¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. water
1 T. white vinegar
1 T. Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce ( tuong ot toi) or sriracha
1 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ c. canola oil, plus extra for pans
12 small leeks or fewer, if larger, well washed
3½ LB total eggplant
Salt and black pepper
1½ c. loosely packed cilantro leaves and sprigs, plus about 12 sprigs for garnish, if desired
Chopped roasted peanuts, optional

Make the dressing: stir soy sauce, sugar, water and vinegar together until sugar dissolves. Stir in chili sauce and lime juice, taste and adjust the seasonings. There should be a good balance of sweet, salty, tangy and hot.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Trim dark green tops off leeks and discard. Leaving stem ends intact, cut leeks in half lengthwise with the tip of a sharp knife. Place cut side down on prepared pan, drizzle with 2 T. oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, until soft and charred in spots, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside to soften.

Trim stem ends off eggplants and discard. Cut eggplants into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, toss pieces with remaining 2 T. oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Oil the baking pan again. (Use 2 if needed to prevent crowding.) Spread eggplant on pans and roast, turning pieces once or twice, until soft, browned and charred in spots, about 15 minutes total.

When eggplant is cool enough to handle, transfer to a serving bowl. Cut leeks crosswise into 1" pieces, discarding stem ends, and add to eggplant. Lightly chop cilantro and add.
Stir dressing and pour half over the salad, tossing gently until evenly coated. Taste and add more dressing, salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and chopped peanuts, if using.

Serves: 6-8