Love for eggplant is international: recipes can be found in Italian, Georgian, Greek cuisines, they have gained popularity in Russia. But there is a caveat: if the eggplants are cooked incorrectly, they acquire a bitter aftertaste. It is believed that eggplants themselves are not bitter – bitterness comes from the skin. And if you cut it before cooking, the problem will be solved. This is partly true, but it does not always work. If for some reason you do not want to deprive the eggplant of the skin, learn 3 ways from nutrition10.
Sprinkle pre-cut eggplants into circles or slices generously with coarse salt, mix lightly and leave for 20-30 minutes. Later, you will see droplets of water on the eggplants: they will give up the juice, and the bitterness will go away with the juice. After that, you need to thoroughly rinse the eggplants with running cold water, otherwise, due to the abundance of salt, they will not be eaten, slightly squeezed, and dried with paper or waffle towels. Only after that eggplant can be fried or baked. Additional salt, of course, is no longer necessary.
Prepare a saline solution at the rate of 1-2 tablespoons of salt per liter of water and soak chopped eggplant in it for half an hour. It is permissible to press them down with a small press. Afterward, you still need to rinse them with cold water and dry them thoroughly. If this is not done, when in contact with boiling oil in a pan, wet eggplant slices will “shoot”.
It is useful for those who prefer to cook eggplant caviar, vegetable stew, or mashed potatoes – something where the neat appearance of the pieces is not so important. To remove the bitter taste, you need to freeze the eggplant – they will give the juice when they thaw, and the bitterness will disappear. By the way, in the fall, many housewives freeze vegetables for future use in order to cook soups and stews in winter, so this recommendation will come in handy for them.
There is another way – contrast, that is, the opposite of freezing: before cooking, eggplants can be dipped in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. For the preparation of rolls or, say, Italian-style parmigiana eggplant, this method is not suitable, but for caviar or vegetable saute, it is.
How to fry eggplant the right way
Bitterness is only one difficulty on the way to delicious eggplant dishes. Often, housewives avoid this vegetable also because it behaves capriciously in a pan. A common stereotype is that eggplants need a liter of oil. This is partly true: during frying, eggplants do take a lot of oil. However, soaking in saltwater and then rinsing helps to minimize this risk. You can try frying eggplant in a non-stick pan with a minimum of oil, such as using coconut oil. Another good, but not very common way in Russia, is to deep-fry eggplants, having previously breaded them in starch or tempura. When the breading comes into contact with hot oil, a crust instantly forms, and the eggplants themselves do not absorb the oil. Before deep-frying, the vegetable can be pre-peeled.
What can be done?
Choose eggplant varieties that are not bitter, such as white eggplant (iceberg) or round (helios), Thai green eggplants are delicious.