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Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant (Cà Tím Nướng)

4 Servings

50 minutes

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Grilled eggplant is a popular dish in Vietnam. The vegetable might be grilled whole or halved, skinned or not, mashed or kept intact. However it is prepared, the eggplant’s creamy, spongy nature soaks up the flavor of the ingredients with which it’s paired. In this recipe, we use slender Chinese or Japanese eggplants, halved and grilled until charred and tender, then finish them with nước chấm (the ubiquitous Vietnamese dressing made with fish sauce, lime, sugar, chilies and garlic) along with quick-pickled vegetables, chopped peanuts and plenty of fresh herbs. Served with steamed jasmine rice, this is a flavor-packed, meat-free main, or offer it as a side to Vietnamese grilled lemon grass pork.




Don’t be afraid to get a good char on the eggplant. The smokiness that results from deep, dark charring is a flavor component that contributes to the complexity of the dish.

50 minutes


  • pounds Chinese or Japanese eggplant, stemmed and halved lengthwise

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil


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David E.
July 26, 2023
Technically not meat free
I am not vegetarian so it doesn't affect me, but calling this meat free is a little bit inaccurate since fish sauce is made from fish, which are a type of meat.
Valerie P.
June 9, 2023
Excellent recipe! I made the lemongrass pork as well and together, it was a complete meal.
Kathy R.
July 13, 2022
Grilled Eggplant nirvana
This recipe for Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant was so fresh and delicious it made me want summer and fresh herbs to last all year!
Anne W.

Really tasty salad! We ran out of charcoal so I broiled the eggplant for about 10 min flesh side up and 20 skin side up. Will definitely make again! I added much less sugar in the sauce as well.

Jennifer B.

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