Serve these easy deep fried eggplant strips with a flavored mayonnaise, tomato or tomatillo salsa, or a marinara sauce. Ranch dressing or Blue cheese dip would be excellent choices as well. You can also sprinkle the fried eggplant strips with Parmesan cheese and serve them with warm marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce. Use garlic seasoned or Parmesan seasoned bread crumbs, or use plain or Italian seasoned. See the eggplant cooking tips and dip suggestions below the recipe.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable oil (or amount needed for frying)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs (fine dry, plain or seasoned)
- Pinch kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste (freshly ground)
- Using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, peel the eggplant; slice it into 1/4 inch thick sticks about 3 inches in length.
- Put about 2 to 3 inches of oil in a deep, heavy saucepan and heat to 370 F (188 C).
- Put the flour in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg with the water. Put the crumbs in a third bowl.
- Sprinkle the eggplant pieces lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Roll the eggplant pieces in flour, shake off any excess, and then dip into egg mixture.
- Roll the strips in crumbs to coat and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them as they fry.
- Transfer the eggplant strips to paper towels to drain and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, if desired. Or sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Serve hot with a dip, if desired.
Eggplant Cooking Tips and Variations
Choose an eggplant that is firm and feels heavy for its size. Avoid eggplants with cuts or scars. The caps and stems should look fresh and green.
Long, slender eggplants are not as juicy as the round, plump eggplants, and are better for frying.
Add about 1 teaspoon of chili powder to the bread crumbs and a dash of cumin. Serve the strips with fresh or purchased salsa.
Chipotle Mayonnaise - Combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with 1 or 2 finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo. Add some finely chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon of lime juice, and about 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Spicy Chili Mayonnaise - Combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce and 2 teaspoons of garlic chili paste (Sambal), along with 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice.
Blue Cheese Dip - Combine 1/2 cup of sour cream with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, a dash of salt, and about 1 ounce of crumbled blue cheese.