Grilled Eggplant has never tasted so good with this quintessential Vietnamese (vegan) fish sauce and scallion oil! So simple and easy, yet full of complex flavors.
What is special about this Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant?
This is the recipe that will change your mind about eggplants!
Grilled Eggplant with Scallion Oil, or Cà tím nướng mỡ hành in Vietnamese is a popular dish in Southern Vietnam. It is especially popular in the countryside as eggplant is an accessible and cheap ingredient. It’s a dish that is close to the heart of many Vietnamese people.
The special flavors of the dish come from the fragrant scallion oil and umami flavors of the Vietnamese fish sauce mix – a quintessential flavor profile in many Vietnamese dishes.
Why Grilled Eggplant?
Eggplant is considered an accessible and cheap ingredient in many places in the world. The traditional eggplant used for this dish would be the Asian one. However, I am unable to find it in my city, therefore substituting it with the Western one, and it’s still so good!
Fish sauce mix
Fish sauce mixture is the signature sauce in many Vietnamese dishes. As this recipe is vegan, I suggest substituting fish sauce with vegan fish sauce (you can get it at Asian supermarkets) or soy sauce. The sauce consists of these ingredients:
- Vegan fish sauce: the savory taste that is unique in Vietnamese food
- Sugar: adds sweetness to the dish
- Vinegar: adds a sour taste to the dish
- Lime juice: adds some tanginess and zest
- Garlic & chilli: adds aromatics to the dish
With this combination of flavors, the sauce mix is full of umami and complex flavors despite being so simple to make.
The scallions (green onions) are combined with hot sizzling oil to make this sauce! Simply microwave the oil for 10-15 seconds or heat it on a pan until slightly bubbling then pour over the chopped scallions.
How to serve this recipe?
This Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant is a light dish, so I suggest serving it as a side dish to accompany other savory dishes. Sometimes, I just have it with a bowl of rice and it’s just so satisfying for me. You can garnish the dish with the optional chopped peanuts and sesame seeds to add some crunch to the texture.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!
Vietnamese Grilled Eggplant with Scallion Oil
- 1 eggplant preferably Japanese one as it has a sweeter taste
- 1 stalk scallion
- 2 tbsp Neutral flavor oil
Fish sauce mix
- 1 tbsp vegan fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- Juice from ¼ a lime
- sesame seeds or peanuts optional topping
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bird-eyed Thai chili
- Cut the eggplant in half, score each half in a criss-cross pattern.
- Grill the eggplant on a pan/ griller for about 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove from heat when both sides are charred and the eggplant becomes softened.
- Finely dice the green onions, chili and garlic.
- Make the hot oil by heating up 2 tbsp oil in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or on a pan/pot. Pan/pot technique: the oil is ready when you put one chopstick in it and the oil sizzles.
- In a bowl, add the green onions pieces, then gradually pour in the hot oil.
- Make the nuoc mam cham (Vietnamese fish sauce mix) by combining vegan fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, minced garlic and chilli in a bowl. Mix well until the sugar dissolves.
- On a plate, add in the grilled eggplant, then drizzle on top the scallion oil and fish sauce mix. Sprinkle with the optional sesame seeds and chopped peanuts!