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Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant (Cà Tím Nướng)
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.
pounds Chinese or Japanese eggplant, stemmed and halved lengthwise
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
01Brush the eggplant on all sides with the oil, then sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute the coals evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat, covered, for 15 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.
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.