Battered Eggplant  + Fresh Fettuccine

Yesterday I made my first foray into deep frying and battering. I love my fried foods, but I’ve been secretly terrified of hot oil ever since a long-ago encounter with working a viciously spitting deep fryer at a county fair.

The task of making fried eggplant was actually quite pleasant and hardly as laborious as I expected. Not to mention, the end result was delicious. Experimenting with the flavor and texture of the batter was a lot of fun, and the frying process went pretty smoothly. The only part I didn’t care for was cleaning my stovetop after the fact, but that’s to be expected.

I also had some fresh fettuccine. I only regret that I did not have any fresh basil to garnish the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Eggplant

(For Batter):

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Cup soda water
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 Tablespoon paprika
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable Oil

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant to desired piece sizes.
  2. Sprinkle eggplant with salt, set aside for 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine and mix all dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in club soda until the batter has a thick texture. (Some lumps are okay).
  5. Fill a frying pan with vegetable oil, approximately 1/2 inch deep.
  6. Heat on medium-high to high heat. (The oil should be hot enough to scare you). (:
  7. (optional: wipe or rinse salt from eggplant pieces).
  8. Dip each piece of eggplant in the batter until evenly covered.
  9. Place battered eggplant pieces into the hot oil.
  10. Let each piece cook for 3-4 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  11. Remove and place on a bed of paper towels on a plate (to absorb excess grease).
  12. Serve and enjoy!

** Tip: The Club Soda. The bubbles in the club soda help keep the fry batter light. Using regular water is okay, but might create a denser breading.

** Tip: Eggplant is a spongy vegetable and will absorb the frying oil. This can lead to a very soggy, oil-logged dish. Salting the eggplant before cooking helps to remove some of the water and collapse the spongy structure so that it will be less oil-logged. This can also be accomplished by pre-cooking the pieces of eggplant in the microwave instead of salting them.

** Tip: Storing Eggplant (before you cook it). Eggplant is a tropical vegetable so it doesn’t like refrigeration. More than a couple days in the refrigerator will cause it to have a strange taste or even become brown on the inside.

** Tip: If you have leftovers, make sure they cool completely to room temperature before packaging them and putting them in the refrigerator. Otherwise, the excess steam that is released in the tupperware in the fridge will cause your fried leftovers to become very soggy. Reheat in a toaster oven at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes, flipping once.

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