This flavorful Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad is simple, light, and refreshing with a tangy, umami dressing made from fresh lime juice and fish sauce. Healthy and tasty, this Thai Salad comes together in 35 minutes! (Vegan-adaptable) Serve it with jasmine rice and make it a meal.

This flavorful Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad is simple, light, and refreshing with a tangy, umami dressing made from fresh lime juice and fish sauce. Healthy and tasty, this Thai Salad comes together in 35 minutes! (Vegan-adaptable) Serve it with jasmine rice and make it a meal.

Here’s a delicious recipe for  Thai grilled eggplant salad made with grilled eggplant, red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeños, cilantro, green onion, and fresh mint, seasoned with fish sauce and lime juice. It’s tangy and refreshing with a good umami flavor from the fish sauce. 

Traditional Thai Eggplant Salad is served with boiled eggs on the side and typically includes ground pork and dried shrimp for the extra meaty flavors- but today we’ve intentionally left out the meat for a lighter version.

Still, this recipe is flexible, can be adjusted as you please (see recipe notes), and uses fresh herbs for extra flavors!

Ways to serve Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad

Ingredients in Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad

  • Purple eggplant. Long Japanese or Chinese eggplant work best here, or sub other purple eggplant. Some may need to have the skin peeled off after grilling.
  • Red onion. Or sub shallot or white onion. Both will work great.
  • Red Bell pepper. Bell peppers are a perfect addition to the salad. The sweetness and crunchiness add to the refreshing flavor of the salad.
  • Jalapeño. Leave the seeds on for extra heat. You can also use banana or Serrano peppers. 
  • Cilantro. Fresh cilantro is a must herb for this recipe.
  • Green onion. Use extra onion, shallot, and cilantro if you don’t have green onion.
  • Mint. Many Thai salads use fresh mint leaves for the extra refreshing and minty flavors. It compliments the grilled Eggplants well for a refreshing flavor. 
  • Roasted Peanuts. Cashew, almonds, macadamia, or pistachio is perfect for the extra nutty, crunchy taste. 
  • Oil. You’ll need a very small amount of oil for brushing or spraying on the eggplant before grilling. It prevents the eggplants from sticking to the grill. 
  • Fish sauce. Not all fish sauce brands are created with the same level of saltiness. Start with 1 tablespoon or less and add more to adjust.
  • Fresh lime juice. Best to use fresh lime juice for this recipe. Start with 1 tablespoon and adjust for more before serving. 
  • Optional ingredients for extra flavors. Ground white peppers, sliced fresh Thai chilis, Thai chili flakes, fresh serrano peppers, dried shrimp, ground meat, chicken, turkey, or pork.

How to make Thai grilled eggplant salad

Step one

Slice the eggplants in half (or slices) and brush both sides very lightly with oil. Grill on high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Let cool while preparing the salad.

4 long eggplants on a grill

Step two

Add all the remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl, including the fish sauces and lime juice. Mix well.

This flavorful Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad is simple, light, and refreshing with a tangy, umami dressing made from fresh lime juice and fish sauce.

Step three

Slice the eggplants into long strips, 3-4 inches long. You can peel some of the skin off the eggplants or leave them on. I left some of mine on. 

grilled eggplants on a cutting board

Step four

Add the eggplants to the salad bowl, and mix them.

Taste and adjust with more lime juice, fish sauce, and chilis or white peppers for extra flavors.

eggplants salad in a clear glass bowl

Garnish with boiled eggs (traditional)  and served with jasmine rice or by itself.

This flavorful Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad is simple, light, and refreshing with a tangy, umami dressing made from fresh lime juice and fish sauce. Healthy and tasty, this Thai Salad comes together in 35 minutes! (Vegan-adaptable) Serve it with jasmine rice and make it a meal.

Enjoy!

Expert Tips

  • Use a slight amount of oil to brush (or spray) on the eggplant before grilling.
  • Use a timer for cooking the eggplants on high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • The salad is best eaten fresh and not recommended for leftovers as the vegetables and herbs will get too mushy and lose their texture and taste. 
  • The traditional salad is served with boiled eggs. You can have it soft or hard-boiled, and this is purely optional. 
  • Serve the salad as a pre-dinner salad, side dish or light meal.

Can this be made Vegan?

Yes. Use vegan fish sauce instead of the regular fish sauce. 

Ways to Adapt

  • Add ground meat, shrimp, or firm, crispy tofu for extra meatiness. Simply brown the ground meat  (1/4 pound) in a small skillet, season with salt,  and add to the salad.
  • You can also use a broiler for cooking the eggplant. Brush some oil and broil for 10 minutes, 4-5 minutes on each side or until eggplant is tender and translucent.

Ways to elevate

  • Use dried shrimp for the traditional and umami flavor. Soak the dried shrimp in water for 6-7 minutes, drain, chop and add the shrimp to the salad. 
  • Toast the nuts in a small skillet to add a nutty flavor to the salad. This step will add an extra depth to your grilled eggplant salad!

This flavorful Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad is simple, light, and refreshing with a tangy, umami dressing made from fresh lime juice and fish sauce. Healthy and tasty, this Thai Salad comes together in 35 minutes! (Vegan-adaptable) Serve it with jasmine rice and make it a meal.

More Thai recipes you may enjoy

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I truly love sharing what I know about making tasty Thai food and bringing a little bit of my Thai culture to your kitchen. Food is a huge part of Thai culture, and we truly believe that sharing and eating food with others makes life so much better. I hope this recipe brings great delight to your heart and home!

~ Suwanee

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This flavorful Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad is simple, light, and refreshing with a tangy, umami dressing made from fresh lime juice and fish sauce. Healthy and tasty, this Thai Salad comes together in 35 minutes! (Vegan-adaptable) Serve it with jasmine rice and make it a meal.

Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad

  • Author: Suwanee | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 2-4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: grilling
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This flavorful Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad is simple, light, and refreshing with a tangy, umami dressing made from fresh lime juice and fish sauce. Healthy and tasty, this Thai Salad comes together in 35 minutes! (Vegan-adaptable) Serve it with jasmine rice and make it a meal.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound Japanese eggplant (2-3 long purple eggplan)
  • Oil for brushing or spraying eggplant
  • 1/2 cup red onion, very finely sliced (or sub 1 shallot)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño, finely diced, more or less as preferred
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, leaves torn
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, lightly crushed (optional, sub cashews)
  • 12 tablespoons of fish sauce, start with one, add more to taste
  • 12 tablespoons fresh lime juice, start with one, add more to taste
  • Salt and white or black pepper, to taste

Serve with boiled eggs ( optional, traditional) and jasmine rice.


Instructions

  1. Slice the eggplants in half and brush both sides very lightly with oil. If eggplant is thick, then slice. Grill on high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side- or until the desired doneness. Let cool while preparing the salad.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl, including the fish sauce and lime juice. Mix well.
  3. Slice the eggplant into long strips, 3-4 inches long. You can peel some of the skin off the eggplants or leave them on. I left mine on. 
  4. Add the grilled eggplant to the salad bowl, and mix. Taste and adjust with more lime juice, fish sauce, jalapeno,  salt, or white pepper for extra flavor.
  5. Garnish with boiled eggs and serve with jasmine rice, or enjoy it by itself as a salad or side dish.

Notes

  • Use a slight amount of oil to brush on the eggplant before grilling. Use a timer to cook the eggplants on high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • The salad is best eaten fresh and not recommended for leftovers as the vegetables and herbs will get too mushy and lose their texture and taste.
  • The traditional salad is served with boiled eggs. You can have it soft or hard-boiled, and this is purely optional.
  • If using globe eggplant, or big eggplant, slice into 3/4 inch slices, grill until translucent.
  • TIP: Get good grill marks, stack eggplant in a baking dish or bowl, cover with foil, to allow steam to cook them all the way through, until translucent.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 257
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Sodium: 719.3 mg
  • Fat: 16.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.3 g
  • Fiber: 10.2 g
  • Protein: 8.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: grilled eggplant salad, thai eggplant salad, eggplant salad, thai grilled eggplant salad,

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the excellent recipe that inspired our dinner tonight. We made a vegetarian version with grilled tofu (marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and oil before grilling with the eggplant) and had the salad over jasmine rice. It was delicious and we’ll definitely make this again. As a last minute addition we added Thai basil and I highly recommend that, next time I’ll use that instead of mint.

  2. Re: Thai Grilled Eggplant Salad. It sounds so delicious that I can hardly wait to make it.
    I printed out the 1 page recipe. The text was so small I could barely read it. I would have appreciated it if the recipe was on 2 pages with larger text.

    Another point…..keep in mind that using light blue or light grey text, when printing the recipe, is barely visible/legible.

    I’ve been printing out your amazing recipes since I discovered you but I’m 90 years old and find cooking is too often too much of an effort. But even reading them brings me joy and I will keep collecting them.

    Thank you for your inspiration.

    P.S. I have an amazing Garlic Lover’s Salad Dressing I would like to share with you. It won several awards at the Gourmet Specialty Food Show in San Francisco in the 1980s, The Natural Food Show in Anaheim, CA, and the award for Best New Imported Product at the Toronto Specialty Food Show during the same period. I sold my company, Cook’s Classics Ltd, in 1993. The new owners changed the name to Cook’s Gourmet. Unfortunately the owners, who were food manufacturers, didn’t know how to market it and it no longer exists. It was great while it lasted and I’m sad it’s now gone.

    1. Hi Sheila! I love that you find joy in reading and collecting recipes- so do I! Just so you know,you can adjust the print size – when you go to print there is an ‘Options” button at the top of the page. Click that and you can print in “Large”. I’d love to hear more about your dressing- feel free to email me at sylvia@feastingathome.com

  3. This Thai Grilled Eggplant salad looks amazing…..but I have no way to grill it. How can I adapt it for an air fryer?

    1. Hi Sheila,
      You can use your air fryer. Cut the eggplants into 4-6 inch pieces to fit your air fryer, lightly oil, then use the highest temperature available for 6-8 minutes or until soft, but not burnt. You can also broil the eggplants in the oven the same way too, oiled, broil on high heat 6-8 minutes. Hope this helps!
      – Suwanee