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If you ever want to know what to do in order to get rid of eggplant, you can’t go wrong with making my version of Italian fried eggplant. This printable recipe below is a fun and easy Italian dish that goes great as a side dish for pasta or as a snack!
How Easy is it to Fry Eggplant?
This recipe doesn’t take much oil, just fill your saucepan with about 1/4″ of oil and you are good to go. Just flip the battered eggplant half way through cooking and you end up a nice crunchy eggplant.
The batter by the way is very easy to make – nothing fancy about it. Some flour, egg (you can even omit this if you are vegan), Italian cheese, preferably Romano (again you can omit if you are vegan), and breadcrumbs.
Does this Recipe Work Only with Eggplant?
You can use other vegetables instead of just eggplant. For example you can make fried zucchini or squash, but eggplant has such a nice flavor. I’ve made this both as a side dish and just for a late night snack.
In regards to the batter it’s the standard mix of ingredients as mentioned earlier and has the flexibility to make adjustments as needed.
What’s the Order of Coating the Eggplant for Frying?
When breading, it’s often asked why do we dip things in flour before the egg? The reason is that the egg needs something to hold on to otherwise it will just slide off the eggplant.
So the flour sticks to the eggplant b/c the eggplant is moist. This provides a sticky coating that the egg can adhere to. Then you dip it into the breadcrumbs which stick to the egg. Pretty cool eh?
Step One: Dip each eggplant into the flour
Step Two: Dip into the egg
Step Three: Dip into the breadcrumb/cheese mixture
Step Four: Fry. 🙂
You might recognize if you read a lot of my recipes, that I use Romano cheese instead of Parmesan cheese. Romano has a lot more flavor and is saltier.
Once I started using Romano cheese I never went back to Parmesan ever.
Well, once I did try and cut back on our grocery bill and all I can say is the $2 savings I thought I would appreciate cost me actually more because the cheese was so bland I had to go back and get the Romano.
So, yes it’s more expensive, but you use less and you get more flavor. If you purchase a block of Romano, use a food processor to grind the cheese. I actually have a video of using my Cuisinart food processor to do just that.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Make sure to sign up for my newsletter for more easy recipes and tips!
Fried Eggplant Cutlets
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Romano Cheese
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs beaten
- olive oil enough to fill the frying pan with about 1/4"
Wash your eggplant, and remove skin if concerned over the use of pesticides. If organic, there is no need to peel.
Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch round slices and drain if you have the time. If draining, just lay slices in a strainer rather than cube them.
Mix the breadcrumbs and Romano (or Parmesan) cheese in a bowl.
Place the flour in a second bowl and mix the eggs in a third bowl. You can remove the yolks, and just use egg whites, but add in an extra egg.
Pour in enough olive oil in a sauce pan so there is about 1/4 inch of olive oil in the pan. Heat to medium-high heat.
Dip the eggplant in the flour (tap off excess), then egg, then breadcrumbs mixture and place in hot oil.
Do this for each of the eggplant slices and cook for about 2 minutes until the bread crumbs are golden brown, and flip.
Cook for about 1 minute more.
Remove each slice from the pan and place on a paper towel (on a plate) to let the oil drain.
Continue the process until all slices are used. Add more oil if needed during the process.
TIP #1: The measurements for the coating will vary depending on the size of the eggplant. You want to make sure the eggplant is well coated with the breadcrumbs, and the egg will help make the breadcrumbs stick.
TIP #2: Do not let the oil get too hot where it will burn the eggplant mixture. But a nice medium high heat should be fine. It should only take 2-3 minutes on the first side.
TIP #3: This recipe goes great with pasta, especially with a red sauce because you can dip the eggplant in the sauce. A marinara sauce is perfect. You can use the sauce also alone as a dipping sauce.
TIP #4: You do not have to use extra virgin olive oil for this. Regular olive oil is fine for frying.
TIP #4: As noted by one of our readers in the comments section, you may need more egg as you go along as it gets rather sticky during the battering process. Don't be shy, use what you need when you need it!