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How To Make Fried Eggplant On The Stovetop

One of the most versatile things to make is Fried Eggplant. It delicious on it’s own and it’s also a jumping point, as an ingredient, for other main dishes. The natural sweetness of the eggplant makes it super tasty. Once it’s cooked, you end up with a crisp bread crumb coating that covers the tender (and sweet) eggplant. After learning the simple cooking techniques, you’ll love making Fried Eggplant On The Stovetop.

How to make Fried Eggplant, over the stovetop, with easy step-by-step directions!

I grew up with my mom making the best eggplant and I fell in love with it. It might be unusual for a kid to love eggplant so much, but it was always a highlight when she made it. I would watch her make fried eggplant and this recipe follows the same exact version. You can put your own variation on it (I’ll share how below), but the premise is the same. The end result is a sweet and tender eggplant that’s coated and fried.

Fried eggplant is actually the base for Eggplant Parmesan, which is a classic Italian dinner recipe. You can also stuff fried eggplant or toss it into pasta. Once you make the eggplant, it’s a jumping point for other great recipe ideas. Learning how to fry fresh eggplant is so valuable (and delicious).

Looking for more great Italian dishes? Here are some of my favorites that readers have made and love too:

How To Make Fried Eggplant On The Stove

The tools you’ll need for this recipe is a great deep frying pan with the sides that come up higher than a typical pan. I also use cooking tongs and have some paper towels ready over a large plate. The paper towels will absorb any excess oil as they cool a bit before eating.

Italian Fried Eggplant Recipe
Making Fried Eggplant over the stove is easy and delicious.

Why We Love This Recipe

It’s a basic that everyone should know how to make. The crunch on the outside is addictive and the sweetness of the eggplant is so good. If you grow eggplant in your garden, this is a great recipe to make when you have an abundance of eggplant.

It’s great for casseroles, but I just love it as an appetizer! I just dip my eggplant into homemade buttermilk ranch or homemade marinara. It’s a tasty appetizer and perfect for dipping.

Tips For Frying Over The Stove With Olive Oil:

  • Be sure to use a deep frying pan
  • Slice your eggplant evenly – use a Mandoline Slicer if needed
  • Make sure your pan is evenly coated in the olive oil
  • Never leave the pan of hot oil unattended and be sure no kids are around when cooking
  • Let excess oil absorb after cooking – put a paper towel over a plate to transfer cooked eggplant to

How To Buy The Best Eggplant At The Store

Eggplant is pretty easy to buy well at the store. I love purchasing it from a farmer’s market, to ensure I have assistance with picking the best, but you can do it at the grocery store with a few tips. Eggplant should be slightly firm, but not hard. You shouldn’t be able to puncture the eggplant with your finger. If you can – it’s gone too far ripe. A perfectly ripe eggplant will feel similar to a peach or tomato.

Italian Fried Eggplant recipe

Tips For Cutting A Fresh Eggplant

You want to slice the eggplant evenly for frying. The top, with the stem, and the bottom can be cut off and discarded. Next, lay the eggplant on the side to make horizontal cuts. Each slice should be about 1/4-inch thick. If you can’t do it by hand, use a Mandoline Slicer.

How To Store Leftover Fried Eggplant

Place any leftover eggplant in an airtight food storage container. Refrigerate the eggplant. For best freshness, enjoy the eggplant within 3-4 days after cooking. You can reheat the eggplant in the microwave (30 seconds), but it won’t get the same crispy texture it originally had. It will be slightly more soft.

You can also reheat the eggplant, using the oven, which will give it extra texture like it originally had. Heat it for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

Can You Freeze Fried Eggplant?

Yes and no. You can freeze the eggplant, after it’s cooked and cooled. It can be frozen for up to three months. I just think it doesn’t reheat the same way. You won’t get the same texture it has when it’s first cooked. The crunchy exterior is important if you’re enjoying it on it’s own. However, you can use thawed Fried Eggplant in an eggplant parmesan recipe.

Can The Olive Oil Catch On Fire?

Luckily, olive oil doesn’t catch on fire too easily. If it does, it’s a grease fire, and you should put out the grease fire by starving it of oxygen – not by using water. The flashpoint of olive oil is between 374 – 400º. Olive oil is a great choice for frying because it is harder to catch on fire.

Recipe Substitutions

There are a couple of different ways you can change up this recipe. I use store-bought Italian seasoned bread crumbs, because I need the simplicity to save time. However, you can make your own homemade Italian breadcrumbs. There are also different flavors of breadcrumbs at the store – like Garlic and Herb. Feel free to use whatever you prefer.

What You Need From The Store:

  • Fresh Purple Eggplant (Japanese)
  • Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Egg
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs (or make your own homemade Italian breadcrumbs)

Directions To Make Fried Eggplant On The Stove

Start by slicing your eggplant in even 1/4-inch thick slices. Add your all-purpose flour and slightly beaten egg to separate small bowls. Put the breadcrumbs to a shallow plate, too.

Sliced eggplant with frying ingredients

Add your extra virgin olive oil to the deep frying pan and turn the stovetop heat to a low setting. In the meantime, dip your eggplant into the flour.

Dipping floured eggplant into egg

Then immediately into the egg and coat it with breadcrumbs.

Adding eggplant into breadcrumb bowl

Transfer the coated eggplant slice immediately to the frying pan and repeat until your frying pan is filled. Olive oil should be even throughout the pan and come half way up the side of the eggplant slices. If you need more, add some.

Eggplant in olive oil with frying pan

Turn the heat up to a medium-high heat, watching over the eggplant. Cook it until golden brown for 2-3 minutes and flip to repeat on the other side.

Flipping eggplant to fry

Transfer the eggplant slices to a plate, that’s topped with a paper towel, to absorb any excess olive oil. Repeat the entire process, starting with the dipping, until all of your eggplant is fried. Enjoy while hot.

Fried Eggplant
Yield: 16 Pieces

How To Make Fried Eggplant On The Stovetop

Italian Fried Eggplant Recipe

How to make Italian Fried Eggplant over the stove. It's a great appetizer or base for main course dishes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Eggplant (Japanese/Purple)
  • 3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 5 Large Eggs, Slightly Beaten
  • 1 1/4 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Give or Take)

Instructions

1. Start by slicing your eggplant in even 1/4-inch thick slices. Add your all-purpose flour and slightly beaten egg to separate small bowls. Add the breadcrumbs to a shallow plate.

2. Add your extra virgin olive oil to the deep frying pan and turn the stovetop heat to a low setting. In the meantime, dip your eggplant into the flour, then immediately into the egg and coat it with breadcrumbs.

3. Transfer the coated eggplant slice immediately to the frying pan and repeat until your frying pan is filled. Olive oil should be even throughout the pan and come half way up the side of the eggplant slices. If you need more, add some.

4. Turn the heat up to a medium-high heat, watching over the eggplant. Cook it until golden brown for 2-3 minutes and flip to repeat on the other side.

5. Transfer the eggplant slices to a plate, that's topped with a paper towel, to absorb any excess olive oil. Repeat the entire process, starting with the dipping, until all of your eggplant is fried. Enjoy while hot.

Notes

Store leftover eggplant in an airtight food storage container. Reheat the eggplant in the microwave or in the oven. For best freshness, enjoy within 4 days of cooking.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary.

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