Saturday, 3 September 2011

Soy Sauce Roasted Eggplant with Satay Peanut Sauce Dressing

Most of us just pass by the many faces we see in a day without a second glance or a hello. I do that too. But I recently discovered how powerful a 'hello' can be. It earned me a few extra prawns on my prawn noodle soup.

My mum, on the other hand, has always been the over-friendly auntie who strikes up a conversation with everyone from the fishmonger to the coffee shop lady. She gets huge bunches of coriander and spring onions for free from the vegetable seller, and mind you, she goes to the market almost every day. She gets extra rendang gravy to takeaway when she eats at the Malay nasi padang stall - read: instant homemade curries. Same for the satay uncle- extra satay peanut sauce.

If you aren't on friendly terms with any satay man, time to start saying hello, or you can of course make your own satay peanut sauce.

Soy Sauce Grilled Eggplant with Satay Peanut Sauce
serves 1 (easily doubled/tripled)
1 large-ish Asian baby eggplant (or a small normal eggplant, note skins will be tougher)
1 tbsp traditionally fermented soy sauce (I use tamari, wheat-free, more intense)
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (or sherry)
1 tsp unrefined toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp melted coconut oil (or evoo or groundnut oil.)

To serve
satay peanut sauce (simmered till dry/thickened, optional)
small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

You can also try this grilled instead if you have one.
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
2. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into halves, score around the edge and make a criss-cross pattern on the surface. This allows the heat and marinade to penetrate more evenly, plus it looks prettier. Some people like to salt the eggplant first to get rid of bitterness/water but I don't find it a problem, at least with these small eggplants.
3. Mix rest of the ingredients and spread/rub over the eggplant evenly.
4. Bake for 40 min, or until really tender. Top generously with satay peanut sauce and cilantro.

The slow-roasted flesh of the eggplant is deliciously soft and savoury from absorbing the marinade, and goes wonderfully texture-wise and taste-wise with the slightly sweet, aromatic peanut dressing. Of course, I may be biased because the Singapore satay peanut sauce is my favourite dip/sauce for most things grilled/roasted, or even stir-fries.. It's not just peanut sauce, it's freshly ground roasted peanuts simmered with tamarind and spices, homemade (or satay-man made) with love ♡


  1. I thought I bought an eggplant the other day, but I can't find it in the fridge. The recipe looks wonderful and I intend to try it. I'll be back at the market in a day or two and will get an eggplant (if that other one doesn't turn up).

  2. My mother is exactly the same!
    She can start a conversation with anyone and everyone loves her and goes the extra mile for are so right about how far a smile or a hello can go with some can make their day..

    The eggplant and satay sauce look combined my two favorite ingredient..eggplant and peanuts

  3. your grilled eggplant looks so delicious! i had a small lunch now im famished after seeing this must go eat something now, bye. and thanks! =O

  4. stephen: haha you are one determined cook i must say!

    fooddr: your mum sounds lovely! I'm trying to rmb to appreciate the pple i meet more (:

    winston: haha quick hungry exit

  5. sooo yum! ive only made the japanese version before (with miso instead of peanut)! i think i need to be on friendly term with satay man coz these ingredients aren't things usually found in my kitchen! keeping an eye out on satay men from now on ;)

  6. I love eggplant, this is a great idea! I usually just roast/grill them plain with EVOO because they have such a great taste by themselves, but this looks delicious. And satay sauce is awesome.

  7. I have never grilled it with soy sauce. How fantastic. Love your sight and so glad you stopped by mine so I could be introduced to yours! This dish looks fantastic.

  8. Hi Shu Han, I love eggplant and this is very creative way to grill eggplant. Looks lovely and delicious with that peanut sauce on it. Yummy!

  9. I'm a big fan of grilled eggplant, and pairing it with satay sauce is so deliciously clever! Btw, I want to go to the market with your mum someday, maybe that way, I'll get some extra veggies in my basket :-).

  10. This is the second recipe this week that I have come across a eggplant and peanut pairing and I'm getting very curious! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Very true indeed. Just a hello or a smile can make the world of difference! :) Delicious looking eggplant!

  12. hi shu han, what creative ideas you got..i have no doubt this is really delicious! i will get ready to give a big smile to the butcher man tomorrow, meat is expensive nowadays..see if he will give me extra ounces free..haha!

  13. Happy to Tag you!! ;)

  14. My mother is exactly the same! I love the idea of the sauce on the eggplant, we love satay sauce and are always looking for the perfect recipe, yumm...

  15. Being nice really does go a long way! This eggplant looks divine! In Israel it's common to top grilled eggplant with tahina, date honey and pomegranate seeds! Satay sauce is one of my favorite condiments so I can't wait to try it this way!

  16. Brilliant idea! I love eggplants and shall try making this soon!

  17. Looks really good. Interesting recipe!

  18. I adore eggplant...actually and satay, so this dish has my name all over it.
    Great photos.

  19. My mom is the same way! Except she doesn't bring home vegetables for me. Boo.

    I love the sauce on this eggplant!

  20. viv: the miso version sounds delicious too! would love to try that out one day, haha and good luck with the satay man advances;)

    phoenix: actually I do liek it simply with evoo too, esp when roasted with all the summer vegetables like peppers and courgettes. yum!

    sweetandcrumbly: thanks! the soy sauce adds more complexity than just plain salt(:

    ancoo: thanks!

    maya:haha I think it involves a lot of batting of eyelashes, no just kidding.

    chopin: interesting, would like to see the other recipe too!

    lorraine: (:

    lena: you never know! let me know if it works haha.

    intolerant chef: haha oh thanks for checking out the satay sauce recipe too!

    katherine: ok I just love tahini i'm not exaggeratign when I say I have 6 jars of it in london (it was on offer), and I love it with honey/dates(nv tried date honey, nor pomegranate seeds) so I'd love to try that!

    foodgloriousfood: thanks, lmk how it goes!

    mycookinghut: thankyou!

    cittyhippyfarmgirl: thanks, can't go wrong with satay ;)

    joanne: haha giving your mum more pointed smiles.

  21. I adore satay sauce and make it quite often at home, your recipe sounds amazing and I am most definatly going to give it a go! Your blog is fab.x

  22. This looks really lovely -- what a great idea! Beautiful photos across the board and an overall amazing blog!