for 3-6 minutes until you are happy with the consistency of the egg. (:
Step five. Make the salad by adding the remaining ingredients into a large bowl.
Step six. Add the eggplant slices into the salad bowl and mix everything well. Dish the salad into a serving platter, and serve with boiled eggs and jasmine rice.
Spicy Thai eggplant salad with pork can be served as a side dish or enjoyed as a complete meal. Season with more fish sauce, lime juice, ground white pepper, and even a touch of sugar or sweetener of your choice to balance out the flavor. Enjoy!
Helpful Kitchen Notes And Expert Tips
- You can remove the skin of the cooked eggplants if you prefer for a less fibrous taste.
- If your salad is too salty or sour, try adding a touch of white, brown, or palm sugar to take the edge off the salad.
- You can use cooked large shrimp then chopped into smaller pieces if you don't care for dried shrimp.
- For extra vegetables, add bell peppers and sweet, white, or red onion for extra crunchiness.
Do you peel eggplant before cooking it?
No. I keep my eggplant's skin intact until after cooking to peel off the skin once cooked. The traditional eggplants used in this Thai dish are the long green eggplants. The skin on those is thinner than the globe and Italian eggplants making them easier to digest than the thicker eggplants found in Western grocery stores.
Can you use Thai eggplants to make Thai Yum Makeua Yao?
The Thai eggplants typically found in Asian markets in the West are the round green ones. Those are not recommended for this recipe as they are a bit more bitter and crunchier than the long Asian eggplants.
More Thai recipes you'll love
- Thai crispy egg salad yum kai dao
- Thai cucumber salad
- Thai green mango salad with cashew
- Thai glass noodles salad with shrimp
- Easy Thai beef salad recipe
- Namtok Thai beef waterfall salad
- Thai green papaya salad
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