Thai eggplant (Thai: มะเขือ, RTGS: makhuea) is the name for several varieties of eggplant used in Southeast Asian cuisines, most often of the eggplant species Solanum melongena. They are also cultivated in India and Sri Lanka and feature in Sri Lankan cuisine. These golf ball sized eggplants are commonly used in Thai cuisine, Indonesian cuisine, and in Cambodian Cuisine. Some of the cultivars in Thailand are Thai Purple, Thai Green, Thai Yellow, and Thai White.
The green-white varieties of Thai eggplants are essential ingredients in Thai curry dishes such as in kaeng tai pla, green and red curry. They are often halved or quartered, but can also be used whole, and cooked in the curry sauce where they become softer and absorb the flavor of the sauce. They are also eaten raw in Thai salads or with Thai chili pastes (nam phrik).
Sometimes, in Thai restaurants outside of Thailand, Thai eggplants are replaced by locally available eggplants.
In Cambodian cuisine, they are often served raw with dipping sauce or cooked in stews. One of the most popular Cambodian steak sauces known as tuk prahok is made with the green-white variety (Khmer: ត្រប់ស្រួយ, romanized: trob sruoy).
The flowers of the Thai eggplant
The fruit of the Thai eggplant. The white residue on the leaves is common.
A purple-white type of eggplant used in Thailand
Kaeng tai pla with Thai eggplants and bamboo shoots
The eggplants are often eaten raw in Thailand, for instance in som tam Lao
Phla nuea makhuea on is a Thai salad of medium rare beef and nearly raw sliced Thai eggplant
Yellow and white makhuea pro (Thai eggplant) in the background, fritters made from makhuea muang (purple eggplant) in the foreground, served with nam phrik kapi, a chili paste containing makhuea phuang (Thai pea-sized eggplants)
- List of Thai ingredients
- Solanum torvum (RTGS: makhuea phuang) for the pea-sized eggplants used in Thai cuisine; sometimes substituted by green peas outside of Thailand
- Lao eggplant for common cultivar types in Laos such as Lao Green Stripe, Lao Purple Stripe, Lao Lavender, and Lao White
- Vietnamese eggplant
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