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Terong Balado - Eggplants with Chili Sauce

Hot and spicy terong balado (eggplants with chili sauce) just like the one you get in a decent Padang restaurant.
Ingredients for Terong Balado - Eggplants with Chili Sauce
Ingredients for Terong Balado - Eggplants with Chili Sauce

Walk into any decent Padang restaurant, and you will be greeted with mountains of delicious food of your choosing. I’m talking rendang sapi, gulai nangka, soto Padang, kalio ayam, ayam pop, ayam bakar, sambal lado, and yup, balado.

Balado is a red hot spicy sauce that you can use to stir fry all kind of food, with prawns, squids, eggs, potatoes, and eggplants being the most popular choice. I’ll share with you how to prepare terong balado (eggplants with chili sauce) in this recipe, but feel free to use it any way you like it.

Terong Balado - Eggplants with Chili Sauce
Terong Balado - Eggplants with Chili Sauce

How to prepare eggplants for a balado

For terong balado, you want to use Chinese eggplants, which are more slender and have softer skin compared to regular US eggplants.

The first thing to do is to remove the stems from the eggplants, then cut into bite-size wedges, and soaked in salty cold water to prevent the flesh from turning brown.

Next step is to deep fry eggplants for 1 to 2 minutes to bring out the color.

The final step is to cook the balado sauce and then stir fry the deep fried eggplants in the sauce.

You will want plenty of steamed white rice to go with your terong balado. Enjoy! ♥

Terong Balado - Eggplants with Chili Sauce

5.0 from 12 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 4 Chinese eggplants (about 750 gram)
  • 8 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 50 gram palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 20 gram tamarind, dissolve with 2 cups of warm water
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 40 gram fresh red chilies (fresno, or bird-eye, or a mix of the two), seeded if you want less heat
  • 100 gram shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoon salt


  1. Quarter eggplants lengthwise and cut into bite size pieces. Soak in cold water that has been sprinkled with plenty of salt to prevent eggplant flesh from turning into brown color.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a wok on high heat. Pat dry eggplants and fry for about 2 minutes to bring out the color. Drain over a wire rack to remove excess oil, and set aside.
  3. Remove the oil from the wok and leave about 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat the oil and stir fry the spice paste until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour the tamarind juice and add the palm sugar. Boil for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Toss in the fried eggplants and boil again for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Dedy@Dentist Chef Dedy@Dentist Chef says:

    This Padangnese style augberine is my kinda grown up meals..... Since i'm loving gastronomie innovation, i would love to add some szechuan peppercorn too within the balado sauce...

    • Anita Anita says:

      The Szechuan peppercorn sounds amazing, but I am actually quite scared of the numbing effect they have. Though it hasn't stopped me from consuming insane amount of mapo tofu, which of course has plenty of those. :P

  • Stuart Stuart says:

    Anita, tried you recipe and it worked really well, tasty and simple. Have also tried it with Szechuan pepper (powdered, approx. one and a half teaspoons) and it was very good. The eggplant I used was the long Lebanese type. keep up the good work

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Stuart, thank you for your feedback :) I am happy you like the recipe.

  • Steph Steph says:

    Tried this yesterday, I added some red bell peppers because my husband doesn’t really like spicy food. I added too much tamarind, because I used the puree one from the jar and I didn’t know how much I should use. So it’s more like sweet and sour eggplants 😆. Nevertheless, my husband liked it, and I loved it too! I will use less tamarind next time and it’ll be perfect!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Thank you for trying out the recipe Steph! I never use tamarind puree before, so I don't know how strong it is compared to wet seedless tamarind that I use regularly. I read that the puree (concentrate) version is much stronger, and I suspect that's why you end up with the strong sourness. :)

  • plant.well plant.well says:

    I am always looking for new eggplant recipes and this one looks so creative and unique! Can't wait to try it!

  • Jillian Jillian says:

    The colors and the flavors of this recipe are amazing! This is a dish I have never tried but has been put to the top of my "Must Try List"!

  • Valentina Valentina says:

    This is my favorite eggplant variety and I am loving your mouth-watering, beautiful photos. I am absolutely bookmarking and making this one. Really lovely.

  • Hope Pearce Hope Pearce says:

    I am always looking for new ways to cook eggplant. This looks fabulous - I bet it has so much flavour!

  • Gabi Rupp Gabi Rupp says:

    I've never heard of this side dish but your wonderful presentation makes me curious enough to give it a try. I can imagine that "Terong balado" is also a great dish to prepare for a picnic.

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    This looks like a great recipe. We have been trying to do more meatless dinners. This will be perfect. Thank you!

  • Irina Irina says:

    I would like to try your recipe, but I am unfamiliar with Chinese eggplants. I am curious if I could try to use regular eggplants. The meal sounds fantastic:)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Irina, you can definitely try using regular globe eggplants more commonly found in the US, but please go by weight measurement since Chinese eggplants weigh less. :)

  • Adrianne Adrianne says:

    Another cool recipe from you Anita and I have never seen these eggplants before!! Thanks for the insight as always.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Thanks, Adrianne! Chinese eggplants are usually only sold in Asian markets. You can substitute with regular globe eggplants too, though you probably only need 2 instead of 4, but please go with weight measurement just to be safe. :)

  • Farah Abumaizar Farah Abumaizar says:

    I love eggplant and this looks like such a great exotic way to enjoy it! Thanks for the step by step recipe!

  • Bry Bry says:

    This was such a tasty recipe! I love Aubergine and had never thought ot prepare them this way, but I'll definitely be making it again - so yummy!

  • Putu Putu says:

    Hi.. This is a food that i grew up with... I love your recipe but i think adding some shrimp paste (blacan/terasi) would boost the flavour up more!!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I was aiming to keep the recipe vegetarian, but you are right, Putu. Adding some terasi will make this balado even more flavorful. :)

  • Anna Anna says:

    What is 'wet seedless tamarind' look like? The link brings me to Amazon. On the page there are many types of Tamarind. The recipe says to disolve it in 2 cups of water. Is it the sauces in the jars?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Anna, the one I use usually come in a see-through plastic packaging. It's like a block of pressed tamarind. When you want to use it, just use a clean spoon or knife to chip off the needed amount from the big block.

      Let me give you some links for example:
      - https://amzn.to/3DCKeDE : This is what my neighborhood Asian market sells
      - https://amzn.to/3J6Bd6X : This one has very high rating in Amazon

      I am guessing you can also use the one that comes from jar (usually labeled as concentrate), but I've never used concentrate before, so I'm not sure the amount to use.

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