Indonesian Eggplant (Brinjal Goreng)

Fantastic and colorful Indonesian Eggplant (Brinjal Goreng) is easy to prepare and a great vegetable dish to add to your culinary repertoire. Eggplant, also known as aubergine, garden egg and brinjal, is one of the most versatile vegetables and popular around the world; and yes, it’s actually a fruit.  Indonesian Eggplant (Brinjal Goreng) is normally quite spicy and hot.  We’ve toned down the heat a bit but feel free to increase it to your taste.  Indonesian Eggplant (Brinjal Goreng) is great served as a side dish with Balinese Pork Kerrie Ketjap or Indonesian Chicken (Satay Ayam) or other grilled meats or fish.  Indonesian Eggplant also makes a delicious main course accompanied by fresh, hot rice. Leftovers, if any, will keep refrigerated for a day or two, but the flavor will decrease significantly and its vibrant color will diminish too, so eat up!

Indonesian Eggplant

Prep Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4


  • 1 lb Eggplant*
  • 4 Tbs. Cooking Oil (Peanut/Canola Oil blend recommended)
  • 1 Tb Shallots, minced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 Tbs Sambal Oelek**
  • 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves***, rinsed, central rib removed and minced
  • 1 tsp Dried Shrimp Powder
  • 1 tsp Sugar (granulated or palm)
  • 1 tsp Coarse Sea Salt


  1. Trim the stem and blossom end from the eggplant and cut into ¾-inch cubes (European eggplant) or ½-inch thick slices (Japanese eggplant) or halved (Thai eggplant).
  2. In a wok or wide sauté pan, heat the cooking oil over a high heat. Add the eggplant and sauté until it is golden brown.
  3. Add the shallots and garlic to the wok and stir fry for an additional minute or two. Transfer the eggplant/shallot/garlic mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the sambal oelek, kaffir lime leaves, dried shrimp powder, sugar and sea salt to the wok and stir fry until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
  5. Gently fold the eggplant/shallot/garlic mixture into the seasonings in the wok, stir to mix and heat through, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a bowl. I usually prepare this prior to other dishes and just keep it covered in a bowl until ready to serve as it allows time for the flavors to develop and really tastes better warm and not hot right out of the wok.

Indonesian Eggplant


*There are lots of varieties of eggplant. The most commonly available in western supermarkets is the standard large dark purple European variety.  There are also the slender dark purple Japanese eggplant and the smaller, oval dark purple Thai eggplant.  Any of these varieties would work well in this recipe.

**Sambal Oelek is available in the Asian foods section of the supermarket. The five tablespoons of Sambal Oelek in this recipe results in a pleasant heat level for the finished dish without overwhelming the delicate eggplant’s taste and the other seasonings.  Feel free to increase it if you like.

***Kaffir Lime Leaves are available fresh or fresh/frozen in Asian specialty markets.  If unavailable, you can substitute the zest of 1 lime.

Indonesian Eggplant