Asian Eggplant with Pork (Pad Ma Kua Yao)

Salted soybean or soybean paste is the key player in this dish. Peppers can be omitted entirely if desired.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 oz. ground pork
  • 2 small Serrano peppers, seeded and cut lengthwise in thin slivers
  • 3 Asian eggplants, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. soybean paste
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • ½ cup whole Thai sweet basil leaves


  • Heat a wok or deep sauté pan until hot. Add oil and fry garlic over medium heat until fragrant and brown, about 10 seconds. Add pork and stir, breaking up the pork. Sauté for 1 minute. Add chopped peppers. Sauté for a few more seconds and add eggplant. Add chicken stock and sauté until eggplants are soft, about 3–5 minutes.
  • Add soybean paste; stir and mix well. Add sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce. There should be a little bit of sauce left once the eggplants are done. Add basil and stir for a few seconds until soft.