Fried Eggplant (+ Eggplant Parmigiana Bites)
Fried eggplant is one of the easiest Mediterranean side dishes that you can find. Also, it’s the base for eggplant parmigiana. Today I will show you how to make both.
To fry the eggplants first you need to cut them into slices. Each slice must be around 1 inch thick. This way they won’t fall apart when frying.
The coating for these fried eggplants is the basic eggs + flour. You can add breadcrumbs if you want an extra crunch.
I prefer to add the “seasoning” — basically black pepper and salt — directly to the eggplants. This way the seasoning will stick to the eggplants themselves instead of being in the coating.
Then, all is left is frying. I like to use canola oil because it doesn’t add any smell or taste to the eggplants. After that, it’s good to absorb the extra oil with some paper towel.
You can serve them as they are as a yummy side dish, or you can turn them into one of my favorite dishes of all time …. eggplant parmigiana!
How to make the eggplant parmigiana bites?
The day I made this I ended up making some eggplant parmigiana bites instead of a regular casserole of eggplant parmigiana. But the recipe is basically the same just that you make layers with the fried eggplants, the sauce, and the cheese. Like a lasagna.
But these bites are great as starters. You just have to place the individual fried eggplants in a baking tray. Cover each fried eggplant with 1 tbsp of bolognese sauce — or marinara sauce — and top with a mix of mozzarella and parmesan cheese — I like to use Parmigiano Reggiano.
Then bake them for 10 minutes at 180ºC in broil mode. It’s important that the oven is set in broil mode. We don’t want to “bake” the eggplants, we just need to melt the cheese and give it that golden crust.
- 2 medium size eggplants
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Vegetable oil to fry
- ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- ¼ cup grated mozzarella
- ¼ cup Bolognese sauce
Cut the eggplants into slices of about 1 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Beat the egg and dip each eggplant slice. Then cover with flour.
In a medium size pan, add enough oil to cover the eggplant slices. Heat the pan over medium heat and when the oil is hot, fry the eggplants. Fry each eggplant for about 5 minutes per side until the eggplants are golden and crispy. Remove from the oil and take them to a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Place the fried eggplants in a baking tray. Add 1 tbsp of bolognese sauce to the top of each fried eggplant. Top with mozzarella cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Take to the oven for 10 minutes at 180ºC (350ºF) in broil mode.