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Terong Balado (Eggplant in Spicy Chili Sauce)

Posting Date: 03/03/16

Terong Balado (Eggplant in Spicy Chili Sauce)

Terong Balado (Eggplant in Spicy Chili Sauce) originated from Padang, the western part of Sumatra island in Indonesia. The dishes from that region are always spicy and hot. There are many variations of balado (spicy chili sauce). It can be made using hard boiled egg, eggplant, or shrimp. It is good to eat with warm rice. For this recipe, I make the Terong Balado (Eggplant in Spicy Chili Saucce) variation. Since it is hard to find red chili pepper in the stores, I use sambal oelek. Sambal oelek is made of red chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. Since the color of the peppers used is red, I use it as a substitute for recipes that are supposed to use red chili peppers in the ingredients. The red color in the chili peppers is the one that makes the food looks red and appealing. That's why I want to keep it the same appearance. In addition, sambal oelek doesn't have garlic or any other spices in the ingredients, so this makes it a suitable replacement for red chili peppers. There are many different types of eggplants. In Indonesia, Chinese eggplants are used. However, if you cannot find it, you can use Japanese or Italian eggplants. I couldn't find them in the store, so I used American eggplants. If you use, American eggplants, you only need to use 1; otherwise, you will need 3 Chinese, Japanese, or Italian eggplants. Since American eggplants have wider diameter, I first cut it in half lengthwise and then cut that half another half. Depending on the diameter of the eggplant, you may need to cut it another half. The important thing is each cut must be the same size so that cooking time will be the same. In addition, each cut must have the eggplant skin. Otherwise, it will be too mushy.

For this recipe, I only use 1 tablespoon of sambal oelek. You can add more if you like it hot. If you don't like it hot, you can reduce the amount. Terong Balado is normally served with warm rice and other meat dishes, such as Beef Rendang. The rice cuts the spiciness of the chili sauce.


  • 1 medium size shallot, quartered (roughly chopped). It will be processed in food processor.
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut in half. It will be processed on food processor.
  • 1 Roma tomato, quartered (roughly chopped). It will be processed in food processor.
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (adjust quantity according to your preference: hot or mild). I use Huy Fong brand for sambal oelek since they don't add shrimp paste or garlic to it and thus, I got the chili pepper I need without any other flavors I don't want.
  • 3 Japanese, Chinese, or Italian eggplants. If you cannot find neither, use 1 American eggplant. If using Japanese, Chinese, or Italian eggplants, cut it in half lengthwise. Then cut each half into 1" length so that each piece will be the same size. Make sure each piece has eggplant skin so that it won't be too mushy during cooking. If using American eggplant, cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the half in another half. You may need to cut it another half so that the piece will not be too wide to eat
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste


  1. Grind shallot, garlic, tomato, and sambal oelek in food processor until they become smooth paste. Set the spice paste aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Use just enough vegetable oil to fry eggplant pieces since they have the tendency to soak up oil. Fry eggplant pieces until the white part are slightly light brown. They don't need to be fully cooked since they will finish cooking with the spice paste later. Once they are light brown, remove them and place them on a plate lined with paper towel.
  3. If the pan has excess oil, pour it out to heat resistant container.
  4. Heat 1.5 tablespoons of vegetable in the same pan.
  5. Add spice paste to the pan and saute it until it becomes fragrant and you can taste that shallot is cooked.
  6. Add fried eggplant pieces to the pan. Toss them so that they are covered with spice paste. Add sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir fry eggplant pieces and let them cook until they are cooked to your texture preference. I don't like them too mushy, so I normally cook them until they are between tender crisp and soft. Other people might like them softer, so always cook them to your preference.
  7. Remove them once cooked and serve them with warm rice.

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