What do you do when you bought an eggplant or were given one from a friend? You make fried eggplant with sweet and sour sauce. It’s crunchy goodness with lots of flavor!
It was been a long time since I’ve fixed something with eggplant. I guess it is becauce years ago MaryJo and I were vegetarians. We had eggplant a lot…or it seems to me now. Lots of Eggplant Parmesan. All I remember about it was that it was kind of mushy and watery with a nice Italian red sauce that got watery and mushy. We needed lots of bread to soak up those juices! I don’t know if it was the eggplant or the way we prepared it, but it kind of turned me off, for 30 years !
Has it been that long?
I’m thinking that years ago, everyone cooked their veggies until they were soggy and gray. That’s how I remember green beans! Maybe we cooked the eggplant a little too long and the juices just flowed out of the flesh. Anyway, that made for a bad image in my mind about eggplant.
Today, I wanted to change that image, and since I can’t find green tomatoes to fry, (I love them), eggplant seemed to be the proper veggie to fry.
And instead of an Italian flavor, (although that would be really good), I tried an Asian sweet and sour sauce on fried, breaded eggplant.
Turns out that this was really good! I picked out a small eggplant, cut it into 1/2 inch or so slices, then made some eggplant fingers and left some rounds. I just wanted to see the difference in the two styles when fried.
I cut the pieces, and remembering how juicy they were years ago, placed the cut pieces on a rack for about an hour before I fried them. This would kind of let them dry out.
The frying process was really easy and it didn’t take long to have some yummy fried eggplant.
Before we get to frying though, I have to tell you about the star of the show….the sweet and sour sauce is a killer! It makes the whole dish spectacular. Eggplant doesn’t have a lot of flavor by itself and needs some pazzazz. The frying along with the sweet and sour sauce makes this an absolute must try appetizer/side dish.
And, just between me and you, I would cut up the whole eggplant into fingers and serve them as an appetizer, even though this is a little more work with the flour, egg and breading process. What the heck, your fingers are all gooey already!
As a side note, I tried the eggplant with some blue cheese dressing, instead of the sweet and sour. Take a look at the picture below. It was good, but compared with the sweet and sour sauce it was totally not as tasty. As a matter of fact, I tried it and then put sweet and sour sauce on the pieces and finished it that way!
What a yummy way to have lunch!
I think you deserve to treat youself, and this fried eggplant with sweet and sour sauce recipe is definitely one to try.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce , (I used Tamari low sodium)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 small eggplant , cut into 1/2 inch spears
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 3 eggs , beaten, (add 1/4 tsp salt)
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs , (I used plain packaged)
- 1/4 tsp salt , (for the eggs)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup canola oil
- chopped green onion
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and put on medium to low heat stirring constantly until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes
- Stage flour, egg and bread crumb in separate bowls.
- Place eggplant into flour, then coat with egg and then bread crumbs.
- Place on a rack until all pieces are prepared
- Place oil in a skillet to approximately 1/4 depth
- Heat canola oil to 375 degrees
- Fry the pieces about 20 seconds per side turning until brown, (I did about 8 pieces at a time)
- Remove and place on paper towels
- Serve hot with warm sweet and sour sauce
- Top with green onion or chives