How to Remove the Bitter Flavor From Eggplant Before Cooking It

eggplant on counter
Andik Fatahillaj/Getty Images

Many people react to the bitterness of eggplant. If you have ever eaten eggplant and experienced this undesirable flavor, then try these tips for getting the bitterness out of eggplant before you cook it.

Steps for Making Eggplant Less Bitter

  • Cut the eggplant into quarter-inch rounds (easier than length-wise; you'll see why)
  • Place a colander in a larger bowl or on a plate with deep sides to catch the liquid
  • Layer some eggplant rounds in the bottom of the colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Don't be hesitant; you won't be ingesting all that sodium.
  • Place another layer of eggplant rounds, and sprinkle it generously with more salt
  • Continue until you've done this with all the eggplant.
  • When done, place a small saucer on top of the eggplant and use something heavy to press down on the eggplant.
  • If your kitchen is cool, you can cover the bowl with a cloth before weighing it down and leave it overnight. If you have plenty of room in the fridge, refrigerate. You want to drain the eggplant at least 8 to 10 hours.
  • Once drained, you will find anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of purple liquid in the bottom of the bowl. The liquid will have sweated off most of the salt, so usually, you don't have to season it again. If you'd like to remove even more salt, lightly brush each round with a damp (but not wet) piece of paper towel.