Sambal Eggplant a la Marketman

Here’s another really easy dish that packs a wallop taste wise and fools your guests into thinking you have been slaving away for some time in the kitchen to achieve this complex set of flavors that explode on your palate! I’m not sure my version is completely authentic, but it tasted really good… :)

Wash and slice some eggplants (here I used small but chubby western eggplants (not the long thin japanese eggplants more commonly available) into roughly 3 inch long pieces.

Put generous amounts of vegetable oil into a wok over high heat and fry the eggplant slices until just lightly browned. Don’t overcrowd the pan while frying.

Do NOT overcook the eggplant slices, or the resulting dish could become too mushy.

Remove all but a tablespoon of oil from the wok and return put over high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of sambal (we used homemade) and saute for a few seconds until it turns a deep burgundy color. Next, add several tablespoons of tamarind paste or diluted sweet tamarind pulp. A dash or two of kikkoman soy sauce or some oyster sauce and put the fried eggplants back in and toss to coat the vegetables.

You are aiming for a balance of spicy, sweet and salty… so adjust the amount of ingredients to your personal preferences. This is fast, delicious, and a house favorite.

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30 Responses

  1. OOohh..must try that. I love eggplants. lately I’ve been grilling sliced eggplants and zucchinis .

  2. I love these! I noticed the ones sold in Chinese cooked food stalls have strips of carrots or sometimes red bellpeppers too.

  3. I cooked eggplant yesterday but it was just an ordinary soy sauce based version sauteed in garlic and onion with teriyaki sauce. I can imagine that your version is very delicious with the balance of spicy, sweet and salty. I will look for a block of belachan and will try this at home. Thanks, MM.

  4. Have to try this dish. Reminds me of the Ilocanos’ “poqui-poqui” … We usually grill the eggplant over fire (not coals), then from there, make a salad or just an omelet (basic or otherwise). The sambal sauce, I haven’t tried making. Maybe when the store-bought one is done.

  5. I’ve tasted something similar to yours at a Malaysian restaurant but they used kecap manis which is darker and sweeter then topped with deep fried dried chillies.I love all eggplant dishes especially the ones with sauteed bagoong. Pass the rice please!

  6. Not a big eggplant eater but I do love the eggplants that come with General Chicken in Recipes.

  7. Hi MM, is sambal available in the supermarket (can be bought bottled or in a sachet) and how about the sweet tamarind paste?

  8. Looks good! I have sambal oelek in the fridge and kecap manis in the pantry. Will try making this soon!

  9. I love eggplants! sambal eggplants it is tonite. I have tasted this dish (at least similar to this) during my college days somewhere in a canteen in UP shopping center in Diliman and always regularly had it. Plus the fact it is mura and fits a student’s budget. :)

  10. pritong talong, one of my faves!!! with calamnsi and toyo or toyo and spiced vinegar and lotsa steamed rice!!! YUMMY!!

  11. This dish looks delicious. I am not a big fan of oily foods, but this one I might make an exception. Thanks MM!

  12. I have tried almost the same recipe before but instead of using tamarind paste, i used calamansi. I also added tofu. :)

    The pictures make me drool!!! Rice please…

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