Roasted eggplants are smothered in umami spicy sambal. Just make sure you have plenty of rice when you make this sambal terong bakar.
I’m guilty of not cooking eggplants enough. I love eggplants and my recent cravings for anything sambal landed us on this sambal terong bakar. Terong/Terung is eggplant in Indonesian language. Sambal is a super popular condiment in Indonesia and usually goes with pretty much anything. The varieties of sambal itself are countless.
This is one of my mom’s favorite dish. My mom used to deep-fry the eggplants. Eggplants are like sponges. They absorb everything! So the fried eggplants are often very greasy. I used to steam them but I find that roasting them is actually gives better result. The inside are mushy and no longer spongey and it’s such an easy way of cooking eggplants. No wrapping and poking AT ALL too !
Nowadays I like to use store-bought sambal oelek as a base of my sambal. It’s a shortcut for me and the husband seems to be digging it too.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 cup sambal oelek
- 30 gr small dried shrimp (soaked in warm water) optional
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat oven at 350 F. Rinse the eggplant with clean water and pat dry. Place on a baking sheet and place inside the oven, 3rd rack from the top and let it roast for 1 hour. No poking or wrapping the eggplant required. Just leave it as is
- At the end of one hour, the eggplant will be wrinkled and soft to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave it in the oven while you are preparing the sambal
Making the sambal
- Preheat your skillet with cooking oil. Add the dried shrimp and cook for about 1 minute. Add the bay leaves and cook for another 10 seconds then add the sambal oelek and sugar. The color will darken slightly. You can add a little bit of water if it's a bit too thick
- Get the eggplant out from the oven and cut into half vertically and then half again so you get 4 long pieces. Place on serving platter. Pour the sambal on top of the eggplant and serve immediately
In reality, when I serve this, the eggplants are covered with sambal. For photography purpose though, I didn’t because it will just look like a huge blob of red on the photos. I want to be able to still see the eggplants. So I just carefully spoon the sambal over the eggplants.