Serve these easy fried eggplant strips with your favorite dipping sauce. They make an excellent side dish replacement for fries, or serve them as a snack or appetizer.
Sprinkle the fried eggplant strips with grated Parmesan cheese as soon as they're done and serve them with marinara sauce or a tomato salsa. Or sprinkle the fried eggplant strips with Cajun or Creole seasoning and serve them with a Creole sauce.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Peel the eggplant and cut it into 3-inch strips about 1/2-inch in thickness.
- Transfer the eggplant strips to a bowl filled with cold water; add 1 teaspoon of the salt and let stand for 1 hour. Place a heavy bowl, pan, or plate over the eggplant to keep it submerged.
- Meanwhile, add about 2 to 3 inches of oil to a deep, heavy saucepan and heat the oil to 370 F. Alternatively, use an electric deep fryer and set the temperature at 370 F.
- Preheat the oven to 200 F if you must keep batches warm (see tips, below).
- Drain the eggplant strips and pat dry with paper towels.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the egg, milk and 1 tablespoon salad oil, beat until smooth.
- Dip the eggplant pieces in batter and deep fry in about 3 batches in the hot oil until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels; keep warm in the preheated oven, if desired.
- Don't crowd the eggplant strips. Frying small batches leaves room for the food to move freely and cook evenly, and it prevents the oil temperature from dropping.
- If you are making several batches to serve all at once, line a baking sheet with paper towels and keep finished eggplant fries in a preheated 200 F oven while you fry subsequent batches.
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