Panko-crusted Fried Eggplant

I bought 3 eggplants yesterday to the tune of $14.99.  No, not a typo, I did indeed pay $14.99.  Why, you ask?  Well, I actually didn’t realize the cost until I got home and looked at the receipt.  It was my big shopping day, so it’s not like I was ran in and bought 3 items.  Anyway, I initially had the regular black eggplants in my cart, but then my eye caught these gorgeous violet and white beauties.  So, I placed 3 in a bag, into my cart, and happily continued my shopping.  On the way home, I began to think about what I’d make with them.  Caponata?  A casserole?  Grilled?  Fried?  Aha! Yes, fried.  The husband actually likes them fried, and I love them fried; so, the decision was made.  I usually bread them with Italian breadcrumbs, but I wanted to try them with a panko breading.  As luck would have it, I had Italian panko in the pantry.  I soak my eggplant in a brine instead rather than directly sprinkling them with salt; it works just as well, but the eggplant tastes less salty.  So, I partially peeled them, sliced them into sticks, and allowed them to sit in the brine overnight.  This morning I drained, dried, breaded, and fried them.  Now, these were really delicious, but were they worth $14.99?  Uh, no, until the eggplants complete the entire process by themselves, I’ll stick to my regular old black eggplants.

Panko-crusted Fried Eggplant Printable recipe
3 smallish eggplants
3 eggs
1 cup milk
16 oz Italian Panko breadcrumbs or regular Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried majoram
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried savory or 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 gallon water

3 tablespoons salt

Olive or canola oil (not extra-virgin)

Peel eggplant, if desired.  I peeled these, but I don’t usually peel eggplants from my garden. 
Slice into 1/2 inch rounds or sticks
In a large bowl, mix water and salt, until salt dissolves.
Place eggplant in salted water and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes; I soaked these for 4 hours.
Drain eggplant and pat dry.
Pour seasoned flour onto a shallow plate

Combine panko, Parmesan, garlic powder, dried marjoram, basil, and savory on a shallow plate and mix well.
In a bowl, beat together eggs and milk
Dip the eggplant pieces into the flour, egg wash, and then into the breadcrumbs.
Place breaded eggplant onto wax paper or a rack and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
In a large pan, pour about 1 inch of olive oil  and heat to 375 degrees.
Fry eggplant pieces, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side.
Remove and sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.
Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Panko-crusted Fried Eggplant

  1. Hi Renee!
    Can't wait to make these for you! We should have eggplants in the garden by the time you all get here.
    xo,
    Louanne
    P.S. Your brother wouldn't even taste them.

  2. Our aubergines (british for eggplants)over here are like rubber. I doubt we have panko either…but they look so good I think I'll wait till I get there and let you fix them for me! ( or at least help me fix them!!!)
    X Renee

  3. I think those are the crispiest looking eggplant slices I've ever laid eyes on! My mouth is watering now and I suddenly have a craving. I don't think I've ever used panko on mine – but I will next time.

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