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Sambal Eggplant (Aubergine/Brinjal)

Sambal Eggplant
Sambal Eggplant pictures (3 of 6)

There is a reason why it took me over 3 years before an eggplant recipe appears on Rasa Malaysia. I am confused; first by its many names and secondly, by its different varieties, shapes, colors, and forms.

According to Wikipedia, eggplant is probably the most common name and it’s used in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In British English, it’s called aubergine (heck, I don’t even know how to pronounce it!). In India and South Africa, it’s brinjal. (How can a plant so pretty with such intense purple color so confused with its name–or errr, its given names?) Now, let me confuse you even more–in Malay, it’s called terung.

There are different types of eggplant–Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Italian, American, white eggplant, etc., and each variety is unique in its own sense. Regardless of its varieties and different names, eggplant is a superb ingredient that I have come to love a lot.

Anyway, I got these cute and adorable Indian eggplants–some as small as a grape–and stir-fried them with sambal, like I did with my sambal asparagus recipe. It’s one of the most common recipes for eggplant in Malaysia. You can also roast them in oven.

Below is my sambal eggplant recipe for your reference. You can use any eggplant/aubergine/brinjal available in your market, but ultimately, timing matters most. You want to achieve that perfect, moist, and tender texture.

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43 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Pinenuts

    Hi Bee,

    My goodness ! They looked more like grapes to me. Over here in Australia, we, too, have mini ones but even then, they are much bigger.

    As an alternative, to get that “smokey” flavour, may I suggest that you place the bigger ones over the fire until the skin burnt. Cool and peel the skin off and cut them into thick slices. Fry the sambal separately and then stir in the egg plants. Adjust flavour to your taste. It is equally yummy !!!

    • Pinenuts – yes, they are so tiny and cute. I love them, and yes, small ones are like grapes!

      Oooh, your tip sounds great, I will have to try it out. I must confess, I am not an eggplant expert. :P

  2. Cimee

    definitely my fav dish… a must have whenever i’m back home… my mom would fry the egplants and dried anchovies(ikan bilis) separately…. arrange the anchovies on the eggplants on a plate and pour the sambal over them…ahhh.. returning home this weekend and expecting some of it to break my fast!

  3. Dominique

    I love this vegetable: there are so many delicious recipes of eggplant. I’ve found whites ones in Greece, and eated a delicious moussaka! I’ve two eggplants in my oven for tomorow, with olive oil and garlic, cooking slowly… Delicious!

  4. Audrey

    This is one of my fav and is a must-order if I do need to order from the mixed rice stall. I detest this when I was young and only liked this after growing up.
    The best egg plant dish I had was at somewhere near Genting Highlands I think. It’s a village with many chinese restaurants at the highlands where they deep fried this with mini shrimps (heh bii). That was wonderful!

  5. C. Anu

    Lovely recipe!! Used balacan instead of the dried shrimps though. Reminded me of the memorable visits to Singapore!!!!
    Do you have the yummy recipes for potato and soy curry and the normal stir fry veggie soup with just salt and pepper???

  6. yea it’s really confusing, I used to call this brinjal, but here in the UK it’s aubergine. I thought they were different species because of their shape but turns out they are the same! These are really cute, I’ve never seen such tiny ones before.Do they taste different?

  7. redmachine

    Am a NKOB here. Loved Sambal Terung. In fact, loved anything that has got to do with sambal e.g. Sambal Kangkung, Sambal Bendi, Sambal Kacang Botol, Sambal Petai and etc…

    Keep up the good work!!!

  8. I’ve always been lukewarm about eggplant, until I bought some Indian eggplant this week! These babies don’t have the bitterness associated with the large eggplant, and they take to a spicy seasoning (like the sambal you have here) so well! This looks delicious, and I’m sure to make it soon!

  9. I love this!!! Sambal terung is one of the reasons why I keep going back to Banana Leaf in Vancouver, I just can’t get enough of it. Thank you for posting this recipe, I will try making this on the weekend.

  10. Pegs

    I must say that eggplant is not a vege that’s easy to master to perfection. But your creation looks perfect, thanks for sharing. And this would definitely make a great vegetarian dish.

    Oo and i’ve always wondered why my eggplant turned brown everytime i make them. Now i know the secret to it, soak them in salt! I shall remember that.

    cheers to more eggplant dishes!
    Ps: Aubergine sounds so chic

  11. mario

    between obergine and egg plant is a sostantial difference, i was following this recipoe and i asl sorry if i replay
    for egg plant in english the meaning is the fat one
    for obergine the meaning is the long skinny one
    that is the difference between the two words and congratulation for you recipe SAMBAL EGGPLANT

  12. Aleks

    Ive been looking through your recipes and they are great. I cant wait to try cooking the assam laksa, its my favourite and hard to find a good one here in Melbourne.
    Do you have a recipe or method for cooking sichuan eggplant? They have this amazing chilli/fish flavoured eggplant that comes out all golden and crispy. There are recipes on the internet but none of them come out as good as they do at restaurants.
    Let me know if you need a specific example of a recipe, i dont want to reference anothers site without your permission.
    Thanks in advance.

  13. This is one of my favourite dishes well remembered from growing up in Indonesia. I had the big, fat aubergines and charred the skins on the gas burner before chopping them into chunks and following the rest of your recipe. So good! Even people who don’t usually like the vegetable devoured it. Thanks for reintroducing me to this old time favourite.

  14. salma

    i am in Bangladesh. i love to cook Malaysian food , but how can i get shrimp paste. is there any way to get it or give me the recipe of dried shrimp or paste.

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