Home > Rica Rodo (Manadonese Spicy Eggplant with Corn, Long Beans, and Basil)

Rica Rodo (Manadonese Spicy Eggplant with Corn, Long Beans, and Basil)

Posting Date: 07/22/22

Rica Rodo (Manadonese Spicy Eggplant with Corn, Long Beans, and Basil)

Rica Rodo (Manadonese Spicy Eggplant with Corn, Long Beans, and Basil) originated in Manado, North Sulawesi. Dishes from this region are normally spicy and thus, this dish is also spicy. However, you can reduce the heat by adjusting the amount of sambal oelek or fresh red chili peppers used. For the recipe, I make it medium heat. To make it mild, reduce the amount of sambal oelek to 1 tablespoon. This dish is really good to serve with rice because the rice tempers down the heat from chili peppers and also absorbs the delicious flavor of the spice paste and kaffir lime leaves.

I use sambal oelek in the recipe because sometimes I am not able to find fresh red chili peppers in the Asian stores. On the other hand, sambal oelek can be found in all local grocery stores at the Asian aisle. So, I always have a jar of sambal oelek in my fridge ready to use as a substitution for red chili peppers. I also use chicken bouillon in the recipe. If you are a vegetarian, skip the chicken bouillon or use vegetable bouillon instead.

People who don't like eggplants really like this dish even though they know it has eggplants. This is because the spice paste and kaffir lime leaves provide a lot of flavor. In addition, corn kernels add sweet flavor to the dish and make it balance. So, this is the dish you should try if you like eggplants but your friends or family don't like them and you want them to be able to enjoy it with you. For meat eaters, feel free to add meat if desired. Shrimp works really well with the spices used in this recipe. If you are a vegetarian and want to add protein, you can use tofu and it works really well. Fry the tofu first until light golden brown before making the dish. Add tofu to the pan when you add the corn into the pan.

The recipe serves 2-3 people.


  • For spice paste: 4 cloves of garlic, halved
  • For spice paste: 3 small or 1 large size shallot, quartered
  • For spice paste: 2 tablespoons sambal oelek. Two tablespoons of sambal oelek make it medium heat. If you want to make it mild, reduce it to 1 tablespoon. Instead of using sambal oelek, you can use fresh red chili peppers if you can find them in Asian stores.
  • For spice paste: 1" fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil,
  • 1 lemongrass, white part smashed with back of knife and green part discarded
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, edge of leaves torn to release flavor. You can use either frozen or fresh kaffir lime leaves. You can substitute kaffir lime leaves with 1 teaspoon of lime zests if you cannot find kaffir lime leaves at Asian stores.
  • 2 Chinese eggplants, diced
  • 1 fresh corn, kernels cut from cob. You can also use 1/3 cup of frozen corn kernels. Make sure you thaw the frozen corn kernels and drain the liquid before using them.
  • Optional: 1 chicken bouillon. If you are a vegetarian, skip chicken bouillon or use vegetable bouillon instead.
  • 5-6 tablespoons water. Use 5 tablespoons first. If it is too dry, add 1 more tablespoon of water.
  • 7 long beans, cut to 1" long. If you cannot find long beans, you can use green beans instead.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 20 basil leaves


  1. Put garlic, shallots, ginger, and sambal oelek in a food processor. Pulse food processor until the spices becomes smooth paste.
  2. Pour 2 tablepoons of vegetable oil on a pan. Heat oil on a medium heat. Add spice paste, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves into the pan. Saute until it becomes aromatic. Add dice eggplants into the pan. Stir fry them for 1 min to make sure they are coated with the spice paste. Add corn kernels and stir fry until eggplants are half cooked. Add chicken bouillon, 5 tablespoons water, and long beans. If it is too dry, add 1 more tablespoon of liquid. Stir the liquid. Add salt and pepper into the pan and stir fry the vegetable. Make sure chicken bouillon is dissolved during cooking. Once long beans are tender-crisp, taste the food and add more seasoning if needed. Add basil leaves and stir the pan. Remove from the heat. Discard lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Transfer to a serving plate.
  3. Serve with warm rice.

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