Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl

Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl can get your on table faster than you can dial up and order from your favorite takeout joint and the taste can’t be compared.  Skip the menu and dust off your wok for this Thai inspired weeknight meal. 

Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen | Healthy and delicious Thai inspired quick weeknight meal with ground pork and baby eggplant.

I have not been able to cook for the last 3 days and it’s driving me a little nutty.  On Saturday, we were putting some clean pots back on the stovetop (little apartment, no where else to store them) and suddenly the oven started clicking – click, click, click, click.  Braden and I both looked at each other, then the stove, then each other and was like ugh we hope it doesn’t explode on us.  The first thing was to light each pilot but the clicking continued.  So we opened up the stovetop to see the igniter light clicking.  The oven was unplugged, a deep cleaned happened – as according to my Google research this could fix the problem and still click, click, click click.

Now technically the oven still worked but for 1) the sounds annoying and 2) my paranoia got the best of me and I was afraid there would be a big kaboom if we did cook.  It’s not like it was a gas issue but I didn’t feel the need to give the sparks any extra fuel, if you know what I mean.  Of course this all had to happen over a holiday weekend.

Part of me, really wants the stove to be fixed in a flash by our super.  Part of me really wants a new better quality stove but I also really want to start cooking again.

Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl |

Before the entire stove issue, I was on a end of summer produce cooking marathon and I was visiting all the countries while I was at it.  One night was a test recipe for souvlaki meatballs <—- so good and I can’t wait to remake those.  Another was just using up every tomato in my house that was just slightly past their prime for a fresh tomato sauce with pasta.

Then there was this Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl.  I can’t resist cute vegetables, especial miniature ones.  One of my favorite stalls at the Union Square farmers market had about 4 or 5 varieties of baby eggplant and there was no doubt in my mind that they were coming home with me.  At the time, I didn’t know what I would do with them but inspiration struck to go Thai inspired with them.   What I love about the baby eggplants in that they have less seeds and tend to be a little less bitter.  I still salted these guys up but for not as long as I did for my eggplant parmesan pasta.

While your rice is cooking away, everything else gets tossed into the wok and should finish up around the same time for a simple, change of pace weeknight meal.

Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl |

Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl
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  • 1lb ground pork
  • 6-7 baby eggplants (about 1 small pint)
  • 2 carrots, cut to julienne
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thai chile or 1/2 jalapeno, minced (remove seeds for a little less heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup Thai or regular basil, torn
  • Jasmine rice - cooked according to the package directions


  1. Cut the baby eggplant in quarters and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Start cooking the rice according to the packages directions.
  3. In a wok over medium heat drizzle 1 tablespoon grapeseed or avocado oil and add the minced garlic and jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the ground pork and break up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook until the pork is browned and no longer pink throughout.
  4. At this point the eggplant should have sat long enough, wipe any moisture away with a paper towel and add to the wok with the carrots. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, cane sugar and lime juice and pour into the wok - making sure to coat everything.
  6. Cover the wok to steam the eggplant for 10 minutes or until it's tender.
  7. Sprinkle the top with the torn basil leaves.
  8. Serve with a bowl of rice and then the pork and eggplant scooped on top.
  9. Makes about 4 servings.
Recipe Type: Main, Vegetables

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Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl |

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5 thoughts on “Thai Pork and Eggplant Rice Bowl

  1. Kirsten

    Yikes, Susan!
    This house is my first home-I’ve-owned for more than a year (and that was really kinda more like a renter, I was young and foolish) and we installed a gas stove.
    I’ve lived in places with gas before, but the production that running the line from the front of the furnace room to the kitchen and hooking up the stove was very scary.
    Then the power went out, and I could not believe I could just use a match to light my stove without blowing the place up. I made the kids and dogs go outside the first time I tried it.

    I’ve come a long way since then, but clicking? That would wig me right back out!

    This bowl looks like an excellent way to enjoy the eggplant in our farm share. We’re still getting plenty of it!

  2. Penny

    Looks awesome. Baby eggplants are not available where I live. Can I use just a small (ostrich egg size) eggplant and cut it into chunks? If so, do I leave the skin on or peel it?

    1. Susan Palmer Post author

      Thanks Penny! I see no reason why you can’t substitute this with another type of eggplant. You may want to salt them for a little longer to get the bitterness out and cooking time may vary (although I’d just cube it up small). Peeling really depends on your preference, if you don’t mind it, keep it on, if you aren’t a fan then go ahead and peel it off.


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