ANSWERS: 12
  • Explain to them that 'soggy' was not the look you were going for... ;-)
  • Quick fry them in hot oil. They won't get oil soaked that way.
  • Retroglide is right. I was going to say that you need to start them off in very hot oil. Get the oil hot first. Wait till you see bubbles. It might also help to dip the eggplant in an egg wash and then some flour or corn meal before adding it to the oil. Let the vegetable get nice and crispy on one side before turning it over. At some point you can reduce the heat, but once it is crispy on both sides, it is really done.
  • Let the pieces sit on a paper towel for a few minutes before cooking. The paper towel will absorb most of the moisture.
  • sprinkle some salt on the pieces and let them sit on a paper towel for a bit before breading and cooking them to remove the water from them. then make sure your oil is hot enough so that the breading crisps up and the eggplant doesn't just soak up the grease.
  • The temperature of the oil you're frying the eggplant in MIGHT be too low. If you don't have a liquid-submersible (able to be put in hot fat or shortening) kitchen thermometer which registers as high as 400 degrees F., I strongly suggest you make the investment. If you have a kitchen thermometer, please use it. In order for foods to properly fry, you have to let the fat recover or come-back up to the desired frying temperature. The preferred or desired temperature is 350 to 375 degrees F. THE "secret" to any good-tasting eggplant dish is to get the eggplant to give-up or surrender that dark brown, bitter juice or liquor. This is what I do: To save as much of the eggplant as possible, cut-off the green/brown top and stem. I cut-off the top just below the end of those triangle-shaped leaves, which "hug" the eggplant's body. I also cut off the brown bottom or "belly button". If it's "an outie”, simply cut off that tip. "An innie", try to save as much of the eggplant as possible. Do your best to cut-off just that part. Use a potato peeler or vegetable peeler to peel the eggplant. After it's "topped", "bottomed" and peeled, you can cut it in strips or discs. You can also cut the eggplant in half, lengthwise and cut half-moons. Whichever shape you decide or the recipe calls for, do your best not to cut them any thicker than 1/4" to 1/2" thick. Once the eggplant is cut to the desired shapes and size, put the eggplant in a large strainer or colander. Then put that colander or strainer in a larger pan for the bitter liquid to drain away from the eggplant and into that larger pan. To begin the leeching process, sprinkle a little table salt on the eggplant. Put a plate, smaller than the colander or strainer on top of the salted eggplant. Weigh-down the eggplant and plate with a brick covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. If you don't have the brick or don't want to spend the money on a brick, fill a pot with water and put it on top of that plate. From the refrigerator shelf to the pot of water, this is the order you'll have the entire "Rube Goldberg-like" set-up (bottom to top): Refrigerator shelf Large Pan to act as the reservoir for the dark brown liquid. Salted eggplant. Plate. Pot of water or plastic-wrapped or aluminum foil-covered brick. Put this in the refrigerator and allow the salt, plate and the pot or brick to do the work they were intended for. This will take about 2 hours. (The longer, the better.) Sometimes I did it overnight. Discard that VERY bitter, dark brown liquid. Once the bitter juice is extracted from the eggplant, you can do anything you want with the eggplant. Wash the eggplant under cold water. Dry it with kitchen towels or paper towels. You can bread it then fry it or deep fry it. Saute it. Bake it. Make lasagna. Eggplant Parmesan. OR to get the proper size and thickness of the eggplant dish you are planning to make, Google "eggplant recipes". There IS A PROPER way to bread eggplant as well as almost all other foods. It's known as the standard breading procedure. You can use the very simple flour and bread crumbs method. Here's what you need to do. EGG WASH: Egg wash is about 2 to 3 parts water to each whole egg. Many cookbooks and recipes instruct using milk. In ALL my 26 years in the restaurant business, I NEVER, EVER used milk. I ALWAYS used cold tap water. Break your eggs in a large enough bowl to comfortably work with the eggplant. Using a wire whip or a fork, mix up very well the egg yolks and whites. Add the water and mix very well the well-beaten eggs and water. A] THE "secret" of breading: keep one hand wet and the other hand dry. In the beginning, this is much easier said than done. It doesn't make any difference whether you are right-handed or left-handed, the procedure is EXACTLY the same: THE ONLY difference is which side you place the flour, egg wash and plain, unseasoned bread crumbs. If you're right-handed, you want the left hand to be the wet hand. If you're left-handed, you want the right hand to be the wet hand. B] Using the wet hand, dredge a few slices or sticks of eggplant in all purpose flour. Coat with flour. Pick up some of the eggplant, shake off the excess flour. STILL with the wet hand, put the eggplant in the egg wash. STILL using the wet hand, pick up the eggplant. Allow the excess egg wash to drain from the eggplant and go back into the bowl with the rest of the egg wash. YOU ARE NOT going to get every drop of excess egg wash to drip back into the bowl. Doing this is a total waste of time. You want between 90% to 95% of the excess egg wash to drain. C] STILL using the wet hand, transfer the eggplant to the bread crumbs. Using the DRY hand, cover the eggplant with the bread crumbs and pat down the eggplant and bread crumbs. STILL using the dry hand, pick up the breaded eggplant and shake off the excess bread crumbs. Make sure ALL surfaces are coated with bread crumbs. Sometimes that portion you pick up with the dry hand will cause the bread crumbs to come off onto your hand and fingers. When this happens, simply turn the eggplant around and re-dip that exposed portion in the egg wash and cover it with bread crums. Transfer the fully breaded eggplant to a tray or dish. When breading more than one tray or dish or use wax paper or paper towels between the layers. This prevents the eggplant from sticking together and the coating from being pulled off one piece of eggplant and causing a mess. Here's the breading set-up: If you are right-handed: Looking at the set-up left to right Prepared Food to be Breaded Flour Egg wash Bread crumbs Pan for finished breaded food If you are left-handed: Looking at the set-up left to right Pan for finished breaded food Bread crumbs Egg wash Flour Prepared Food to be Breaded When you are finished breading, sift the bread crumbs and flour. Keep them in separate, marked plastic bags in your freezer. When you're ready to bread another product, you already have some bread crumbs and flour to begin with. When you're finished frying the eggplant, you can put those loose, uncooked bread crumbs in the bag with the bread crumbs. As far as the egg wash is concerned: It will keep in the refrigerator about 3 to 4 days. Unless you bread on a very frequent basis, discard the egg wash. In a deep pot or pan, put enough oil to be able to cover the eggplant. I prefer using corn oil or vegetable oil. This is very important: Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil to 350 degrees F. When the oil comes up to the temperature, GENTLY put some of the eggplant in the oil. When the oil is too hot, the outside looks beautiful, but the eggplant is not cooked. When the oil is not hot enough, the breading gets saturated with oil and the eye appeal is simply not there. The breaded eggplant "looks dead" - they look undercooked and are soggy. When you put too much eggplant in the oil, the temperature falls and the oil cools off. The breading has a tendency to "peel off" or fall away from the eggplant. When the eggplant is a beautiful golden brown, usually it's done. Using a heat-resistant spatula, tongs spider web-type strainer or strainer, remove the eggplant from the hot oil and let the excess oil drain. Put the eggplant on layered paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Allow the temperature to recover or come back. Repeat the procedure. Whe you finish frying the eggplant, turn off the fire under the oil. Allow the oil to cool. After the oil cools, pour off the good, clear oil. Throw out the browned and burned bread crumbs and oil which accumulated on the pan's bottom. You can use that clear oil again. You can add more, clear, fresh oil to the already-used oil. You might even be able to use it three or four times. Bread crumbs, the egg wash, flour and egg contain acid. The acid will begin having a chemical reaction with the oil. As the oil is being heated and comes up to temperature, there will come a time when the oil will begin to smoke. That should be a signal to discard the oil after that batch of food is fried. Thanks for asking your Q! I enjoyed answering it! VTY, Ron Berue Yes, that is my real last name! Sources: My wonderful family! Graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, New Haven, CT campus. Was in the Food and Beverage business over 26 years. "THE University of Hard Knocks" also known as ("a/k/a") "life's valuable lessons"
  • Try what Alton Brown does...wring them out. First lay thin slices on a rack and sprinkle with salt and wait 10-15 minutes, flip and repeat the salt and wait. Rinse them in cool water. Then you can wring them out of their moisture and the cell walls are broken down enough that the slice will stay together. Pat dry with paper. Now your slice is ready to use and it. Don't worry. It won't soak up liquid though you can get things to stick to it. For recipe ideas including yummy steaks from eggplant, check here: http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season5/Eggplant/EggplantTranscript.htm
  • when i cook eggplant i sweat it with sea salt for about a 1/2 hour before i cook it makes it stay crunchy because it absorbs the water
  • Definitely salt the pieces and let them set for a while on paper towel. The salt will absorb the moisture and add flavor. You want your oil really hot as well. You don't want those things sittin' in there forever, soaking up the oil! You can test if it's hot enough by getting your fingers a bit wet and flicking a few droplets of water into the pan. If it sizzles, it's all set to go :) Best of luck!
  • Aubergines/Eggplants are like sponges, they really soak up all the oil that you are using so try not to use too much make sure it's really hot and like everyone else has said, salt and drain before you fry them. I place them in a colander with a plate that will fit inside when I salt them to help squeeze out moisture.
  • Use black-skinned eggplants for better taste. Leave the skin on when you slice them lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt to draw the moisture out and then wash and strain like a towel each slice one after the other.Use heat-tolerant oil for frying, NOT olive oil.Use a pile of paper towels to remove excess frying oil from the fried eggplant slices.
  • like the rest of the answers...Salt it for a bit to help draw out the water and take away the bitterness, rinse and dry, egg wash and bread, then fry it in HOT oil. Grape seed or veggie oil.... I then sometimes put the eggplant on the grill for a few minutes over medium high heat. After this I use the eggplant for the dish I intend to make! ;-)

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