Category: Pan-Asian

Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus

You know I love a veggie forward recipe, and this Edamame Hummus is a favorite!  It whips up in minutes, has a lovely green color, and a bright fresh flavor. It’s perfect for this sizzling weather most of us are having right now. Serve it read more

Peanut Noodles

Peanut Noodles

These cold Peanut Noodles and summer are a perfect match. They are topped with cooling, crunchy veggies, and the peanut sauce is hands down the best you’ve ever had. Both the sauce and the noodles can be prepped the day before, which makes these peanut read more

Eggplant Dip

Eggplant Dip

Got a bumper crop of eggplants? This Eggplant Dip is an effortlessly delicious way to use them up! The eggplant gets broiled until the flesh is meltingly tender, with the slightly charred and smoky flavor you’d get from the grill. Without the whole standing outside in the heat over a grill part. Served with pita chips, this is perfect summer fare.

eggplant dip ingredients

Eggplants Love High Heat!

Whether it’s Lebanon’s baba ganoush, Morocco’s roasted eggplant salads, or Italy’s deep fried eggplant parmesan, eggplant benefits from high heat cooking methods. The flesh is rendered so soft and silky you can eat it with a spoon, and the heat concentrates the natural sugar. So if you know someone who says ‘eggplant is bitter’, whip up this eggplant dish and change their mind!

broil eggplant dip

steam eggplant dip

While I’m waiting for the eggplant to cool, I make the flavor base for the dip.

Spiced Eggplant Dip

The seasonings really make this eggplant dip sing. Tomato paste and paprika add to the smoky flavor. Cinnamon and cumin add earthy warmth. Peanut butter and cilantro bring an unexpected Southeast Asian twist. I start by sautéing an onion.

Stir in the spices and cook for another minute.

I like this dip a little chunky, so I pulse it about 10 times. If you would prefer it to be completely smooth you can skip the pulsing part and just process it to a smooth paste.

If you manage to not devour all of it with some pita chips, this eggplant dip makes an excellent sandwich spread. Or serve it with some plant based dishes for a fun mix and match meatless meal. It would be wonderful served alongside:

Try this Eggplant Dip and let me know what you think. Take a moment to rate the recipe below and leave a comment. And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!


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
feature eggplant dip

Eggplant Dip

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian


  • 2 large globe eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped (or ¾ large onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (almond would be fine too)
  • 1 large handful of cilantro leaves (about ¼ bunch) chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Heat your oven on broil high or heat a cast iron skillet until very hot. Put the eggplant on a baking tray as close to the broiling element as you can and broil for about 20-25 mins, rotating a little every 5-6 mins. The eggplant should be very soft and a little charred.
  2. Or if using the cast iron skillet, heat the skillet for several minutes on medium high. Cook the eggplant for 5-6 minutes, then rotate the eggplant. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until very soft and charred. 
  3. Put the eggplant in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle. 
  4. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil, the diced onion, and ½ teaspoon salt. Saute for 5-6 minutes until softened and starting to brown. 
  5. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger, and the tomato paste. Saute for another 2-3 mins. 
  6. Add the cumin, cinnamon, ground black pepper, and paprika. Stir the ingredients to combine them, cooking for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
  7. Trim off the end of the eggplant, cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the flesh, and add the eggplant to the food processor.
  8. Add the contents of the pan to the food processor plus the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, peanut butter, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Pulse the mixture approximately 10 times, until it has broken down but still a little chunky. 
  9. If you prefer it smooth, pulse a couple more times or just turn it on for a couple seconds. 
  10. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed and serve eggplant dip with bread, crudité, or as a condiment to a large meal.

Keywords: eggplant, peanuts, cilantro, dips, southeast asian, dips, condiments

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock

Having homemade chicken stock on hand is the culinary equivalent of having money in the bank.  It elevates everything from soups to braises to stir fries and rice dishes. And this one is infused with Asian flavors, like ginger and scallions, lending a pop of read more

Jackfruit Bowls

Jackfruit Bowls

What shreds like pork, absorbs flavor like tofu, and packs more nutrients per serving than both? Jackfruit! Jackfruit is an incredibly versatile tropical fruit that is grown throughout Southeast Asia. When ripe, it gets sweet, sticky, and yellow-orange and is used in a variety of read more

Salt Baked Shrimp

Salt Baked Shrimp

Maybe you don’t live someplace where you can dine outside by the docks, enjoying the day’s freshest catch with maybe a fruity cocktail. Well, this Salt Baked Shrimp will help you bring that vibe home. Leaving the head and shells on adds so much flavor and also contributes to that dining al fresco by the ocean feeling. I serve these with a pungent garlicky dip, and it takes just 20 minutes to start devouring these beauties. (Bring some extra napkins to the table!)

One of the little known seasonal treats living in south Florida is having fresh shrimp in the winter. From late December until early February, these delicious briny shrimp are available in limited quantities. Mostly sold at local seafood markets or through commercial fishermen, these shrimp have a sweetness and amazing flavor that just cannot be matched by the frozen IQF shrimp that we all know and love. Thankfully, I’ve also seen fresh farm raised fresh shrimp at my local Costco. And if you live near a well stocked Asian market, they often sell live and fresh seafood as well. So be on the lookout, because these Salt Baked Shrimp are simple and amazing. Let’s get started.

salt baked shrimp ingredients

Salt Baked Shrimp Dipping Sauce

This dipping sauce has a lot going for it, and I will be using it for more dishes. (would be great with Sriracha Honey Wings) It has the bright zing of fresh squeezed lime juice, slight richness from the mayo, a pop of umami funk from the fish sauce, a little Thai chili and minced garlic for heat and some sugar to round it out. It’s like a clingy Nuoc Cham; you’re gonna love it.


Give everything a good whisk, and set aside until ready to use.

Use The Whole Shrimp!

Keeping the heads and shells on keeps the delicate meat tender and helps prevent it from overcooking. It also adds tons of flavor!  It is essential however that you devein them. These are fairly large shrimp, and the vein can be really gritty. Don’t worry, it’s really simple to do. And by deveining them, we will also be making them super easy to peel when it’s time to eat.

I use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut through the back of the shrimp. Make a shallow snip down the center and follow it though to the tail. You could also use a knife to do the same. When it comes to deveining, I use a toothpick to help pull out the sandy intestine but then use my fingers to gently pull it out. You could also scrape it out with the tip of the knife or clean it out under running water.

Two Ways to Salt Bake Shrimp

The salt here serves a couple purposes-it provides a buffer for the delicate shrimp from the hot pan, and of course it seasons the shrimp as well. This is not the time for your fancy, expensive sea salts. We want really coarse salt here, like Diamond’s or Morton’s coarse kosher salt.

This recipe calls for a lot of salt but you don’t have to throw it out when you’re done. You can save it and use it where you think a little shrimpy flavor would be welcome-kind of like fish sauce. A soup, a stew, a seafood dish, or even stir fries would work. Just make sure to store the salt in the fridge between uses.

I have made this shrimp using both my stovetop and the oven, and I give you directions for both on the recipe card. Whichever method you choose, you will first preheat the salt.

And now the salt baked shrimp are ready to serve!  I like to bring them to the table in the pan. They look so striking against the salt:

feature slat baked shrimp

And as promised, they are very easy to peel. The shells slide right off. And now eat with gusto. We slurp the heads but that just might be my thing!

To really complete your seashore dining experience, serve these with:

Let me know what you think of these Salt Baked Shrimp. Leave a comment and rate the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

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
salt baked shrimp recipe card

Salt Baked Shrimp

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian


  • 12 large head on shrimp (with the head on mine were 9/14 size)
  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt or coarse sea salt

Dipping sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 2 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 thai bird chili, minced


Make the dipping sauce: 

  1. Cut the limes in half and juice them.
  2. Combine the lime juice, mayonnaise, minced garlic, fish sauce, sugar, cilantro, and chili.
  3. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Prepare the shrimp:

  1. With a pair of kitchen scissors, right below the head, snip a shallow cut down the center of the shrimp, until you come to the tail. Set aside and continue cutting the rest of the shrimp.
  2. Use your fingers or a toothpick to pull out the intestines and grit from the back of the shrimp.
  3. Dry the shrimp off with some paper towels and set aside.

Stove Top Technique:

  1. Wrap a heavy shallow pan (mine is a staub 12” cast iron skillet that is 2.5 inches deep) with aluminum foil.
  2. Pour the salt in the pan. Cover with a lid and heat over medium high heat for 5 minutes until you hear the salt popping. 
  3. Take the lid off and lay the shrimp flat in the pan.
  4. Again cover the pan with the lid and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the shrimp for 4-5 minutes. The bottom part should be a bright orange but the top will still look a little raw. Flip the shrimp over, cover with the lid, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve the shrimp in the pan or transfer to a plate and serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.

Oven Technique:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and move the oven shelf to the center rack. Pour the salt onto a foil wrapped baking sheet (Mine is a quarter size) and shake gently to spread the salt. 
  2. Put the tray into the oven and heat it for 8-10 minutes. The salt will start to turn a light golden color.
  3. Carefully place the shrimp onto the salt in one layer. Put the tray back into the oven and roast for 7-9 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  4. Serve the shrimp on the baking sheet or transfer to a plate with the dipping sauce on the side.


*The salt can be saved and used for cooking other dishes. I use it for things that have seafood in it or where it wouldn’t be weird to have a slight shrimp flavor. Store the salt in the fridge or freezer.

Keywords: shrimp, salt baked, seafood, shellfish, appetizers, small plates