Easy Eats: Loaded larb eggplant with brown rice

2:20 pm on 24 April 2024
Easy Eats: Sam Parish's Eggplant Larb

Sam Parish shows how to jazz up eggplants with a citrus-heavy mince medley. Photo: Sam Parish

Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 30 minutes

Here's a way to jazz up eggplants, which are plentiful at the moment, into one of my all-time favourite meals. Larb is a citrus-drunk mince medley that has a powerhouse of flavour in every bite.

I've gone for chicken mince here, but pork mince could work well too. Limes make an appearance but feel free to sub in with lemon or rice wine vinegar. It’s the kind of dish you’ll go back for again and again for and loaded with veggies to get a hit of health mid-week.


  • 1 eggplant, halved and scored
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice 
  • ½ head of broccoli, shaved 
  • 2 spring onions, white and green part thinly sliced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 ½ Tbsp each dark soy sauce and oyster sauce
  • 1 heaped tbsp crunchy peanut butter 
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce 
  • Juice of 2 limes 
  • Handful of coriander


Heat the oven to 200C. Halve the eggplant and score the inside with a sharp knife. Grease and line a baking tray with foil and drizzle with half the oil. Add eggplant, score side down. Bake for 30 minutes or until softened and cooked through. 

Meanwhile, place brown rice in a saucepan and cover with 2 ½ cups (625ml) of water (or enough to cover by 2cm). Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Then cover and reduce to low heat and cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through and absorbed all the water. 

Heat remaining oil in a large frypan, wok or cast-iron pan over high heat. Add white onion and garlic and cook for one minute or until aromatic. Add mince and cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. Add sauces and peanut butter and stir to coat and combine. Add broccoli and cook for a further 3 minutes or until tender. 

Remove from heat and add fish sauce and lime juice and season to taste. 

To serve, spoon brown rice onto a serving platter, add eggplant and use scissors to cut and break up slightly to cover rice. Spoon over larb and scatter with coriander and sliced green spring onion to serve. 


An image of Christchurch-based food writer and chef Sam Parish. Sam is wearing a brown and white checked jumpsuit and sitting next to a stack of cookbooks.

Photo: Sam Parish

Sam Parish is a Christchurch-based chef, writer and food stylist. Her food philosophy is ‘maximum of flavour, minimum of fuss’ (MOFMOF), which means she’s all about cooking smarter, not harder. She’ll be sharing delicious, fast, family-friendly food ideas every Wednesday (after road-testing them on her own whānau, of course). Sam’s first book, Cook Me is out now.

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