Not a soggy slice in sight…
There’s nothing quite like a crispy, fried veggie to make a meal really special. And this extra crispy fried eggplant delivers on both flavor and texture. The breading gives it a really wonderful crunch and the flavor inside is pure veggie heaven.
While this vegetable looks and tastes like a squash, it’s actually in the same family as tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Interestingly, while the other foods on this list are New World foods, eggplant is an Old World food. This explains why this yummy veggie (technically a fruit) has a featured place in so many different cuisines around the world.
To make the most of your eggplant slices you don’t want let their moisture make the recipe turn out soggy. To prevent this sprinkle them with salt and give them time for the salt to draw out the excess moisture.
Then you’re ready to heat the oil and prepare the dredge. For this recipe you’ll want to use panko breadcrumbs as this will give a much crispier finished result as compared to regular breadcrumbs. The larger pieces of crumb don’t clump together as much, but also give a larger surface area to become crisped up during the frying process.
Some parmesan cheese in the dredge also ensures that these eggplant pieces come out super crispy and full of flavor.
Set the finished pieces on a paper towel-lined plate or tray to drain and then just before serving sprinkle each one with some flaky sea salt for an extra special flavor.
To serve these just warm up some marinara sauce to dip them into for an appetizer or side. Or you can make these the focus of the dinner by serving them on top of pasta that’s already been tossed with warm tomato sauce and some more parmesan cheese. If you’re someone who can’t stand soggy eggplant then this is the way to have it: super crunchy and brimming with flavor.
Extra Crispy Fried Eggplant
1h prep time
20m cook time
- 2 medium or large eggplant, sliced
- 2 teaspoons table salt, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups marinara sauce for dipping
- flaky sea salt for garnish
- Lay eggplant out on paper towel-lined baking sheets and sprinkle both sides with 1 1/ 2 teaspoons table salt. Allow to rest and sweat for at least 30 minutes. Pat dry with clean paper towels when ready to cook.
- Combine eggs and milk in medium bowl. In another bowl combine remaining table salt with lour, breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, parmesan, and pepper.
- Set oven to 170˚F. Heat oil in medium stockpot to 350˚F over medium-high heat. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, then into breadcrumb mixture. Cook for 2 minutes each side or until gold brown and crispy.
- Place finished eggplant slices on paper towel-lined plates to drain for 2 minutes, then transfer baking sheet in oven to stay warm and crisp. Finish frying remaining eggplant slices. Just before serving heat up marinara sauce in microwave-safe dish covered with paper towel.
- Transfer eggplant to serving dish and sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired. Serve with warmed marinara sauce.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.