What’s for Dinner? This Crispy Fried Vegan Eggplant

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Princess Pitts Pierre
Princess Pitts Pierrehttp://princesspitts.com/
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Crispy Fried Vegan Eggplant is Coming

On my newly vegan journey, I have been re-discovering and rethinking vegetables I thought I didn’t like. Eggplant being #1.

In the past, I tried (and hated it) eggplant parmesan because it always tasted soggy to me. In other dishes, the texture gave me a disgusting mouth feel. But since then, I’ve made several recipes with eggplant (beginning with Haitian legume – a recipe for a different day) and now I love them. This crispy fried version is my favorite way to cook eggplant.

The biggest tip is to FRY them in batches first in a skillet after breading, and then BAKE them in the oven to finish (don’t crowd the pan). You’ll brown them in a skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side or until light golden brown, then put them into the oven for baking for 10-15 minutes. Doing these little two steps ensures the crispiest, non-soggy eggplant.

If you’re like me, you may be short on time, ingredients, or energy (lol). So this fried vegan version is simple and straight to the point. Plus, it’s still good if you don’t measure it exactly (which I didn’t), it’s like distraction-tired-mama proof.

Fried eggplant
Fried eggplant & Spaghetti squash with vegan ragù

Ingredient Notes:

This is a plant-based and vegan-friendly recipe because it is egg-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. The inspiration came from the original recipe by Minimalist Baker, which calls for more ingredients, but this is what I used, and it is still delicious.

Milk: I used Unsweetened Soy Milk because it’s always on hand.

Salt, Rinse, and Flatten: [Note: The original recipe by Minimalist Baker called for this step, but in the updated recipe, it’s not necessary.] Generously salt both sides of the sliced eggplant and let it sit for 10-15 minutes to draw the water out. After that, rinse them off and flat-press them (between a plate and a pan) to remove excess water. Remember, you don’t want them paper flat; you’re just trying to adjust the moisture—and it helps the eggplant not to absorb the oil when frying.

The Breading: I love the Simply Nature brand Breadless “bread” crumbs from Aldi. I initially tried them because they are low in carbs and had other cool macros (including protein and fiber). However, using that specific brand is not necessary; any panko crumb brand is fine.

What You’ll Need Based on My Adaptation:

  • Dry mix: flour, sea salt
  • Wet mix: unsweetend soy milk, seasoning (I prefer Sak Pase Meat Seasoning)
  • Breading: Breadless crumb coating, salt, old bay, garlic, Italian seasonings
Fried vegan eggplant
Crispy Fried Vegan Eggplant
a crispy fried eggplant using plant-based ingredients only; dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free.
Check out this recipe

Ways To Enjoy:

  • Top with Rao’s Marinara and your favorite plant-based cheese and toast for an easy Eggplant Parm.
  • Cook Gardein plant-based crumbles (or any brand meatless crumbles), add onions, peppers, and marinara for a yummy ragú to top spaghetti squash. I love a good veggie-heavy meal like this.
  • For a crispy eggplant sandwich, serve on a sourdough bun and top with marina and nutritional yeast.
  • Or cut them into fry- or nugget-size shapes and enjoy them with your favorite dip.

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