Save Yourself Some Time And Don't Salt That Eggplant

Save Yourself Some Time and Don't Salt That Eggplant

Every eggplant recipe I've ever encountered has instructed me to salt the big purple fruit before cooking to "draw out bitter compounds," but it turns out that's not really necessary.

Photo by Alice Henneman.

According to Epicurious, this thinking is leftover from a time when eggplants were much more bitter than what you'll find in the store today; the bitterness has been bred out of them.

Full disclosure: I've only ever salted eggplant maybe half of the times I've cooked it, because I am that special blend of forgetful and lazy. I had never tasted a difference between salted and not, but it's nice to have my sloth validated.

Do You Really Need to Salt Eggplant? [Epicurious]


    I don't salt young or small eggplants but still do it for the larger ones. I have had a pasta dish almost ruined due to skipping the salting. The bitterness was quite noticeable.

    You'll still need to salt them to remove moisture if frying otherwise each slice will soak up huge quantities of oil.

      Just curious, how exactly does removing moisture from eggplant result in it soaking more oil? I would have thought if anything, less moisture would mean more oil soaking into the eggplant.

    By salting the eggplant you are removing the moisture so they become less sponge like, and also by removing the excess moisture through the salting it will allow the eggplant to be preserved for longer under oil after grilling them and marinating, the removal of the excess moisture is one less toe hold that bacteria can have in spoiling the food.

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