How to Fry Eggplant

big eggplants in a wooden crate

Eggplant is a fruit – yes, a fruit – that is rich in vitamins and high in fiber. It is often featured in Persian, Italian, Southern American, and Italian recipes. When grilled, this fruit has a firm texture, so people often use it in vegetarian dishes in the place of meat. Keep reading to learn how to fry eggplant, as well as four other ways that you can prepare this delicious fruit.

Fried Eggplant

Start by washing your eggplants and then slicing them into ½” slices. Then, line a platter with paper towels and place the eggplant slices on them and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Allow them to sit for about 15 minutes – until they have released most of their moisture. Pat them with the paper towels and flip them over. Repeat this process on the other side.

Prepare your batter in a shallow bowl. If you have a larger amount of eggplant, you can double the recipe. Add more or less salt and pepper according to your preference.

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

In another bowl, whisk together 1-2 eggs. You can add more if you plan to be frying more eggplant.

Pour about ¼” cooking oil in a large skillet – you want just enough for the eggplant to float in – and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid using olive oil, but you can use vegetable oil, peanut oil, or canola oil because they can be heated to higher temps.

Dip your eggplant pieces in the egg one at a time, and then in the flour mixture, making sure that the pieces are thoroughly coated. You can tap the pieces on the side of the flour bowl to remove any excess.  

If you want an extra thick batter, you can repeat these two steps. Then, using tongs, place the battered slices into the hot oil. Avoid overfilling the pan, and only fry one layer of slices at a time. Repeat as necessary.

Allow them to cook until lightly brown on one side, then flip and brown the other side. Use a slotted spatula to remove them from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess grease.

Stir-Fried Eggplant

Start by washing your eggplant and then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Lay them on a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt. Then, after about 15 minutes, pat them with paper towels and turn them over. Repeat this process on the other side.

Take your wok or shallow frying pan and heat a little cooking oil. You only need about a tablespoon of oil for stir-frying. Heat the oil just until it reaches its smoking point.

Add the eggplant and other veggies that you wish. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients in your wok quickly and constantly with a spatula/spoon until they have reached the lightly browned stage.

Grilled Eggplant

Start by washing your eggplants and then slicing them into 1” slices. Then, lay them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes before patting them dry and flipping over and repeating on the other side.

Use a basting brush to brush both sides with olive oil. Choose some of your favorite spices and sprinkle them on the eggplant with a dash of salt and pepper. Then, place on a medium hot grill. Alternatively, you can use the broiler in your oven.

Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. When the edges are brown and crispy and the meat is soft, the eggplant is ready to be eaten.

Baked Eggplant

baked eggplant filled with shredded meat

Start by preheating your oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Wash your eggplants and slice them into 1” slices/chunks. There are several ways that you can cut up your eggplant for baking; you can cut it into slices or chunks as mentioned. You can also cut it into a fan shape or cut it in half.

Typically, if you are cutting it in half, you’ll want to leave the peel on to hold it together as it cooks. On the other hand, if it’s cut into pieces, whether slices or chunks, you’ll want to peel it first.

Using olive oil, prepare your casserole dish or baking sheet. Lay the eggplant in the pan, making sure that you do not overlap them. bake until the edges and top are brown, which will generally take about 20 minutes.

Boiled Eggplant

Start by washing your eggplant. Then peel it and chop it into chunks. If you prefer, you can boil an unpeeled eggplant whole. While you are preparing your eggplant, bring a large pot of water to boil. You’ll want to use a 2:1 ratio – 2 parts water to 1 part eggplant.  If you plan to boil the whole eggplant, make sure that you use enough water to cover the eggplant.

Once the water is boiling, add the eggplant to it. If you have decided to boil a whole eggplant, you need to poke some holes in the skin to keep it from exploding in the water.

Cook the eggplant at a slow simmer until it is softened. This will take about 8 to 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and other spices you enjoy.

As you can see, fried eggplant is just one of the many options for preparing this delicious fruit. Yes, it’s a fruit, even though many people consider it a vegetable. It’s a great option to use in place of meat to create yummy vegetarian dishes, as it’s hearty enough to fill you up.