Sunday, September 21, 2014

Summertime Favorites: Fried Eggplant

Fried eggplant intro photo
Enjoyable even without Parmesan
With summer here, there are plenty of delicious vegetables available, whether it be from a farmer's market or your own garden. Whenever I get my hands on some good zucchini or eggplant, one of my favorite ways to prepare them is pan frying. It might not be the healthiest way to enjoy them, but it certainly is one of the most delicious ways to eat your vegetables.
Materials to fry eggplant
Materials required for delicious fried treats

The easiest way to fry up eggplant is to use an egg-wash to coat slices in a flour/breadcrumb batter. I like mixing up the breadcrumbs in the flour as opposed to using only breadcrumbs as it provides full coverage of the slices while adding additional crunchiness.

Sliced eggplant
The slices are different sizes due to the shape of the eggplant. For more uniform slices, use Japanese eggplant.

Ideally the eggplant should be sliced to be between 1/8" to 1/4" thick. Any thicker and the eggplant won't cook too well. Any skinnier and you risk burning the coating.

Coating eggplant in flour
Simply dip the slices in the eggwash and then turn in the flour mixture.

The egg to eggplant ratio is usually 1:1, depending on the size of the eggplant. 1/4 cup of flour along with a good sprinkle of breadcrumbs is generally sufficient to coat the entire vegetable.

Starting to fry eggplant
Let's get frying!

Now while coating the eggplant, you should be warming up a pan with a small layer of vegetable oil to medium heat. There should be enough oil in the pan to cover at least half the thickness of the eggplant slices.

Fried eggplant halfway done
Turn occasionally

Using a tongs, turn the eggplant after 3 minutes or so. The eggplant is done once both sides of the coating turns a darker golden brown.

Frying eggplant almost done
This only appears too dark due to the flash.

Once cooked properly on both sides, transfer the eggplant to a plate lined with paper towel to remove any excess oil. It helps to lightly shake the eggplant over the pan first to drip off extra oil before placing on the paper towel.

Fried Eggplant hot off the pan
Caution: HOT

Now you're ready to eat some delicious eggplant. They can be topped and served with many different toppings, like Parmesan cheese or marinara sauce. Enjoy!

Fried Eggplant

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