John Chatarasak aka @englishhippy is back with another awesome Thai inspired dish cooked with fire in the Gozney Dome. This blackened eggplant with herbal salad and toasted rice powder is sweet and sour with a fiery kick of chilli… the perfect recipe for taking summer salads to the next level.
Northern Thai Salad
Make the toasted rice powder by dry toasting the uncooked rice grains in a heavy cast iron pan in the Gozney Dome. Continually move the rice grains so they turn a deep golden brown colour and smell toasty and nutty; around 5 mins. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, then grind into a semi-coarse powder. Alternatively use a spice grinder or blender, but be careful not to over grind the grains into a fine powder - you’re looking for the texture of sand.
Light a wood fire inside the Gozney Dome then add charcoal. Heat the charcoal until hot and glowing. Spread the charcoal then place the eggplants directly onto the hot coals so that they blacken and blister on the outside while cooking and steaming the flesh on the inside. Turn the eggplants to blacken them all over, this will impart a lovely smoky flavour to the creamy eggplants flesh inside. Remove the eggplants from the oven and set aside to cool.
Make the dressing by combining the palm sugar, water, fish sauce, lime juice and chilli flakes together using a mortar and pestle. It will taste spicy, sweet and sour.
Once the eggplants are cool enough to handle, remove the blackened skins and discard. Roughly chop the eggplant flesh while still warm and arrange on a serving plate.
Combine the red onion, spring onion, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, coriander and mint in a mixing bowl with the dressing. Gently toss the salad together and arrange over the eggplant, pouring over any remaining dressing. Halve the soft boiled egg and arrange over the salad then sprinkle the eggplant and egg with the toasted rice powder. Serve with steamed rice.
Blackened eggplant with herbal salad and toasted rice powder:
3 tbsp jasmine rice (or another white rice grain)
2 medium eggplants
½ small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded (fresh or frozen)
2 lemongrass stalks, finely shredded
Small handful picked coriander leaves
Small handful picked mint leaves
1 soft boiled egg, at room temperature
3 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1½ tbsp water
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp chilli flakes