Solanum melongena, Family Solanaceae
Also known as: Thai Baby Eggplant, Thai Eggplant, Thai Green Eggplant
Thai eggplant ranges in colour from all green to green and white stripes to white, purple or yellow. It is commonly the size of a golf ball or smaller and more or less round in shape although oblong ones are also available.
The flesh is white with many small seeds. The skin is tender with a delicate flavour. The eggplant fruit is always eaten in its immature state, when glossy and colourful. When mature, the flesh becomes bitter and stringy and the seeds become hard and bitter.
Eggplants keep only a couple days after picking. and are mostly cooked in curries, soups or stews, but can be eaten raw, in salads and is very crunchy and somewhat bitter. Thai eggplant is very popular in cuisines of India, Thailand, and Vietnam. They can also be canned.
Some of the cultivars are Thai Purple, Thai Green, Thai Yellow, and Thai White. Here are examples of some varieties
- Eggplant is often used in recipes as a meat substitute or to thicken and enhance the flavour of stews, curries and soups .
- Thai Eggplant may also be stir-fried, grilled or cooked as tempura (sliced, batter-dipped and deep fried).
- They can also be eaten raw in Thai salads or with Thai chilli pastes.
- Do not peel, simply cut off the stem and calyx, quarter or halve the eggplant and add to the recipe, following instructions.
- They are often halved or quartered but can also be cooked whole.
- Although seedy, the flesh of Thai eggplant softens quickly and absorbs flavours well.
- Availability: They are available all the year round.