The bitter eggplant or cà đắng is a local Vietnamese name for the green striped eggplant that might be found in some nearby countries’ cuisine. This vegetable is particularly popular among the minority communities like Ê Đê, K’Ho, M’Nông, J’rai in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. A smaller bitter eggplant version, the pea eggplant (Solanum torvum, Vietnamese: cà đắng bi, cà nút áo) is also used.
This bitter eggplant soup consists of:
Unlike most other Vietnamese soups which are clear and watery, this bitter eggplant soup is rather thick in texture. It is served with hot rice.
In a pot, add the eggplants, pork belly, and pour the pork stock or just water if you don't have. Add 4-5 bird's eye chillis, cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, uncovered, for about 6 mins. Add the cassava leaves or banana blossoms and cook for 4-5 mins. Season with the prepared soup paste.
You can also use more spices such as galangal root, white cinnamon depending on your preference to make a spice mixture.
Use banana blossoms or similar veggies if you do not have cassava leaves
If you have pork stock, just ignore msg.
Chicken can be substituted for pork belly.