Recipe for "Thai Basil Eggplant" from Thai Table. In Thai, I think this dish might be called "Pud Makua Yow" or "Pad Makua Yow".
This is a really fast and simple dish to make. I choose to make it because I bought too much eggplant for my Thai mussaman curry dish. I was debating between making this or Thai Roasted Eggplant Salad with Shrimp (with either this recipe from Thai Food and Travel or from
She Simmers or from 3 Hungry Tummies), though this stuffed Indian eggplant recipe from 365 Days of Pure Vegetarian also had me searching for Indian stuffed eggplant recipes. In the end, I wanted to make some sort of Thai dish with this eggplant since it is Thai long green eggplant. I decided to not make the roasted eggplant dish this time because it would take a lot more time, and I didn't want to buy a lot of ingredients, since I won't be able to cook the leftovers this weekend. I choose this dish because only had to buy eggplant for the Thai basil eggplant dish, and it is quick and easy to cook also--I'm glad I choose this one, because now I have another quick cooking vegetable dish to add to my repertoire.
2 bird's eye chilis is too spicy for William in this recipe. Next time, if he is eating it, I would remove the seeds.
I used palm sugar instead of regular sugar. My palm sugar is in tablespoon sized pieces. I broke up one tablespoon of palm sugar with a mortar and pestle so that it would dissolve easier, and I added the palm sugar right after the water, since palm sugar needs to be dissolved in water when it is added to a dish, and its flavor deepens, caramelizes, and improves when it is cooked.
The recipe suggests adding too much water to the saute pan to simmer / steam the eggplant. 1 cup of water was about 1 cm deep in my 9" cast iron pan. Since all of this water had to be boiled away, I didn't cover my saute pan. I was able to boil away nearly all the water by putting the burner almost as high as it would go for 7 minutes, but next time I would suggest using only 1/4 or 1/2 cup of water.
I did cut the eggplant in irregular shapes, as suggested in order to help prevent the eggplant from sticking to the pan, but I don't think this mattered much, since I didn't need to stir the eggplant that much. Next time I might try cutting it in regular shapes since I think that would be prettier.
I thought that 2 Tbsp of fish sauce would be way too much, so I started off by only adding 1/2 Tbsp and then added 1 Tbsp. It wasn't salty enough, so I went ahead and added the full 2 Tbsp, and it turned out to be the perfect amount (though I wouldn't add any more then this)! The dish is was salty, sweet, spicy, and slightly fishy (in a good way) from the fish sauce.
I expected these Thai long green eggplant to taste like the round green Thai eggplants, however, these long green ones actually are very similar to the long Chinese / Japanese eggplants in taste and texture. According to Thai Table and Real Thai Recipes, this type of eggplant is called "Makua Yow" or "Ma-kuea Yaaw" and it is the Thai eggplant variety which is closest to American eggplant.
Serve as a side dish or with rice.
Fish sauce. SheSimmer has a really nice "Fish Sauce Taste Test", which compares the taste of various brands of fish sauce. I bought my fish sauce before I read that article (luckily mine rates highly!). This is the only brand of fish sauce that I have tried, but I am very happy with it, and I will buy this brand again when this bottle runs out.
Thai bird's eye chilis, Thai basil, and Thai long green eggplants