Thai Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing

And Nigel Slater said eggplants can’t be steamed!

Thai Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing

A very simple and easy recipe for a lovely snack on its own, with rice or part of a larger Thai meal. Ottolenghi has published a Japanese recipe that is nearly identical (see  Ottolenhi’s version) some years after this one post appeared. It shows how wide spread dishes can be over Asia, retaining similar characteristics with regional variations.

You might also like to cook Kerala Eggplant in Coconut, Saffron and Rosewater Scented Eggplant, Eggplants, Sultanas and Pinenuts, or Steamed Thai Eggplants and Zucchini. Browse all of our Eggplant Recipes here and here, and all of our Asian recipes here and here.

Thai Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing

Steamed Eggplant in Sesame-Soy Sauce

Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 2 – 4 people, depending how you use it

2 long eggplants
2 Tblspn Chinese light soy sauce
1 Tspn toasted sesame oil
1 tspn rice vinegar
0.5 tspn ground dried red chillies, or chop a fresh red chilli very finely
1 tspn grated fresh ginger
0.5 clove garlic, chopped very finely
1 tspn sugar
0.5 tspn toasted white sesame seeds

Trim off the stem end of the eggplants. Cut them crosswise into pieces about 3 – 4cm in length.

Place the eggplant slices onto a steamer rack and steam over medium-high heat for 6-10 minutes, or until they are cooked to the tenderness of your liking. Don’t leave too long, as they will become very mushy, but do make sure that they are cooked through.

While the eggplants are steaming, make the sauce by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, ground dried chillies, garlic, ginger and sugar. Stir well to blend flavours.

Remove the eggplants from the steamer and slice each piece in half lengthwise and each half again into 2-3 long strips. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a serving plate. Spoon the sesame-soy sauce evenly over the eggplant pieces, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. You can also garnish with green coriander/cilantro.

Good served warm, cold or at room temperature.

Thai Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing
recipe notes
If you only have the larger, egg shaped eggplant, slice in two lengthwise, and proceed as above.

I have made it without the garlic and it is still wonderful.


Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

15 thoughts on “Thai Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Soy Dressing”

  1. I sear the eggplants before adding other flavours. For this particular dish, I prefer peeling their skins too. Next time I will try steaming.

    Hi Suganya, I love braised eggplant too. Steaming is quite a lot gentler, and allows a greater absorption of the flavours. Don’t over-steam and have them falling apart. You might like to peel the eggplant too, although I don’t mind the skin.

    I don’t eat Chinese style dishes as often as I used to, and this was a delight to make.

  2. Never had eggplants with sesame and soy, wonder how it tastes, Am gonna try this out, thnx for sharing!

    I hope you get to try it Mona. Have a look at this dish also – another eggplant and sesame dish.

  3. Thanks so much for the comment – I really do love the marmalade, and now you’re tempting me with eggplant – alas we won’t have really good eggplant in my neck of the woods for many months.

    This has been added to my must try binder. With some steamed brown rice it’ll make a great summer meal.

    It would be fabulous with steamed rice and some stir fried greens. Glad I found your site – I will visit often.

  4. I love your photos, they look very professional and attractive. 🙂

    I like my eggplant fried with [] chilli. Yum-O!


    Hi Amsiewong, so lovely to have you here.
    Hope you don’t mind, but because I don’t eat fish or animals and prefer not to promote it for others, I slightly edited your comment.

  5. Hey, that was how my dad cooks them when we were kids! He would fry some minced garlic too and drizzle them on top with the soy sauce mixture so you get that crunch and aroma of garlic with every bite. It’s great to see this recipe here 🙂

    I love that idea of fried minced garlic with the eggplant! Yum.

    I am glad that I brought back memories of your childhood and your dad cooking for you.

  6. Followed this recipe closely, except I used:
    more garlic
    and I used
    poppy seeds insteadof white sesame.

    I used Ping Tung Longs and Korean Long Blacks.

    Unspeakably good. Thanks loads for this recipe.

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