fbpx

Category: Salads

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad is a quintessential Southeast Asian salad, with a riot of flavors and textures. Known as som tam, this salad is claimed by both Laos and Thailand as a national dish. It’s fresh and crunchy with a vibrant dressing, and I add steamed shrimp read more

Salted Egg Salad

Salted Egg Salad

The funk of salted eggs, long a beloved Asian flavor, is finally catching on here in the states, and I am here for it!  If you are not familiar with this trendy ingredient, my Salted Egg Salad is a perfect place to start. This is read more

Eggplant Salad

Eggplant Salad

Cà Tím Nuong is a lovely grilled Vietnamese eggplant salad. I don’t always want to fire up the grill just for a few veggies though. By now I think you know I really hate to get a grill going outside in South Florida; I find the humid heat torturous enough! In today’s recipe, I’ve captured everything I love about the original; all of the fresh herbs, the zingy dressing, the crunchy fried shallots, and the meltingly tender eggplant without having to deal with the hassle of grilling. Plus I even threw in some zucchini for color and an extra serving of veggies! This warm eggplant salad makes a wonderful starter or side, and makes a delicious light supper for two.

eggplant salad ingredients

Nuoc Cham Dressing

Nuoc cham is a fundamental Vietnamese sauce. It’s insanely flavorful and so easy to make. If you’re like me and you just can’t get enough of its citrusy, funky taste, make a double batch and use it for Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowls, Bahn Mi sandwiches, or Chicken Larb Wraps.

You can omit the fish sauce and substitute coconut aminos or soy sauce if you want to make this vegan. It will still be delicious; it will just be missing that little pop of funk.

Eggplant

Eggplant seems to be a love it or hate it veggie, and I’m definitely in the love it camp. I use Chinese eggplant here, you can find it at Asian grocers and frequently at farmers markets. It is long and slender, with vivid purple colors. This type of eggplant is much more tender and cooks faster than the typical globe eggplant you see in grocery stores. It’s also less seedy and bitter. You never have to peel it, salt it, or do any cooking voodoo to make it delicious.

Roasting eggplant at high heat makes it very tender. I like it to get nicely browned because the caramelization brings out its sweetness. Just wash and cut off the stem. No need to peel it. The flesh is so tender, it’s actually a benefit to keep the skin on.

Then I put the eggplant salad in a serving dish and top with fried shallots. The warm veggies, the fresh herbs, the citrusy nuoc cham, and the crunchy shallots make for a magical combination. If you’ve only ever had a warm spinach salad, now is your chance to add another warm salad to your repertoire. And if you have salad haters in the house, just don’t call it a salad. They’ll never know!

eggplant salad ingredients

This Eggplant Salad is perfect alongside Sesame Green Beans and Stir Fried Pea Shoots for a light, healthy dinner. With a heaping bowl of Coconut Rice too, of course. 😉  Let me know what you think by commenting on and rating the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
recipe card eggplant salad

Eggplant Salad

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound Chinese eggplant (3 medium)
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro (small handful)
  • ¼ cup mint (small handful)
  • 1 small shallot or ½ large shallot
  • 2 Tablespoons fried shallots

Dressing:

  • 4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 12 Thai bird chile, minced, optional

Instructions

Make the dressing:

  1. Combine the lime juice, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and chilis.
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Thinly slice the shallots and add it to the dressing. Stir to combine so the shallot rings separate. 
  4. Set aside.

Prepare the vegetables:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 and move the oven rack to the middle position.
  2. Wash and then trim the base of the eggplant. Cut it into thirds lengthwise. Then cut the eggplant logs in half and then into wedges. Place the eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Wash the zucchini well and trim the base. Cut it into thirds lengthwise. Then cut the zucchini logs in half and then into wedges. Add it to the eggplant.
  4. Cut the onion into thick slices and add it to the vegetables.
  5. Add the oil, salt, and pepper to the vegetables and toss to combine. Spread the vegetables evenly on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25 minutes. They should be fully cooked and nicely caramelized.
  6. If your vegetables look a little pale, you can broil them for a couple of minutes until they have better color.
  7. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  8. Roughly chop the cilantro and mint and add to the vegetables. Next pour the dressing over the vegetables. Gently toss to combine.
  9. Transfer the eggplant salad to a serving dish and garnish with the fried shallots. Serve immediately.

Notes

*You can use regular globe eggplant if you cannot find Chinese eggplant. Peel the eggplant and cut it into thick slices. Stack the slices and cut through them to create thick strips. Finally cut across the strips to create ½ inch cubes. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Keywords: eggplant, nuoc cham, vietnamese, zucchini, healthy, salads

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad

This Brussels Sprouts Salad is a surprise star on our menu. While everyone likes brussels sprouts that have been fried with bacon and showered with cheese, people rarely seem to clamor to eat them raw. But finely shredded in a creamy dressing, they are a read more

Noodle Salad

Noodle Salad

Do you have a go to item that works for any occasion? My Noodle Salad is that kind of dish. Potluck night with friends? Check. Sunday Bbq? Check. Light Luncheon? Yup. A last minute side dish for dinner? Gotcha again. I’ve got nothing in the read more

Gado Gado

Gado Gado

Gado Gado, the Indonesian salad so nice they named it twice, is the perfect summer meal. Piles of crisp-tender veggies, hard boiled eggs, and an addictive spicy peanut sauce to tie it all together. This assortment makes such an impressive looking and beautiful platter, it’s perfect for large gatherings. Even the pickiest eaters are bound to find something they love!

Many times, salad means different things to different people. In Asia, American style salads with a lettuce base are not traditional. Lettuce itself is not very common, so a salad is more likely to be a combination of shredded vegetables, like a slaw, or a composed salad with different kinds of raw and cooked vegetables with a sauce. Think Asian crudités platters. And this Gado Gado is the mother load of crudités platters. Forget about those sad plastic trays from the grocery store loaded with dried out old veggies.

This Gado Gado is the real thing, bursting with color and flavor. There’s so much variety, you won’t even realize it’s salad for dinner. Round it out with some coconut rice and some store bought shrimp chips (you gotta put a quick cheat in here somewhere) and you’re ready to eat. Call some friends, invite some family, and have a great time.

Gado Gado Peanut Sauce

peanut sauce ingredients

The dipping sauce for this dish is much more complex than other peanut sauces, and it’s really the star of the show. It has moderate heat from the chili sauce and curry paste, sweetness from the kecap manis, which is a sweet soy sauce, and creaminess from the coconut milk. For a bit of funk, I add an Indonesian shrimp paste known as either terasi or belacan. It is fermented and comes in a dark block that gets softened with warm water.

This peanut sauce does have a lot of ingredients, but the blending of flavors offers a depth that’s hard to match. Not only does it give a boost to your Gado Gado, but it’s also amazing where you might use other peanut sauces. How about over noodles, or as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken, or maybe for dunking some summer rolls?

gabo gabo sauce

Gado Gado Vegetables

This recipe can be made with pretty much any vegetables you fancy. (There is a bit of chopping involved, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, make sure you do to receive my knife sharpening tutorial.) Traditionally, I always see cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumbers, and boiled eggs. But a lot of the others can be chosen either seasonally or by taking a look at what’s sitting around in your fridge. Also, if you would like to add protein, some pan fried tempeh or tofu is very common, but nothing says you can’t add some poached shrimp or grilled chicken to the platter to bring it more in line with what you might serve for dinner.

All of the veggies, save for the cucumber and bell pepper, get blanched and then put in an ice bath to quickly chill down. This plunge into icy water makes them the perfect texture and helps retain their beautiful color. I blanch them starting with the light colored ones and move up to the darkest ones-this way the water doesn’t get dark right away and stain the lighter veggies.

I know this recipe looks like it has a lot of steps. But really, it’s the same step and I’m just giving you the blanching time for each vegetable. The process goes very quickly!

Start by getting all the vegetables trimmed and prepped.

veggies gado gado

Then bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and place an ice bath next to the stovetop. A strainer in the ice bath makes the job of scooping out and draining the vegetables a lot easier:

ice bath gado gado

sprouts gado gado

cabbage cauliflower

 

carrots gado gado

 

green beans gado gado

Then it’s time to blanch the spinach. After shocking it in the ice bath, I squeeze all the water out and then I form it into logs so it can be cut into cute little bundles that can be picked up and dipped. Since you’re essentially creating a large crudités platter, it’s important for it to look as exciting and beautiful as possible. Taking the time to carefully shape and arrange vegetables will go a long was to setting up a mouth watering platter that will have your guests excited to dig in.

log gado gado

peel gado gado

 

Now it’s time to unleash your inner artist and beautifully arrange all your veggies on a large platter. Don’t forget to include your boiled eggs! Finally, you’re ready to dig in! Gado Gado just screams festive. It’s traditional to serve it with coconut rice and crunchy shrimp chips. I can’t wait to see your gorgeous platters, tag us @funkyasiankitchen and review the recipe below, we love hearing from you!

gado gado beauty

 

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
gado gado recipe card

Gado Gado

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Indonesian

Ingredients

Scale

Sauce:

  •   cup crunchy natural peanut sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste 
  • 2 Tablespoon kecap manis (or 1 Tablespoon soy sauce plus 1 Tablespoon brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoon sambal olek
  • 2 teaspoons dried shrimp paste (terasi or belacan)
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup hot water

Vegetables:

  • 4 large eggs, boiled
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • ¼ head small cabbage cut into large ¾ inch pieces 
  • ½  pound beansprouts (2 large handfuls)
  • ½ head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite sized florets 
  • ½ pound of green beans, trimmed (2 handfuls)
  • 2 bags baby spinach, (about 1012 oz)
  • 1 European Cucumber
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half, cored, and thinly sliced
  • Salt for boiling vegetables
  • 4 large eggs, boiled
  • 1 large zucchini
  • ¼ head small cabbage cut into large ¾ inch pieces 
  • ½  pound beansprouts (2 large handfuls)
  • ½ head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite sized florets 
  • ½ pound of green beans, trimmed (2 handfuls)
  • 2 bags baby spinach, (about 1012 oz)
  • 1 European Cucumber
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half, cored, and thinly sliced
  • Salt for boiling vegetables

For Serving:

  • Coconut Rice
  • Store Bought Shrimp Chips (available in the snack section of Asian grocery stores)

Instructions

Make the sauce:

  1. In a small cup, pour the hot water and add the dried shrimp paste. Let it soften while you gather the other ingredients.
  2. Put the peanut butter, curry paste, kecap manis, sambal olek, garlic, ginger, lime juice, salt, pepper, coconut milk in a bowl. (I like to do this with an immersion blender and a 3 cup blender cup but you can also do it by hand with a whisk). 
  3. Add the shrimp paste and soaking water. Either blend with the immersion blender or whisk briskly for one minute until you have a smooth thick sauce. Set aside or store in the fridge. You can make this sauce ahead of time; it keeps for 1 week.

For the Gado Gado:

  1. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and into thick ½ moon slices. Set aside.
  2. Cut the zucchini in thirds and then in half lengthwise. Cut the zucchini into thin wedges and set aside. 
  3. Peel the carrots and then cut them on an angle into thick slices. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a couple tablespoons of salt-enough so it tastes like broth, but not so much that it’s like seawater. Fill a large bowl with ice water and submerge a strainer in it. Put the ice water next to the boiling pot of water.
  5. We will be starting with the lightest colored vegetables and ending with the darkest: bean sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, green beans, and finally spinach. (Each time you are done blanching a vegetable, bring the water back up to boil before adding the next vegetable. Re-season the water or add more water as needed.)
  6. As soon as the water starts to boil, add the bean sprouts and blanch for 10 seconds. Use a strainer and scoop the beansprouts out and drop it into the ice water to stop it from cooking. Let it sit in the water for a minute and then lift the strainer out and shake off any remaining water. Set the bean sprouts aside.
  7. Next add the cabbage and boil for 20-30 seconds. Again strain the cabbage out and add it to the ice water.  Let it sit in the water for a minute and then lift the strainer out and shake off any remaining water. Set the cabbage aside.
  8. Bring the same pot of water back to boil and add the cauliflower. Simmer for 1 ½-2  mins until crisp tender. Strain the cauliflower out and add it to the ice water.  Let it sit in the water for a minute and then lift the strainer out and shake off any remaining water. Set the cauliflower aside
  9. Next add the zucchini to the pot. Boil for 1 minute and then strain the zucchini out and add it to the ice water. Let it sit in the water for a minute and then lift the strainer out and shake off any remaining water. Set the zucchini aside.
  10. Bring the same pot of water back to boil and add the carrots. Simmer for 2 mins until crisp tender. Strain the carrots out and add it to the ice water.  Let it sit in the water for a minute and then lift the strainer out and shake off any remaining water. Set the carrots aside.
  11. Bring the same pot of water back to boil, re-season and add more water as needed, and add the green beans. Cook for 2 mins. and then strain the green beans out and add it to the ice water.  Let it sit in the water for a minute and then lift the strainer out and shake off any remaining water. Set the green beans aside.
  12. Finally add the spinach to the pot. As soon as the spinach wilts, strain it out and add it to the ice water.  Let it sit in the water for a minute and then lift the strainer out and squeeze out any excess water. 
  13. Cut a piece of plastic wrap the size of a standard sheet of paper. Place the squeezed spinach on the center of the plastic wrap as a 6 inch cylinder about an inch thick. Roll the cylinder tightly and then twist the sides of the cylinder, like a candy wrapper, to tighten the roll. 
  14. Cut the cylinder of spinach into 6 equal pieces and then carefully unwrap the spinach pieces. Set it out on a platter.
  15. Add each vegetable and create a beautifully arranged platter. 
  16. Cut your eggs in half and add it to your platter.

Serve with the peanut sauce, coconut rice, and prawn chips.