What Are the Best Tips for Sauteing Eggplant?

Madeleine A.

The best tips for sauteing eggplant include using an adequate amount of cooking oil and making sure that most of the liquid has been drained out of the eggplant before cooking. Eggplant has a very high water content, so before sauteing eggplant, placing the sliced eggplant in a strainer and sprinkling it with salt will encourage the water to drain out. If this process is not followed prior to cooking, the pan may quickly fill with water, and render the eggplant flavorless.

Dried eggplant slices can be flavored with garlic powder.
Dried eggplant slices can be flavored with garlic powder.

After the water has been drained from the eggplant slices, they should be gently patted dry with a paper towel. Next, flavorings such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley can be sprinkled onto the eggplant. Olive oil is a good choice for sauteing eggplant, and after placing approximately 0.5 cup (0.1183 liters) of olive oil into the frying pan, it should be allowed to get hot before adding the eggplant. After the oil heats up, the eggplant should be very gently placed into the pan to discourage oil splatters.

Eggplant can be sauteed in olive oil.
Eggplant can be sauteed in olive oil.

Whether to peel the eggplant prior to cooking is a personal choice, and will not affect the quality of flavor. Some people prefer to peel their eggplant prior to cooking because the skin can be tough and difficult to cut. Other people like the added color the skin lends to the eggplant dish. Preparing eggplant without peeling it significantly cuts down on preparation time, since eggplant is a large vegetable and can be awkward to peel.

After sauteing eggplant, it should be dried with clean paper towels to remove the excess oil. Since eggplant acts like a sponge with water and oil, it absorbs a great deal of cooking oil. Although some people enjoy a moist slice of eggplant, most prefer that it not be dripping with oil. Since an oily slice of eggplant can be extremely hot, it should be cooled thoroughly before eating, because hot, oily eggplant can burn the mouth.

Some people even enjoy a light sprinkling of sugar on their eggplant. For optimal flavor, sprinkling the sugar immediately after sauteing eggplant, will help it adhere. The sweet flavor mixed with the savoriness of the eggplant and added spices makes for a delicious side dish. Sauteing eggplant is a simple and cost effective way of adding a delicious vegetable to the dinner table. In addition, eggplant contains iron, calcium, Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

Fried eggplants slices can be dried and drained of excess oil using paper towel sheets.
Fried eggplants slices can be dried and drained of excess oil using paper towel sheets.

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