Eggplant is delicious on the grill, and this recipe makes it even better with the use of a Thai-inspired marinade. Grilling is an age-old tradition in Thailand, with amazing marinade concoctions that make for taste-inspiring meals -- and this eggplant is no exception. Eggplant is a "meaty" vegetable; that is, it makes a great meat substitute and vegetarian Thai chefs love to use it in their cooking. You'll enjoy its sweet-spicy flavor -- makes a superb side dish to any meal you might be cooking.
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 teaspoons brown brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 chili (red fresh, minced or 1/4 teaspoon or more crushed chili flakes, to taste)
- 1 eggplant (small or the equivalent of 2 cups stacked slices)
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Gather the ingredients.
Stir together the hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and chili.
Slice up the eggplant into 1/4 inch-thick rounds and set in a bowl.
Slather the marinade over and toss well to coat.
Warm up your grill and brush with the oil.
Set marinated eggplant over a hot grill. When nice grill marks appear, flip them and brush tops with any leftover marinade. Keep grilling until eggplant is soft when pierced with a fork.
Serve hot from the grill as is, or dress it up with a little fresh basil, either as a side dish or the star player (see tips below for how to make this into a complete vegetarian/vegan meal).
To make this dish your main course:
- Double the marinade (hoisin, brown sugar, garlic, and chili) and add wedges of medium-firm to firm tofu sliced 1/4-inch.
- Toss eggplant and tofu together in the marinade. Allow a little longer time to marinate (20 minutes) or leave in the refrigerator to marinate longer, up to 1 hour.
- Grill and serve with Thai jasmine rice for a complete meal. Note that Thai sticky rice is also wonderful with this meal.