This tasty and easy salad is adapted from Nancie McDermott’s book Quick & Easy Thai. Like many Asian salads, there is no oil in the dish, so this is quite low calorie. I made it with chopped peanuts (vs. dried shrimp) so that I did not have to go to a specialty grocery for any of the ingredients. (I accidentally left out the sugar and it was fine without it.)
1 lb. Asian or globe eggplants
2 Tbs. shallots, chopped
2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. coarsely chopped garlic (~2 medium cloves)
3 Tbs. fish sauce
3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. chopped green chili (~2/3 of a serrano)
1 Tbs. dried shrimp or 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped salted peanuts
Lettuce leaves for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. If using long and skinny Asian eggplants, cut them in half lengthwise. If using more bulbous Italian or globe eggplants, cut them in quarters lengthwise. Bake for 15-20 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cooled, remove the skins, coarsely chop the eggplants and put them in a bowl. Add to the bowl the shallots, cilantro, green onions, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chili and dried shrimp or peanuts. Toss to combine. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves at room temperature or chilled.
A good way to eat the salad is to wrap a spoonful or two of it on a lettuce leaf.