Even when it comes to eggplants Thailand is exotic and diverse, check out the plethora of eggplant cultivars commonly used in Thai cuisine.

‘Pad Makeua Yao’ ผัดมะเขือยาว is a simple stir-fry of the variety known as ‘Makeua Yao’. Those are beautiful long, light green shiny eggplants that resemble in their features long purple Chinese eggplants.

Like the majority of stir-fry dishes in Thailand, this dish too has its roots in Chinese cuisine. Most of the preparation is happening in advance while the stir-frying itself is a brief sequence of measured actions. The advice here would be to prepare all ingredients and arrange them within reach.

Since stir-frying is a technique that relies on quick charring of ingredients, eggplants cannot be added raw to the wok, rather cooked beforehand. My preference is to deep fry the eggplants and add them to the wok for a final stir and soaking in the sauce.

The dish should taste savory, subtly sweet with a little bit of heat from the chilies.

Long eggplant stir-fry
Ingredients and preparations

Center wok:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 deep fried long eggplants
  • Pounded garlic and bird’s eye chilies
  • 1 tsp of fermented beans and rice paste
  • 1/2 tsp of brown granulated or white sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbs of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs of aged soy sauce
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Shiitake and kelp stock or water
  • A few dried ‘Kee nu’ chilies as garnish (optional)
  • Handful of fresh Thai basil leaves

1.Cut 4 long eggplants with the skin on, into irregular bite-sized pieces. Deep fry the eggplants in vegetable oil. When the eggplants start to brown and get soft remove them from the oil and set them aside on paper towels to let excess oil drain.

2.In a wok, heat a little bit of vegetable oil fry the garlic and chili paste, and fermented beans and rice paste until they become fragrant. Season with sugar a pinch of salt, light soy sauce, and aged soy sauce.

3.When the sauce reaches boiling point, add the eggplants and a little bit of stock or water and stir the eggplants gently to coat with the sauce. Continue to stir-fry for another minute or so.

4.Turn off the heat and stir in the Thai basil. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with dried ‘kee nu’ chilies. Eat with white rice.

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