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Eggplant Cooking Time - How long to cook eggplants

eggplants

 

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are a high fiber spongy vegetable (okay it is actually a fruit but is considered a vegetable culinarily.)

They are related to the potato and the tomato as part of the nightshade family. Eggplants come in many shapes and colors. The two primary types readily available are western, and Asian. The western is the teardrop shaped dark purple variety; the Asian, often referred to as Japanese eggplant is the long, thin, lavender variety.


Eggplants have a reputation for being bitter, but most younger eggplants are not bitter. Bitterness has been greatly reduced in most modern eggplants through breeding.

Although many recipes call for cutting up and salting eggplants to remove the bitterness, this is not usually necessary, and according to Harold McGee salting only masks the bitter taste; it does not actually remove the bitterness.

The pre-salting does help to collapse air pockets in the cell structure of the eggplant so that it does not soak up as much oil while it is frying. Pre-cooking eggplant pieces in a microwave (another Harold McGee suggestion) is another way to reduce oil absorption before sautéing or shallow frying.

In the following table planks are pieces cut along the length of the eggplant, rounds or coins are cut across the width of the eggplant.

Eggplant Cooking Method

Cook until desired tenderness. The texture you are looking for will vary with the recipe. Don't undercook eggplants.

Raw Wash and cut into many forms, or juice. (a less common preparation method)
Boil 1 in. chunk 15 - 20 min. (a less common preparation method)
Grill 1/2 inch planks or rounds, oiled, over direct medium heat 8 - 10 minutes - Halved along length Japanese eggplants, over direct medium heat 12 - 15 minutes
Roast cut in half lengthwise 400 F. about 1 hr. Rest 20 min. before removing skin
Bake ½ inch planks 20 – 25 min at 500 degrees F., turn once
Deep Fry 375 F. oil about 1 minute per side for ½ inch rounds (coated in bread crumbs) till golden brown.
Shallow Fry 350 F. Oil  halfway up the ½ inch eggplant rounds for 5 – 6 minutes turning once. This process is used to cook eggplant before assembling with other ingredients to bake Eggplant Parmesan.
Steam Cut eggplants in half, steam for 15 - 20 minutes till tender. This is often done on a heat proof plate inside of a steamer (a less common cooking procedure)
Stir Fry or Saute ¾ inch cubes about 3 – 6 minutes till texture you want.
Microwave

3/4 in. with 2 tablespoons water 6 - 8 min. stir once

Pressure Cook

Slices or chunks 3 min.; diameter of eggplant does not make much difference in pressure cooker timing.

Test for Doneness: When eggplant pieces are the texture that you desire.

 

 

Eggplants are used in Asian (especially Indian), Middle Eastern, and European (especially Italian) cuisine.

 

Flavors That Go

Common ingredients used
in eggplant recipes include:

balsamic vinegar
capers
carrots
cayenne pepper
chicken stock
chopped fresh basil 
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh thyme
dried oregano
dry white wine
eggs
fresh bread crumbs
garlic cloves
grated Parmesan cheese
ground coriander
ground cumin
honey
lemons and lemon juice
milk
olive oil
onion
pine nuts
red and green bell pepper
red onion
red pepper flakes
red wine vinegar
sea salt
sesame seeds and oil
shallots
soy sauce
thyme
tomato paste
tomatoes
zucchini

 

Classic Eggplant Recipes:

Eggplant Dip
Baba Ghanoush
Baklazhannaia Ikra (sometimes called  Eggplant Caviar and Poor Man’s Caviar)
Grilled Eggplant
Pasta with Eggplant
Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Lasagna
Scalloped Eggplant
Thai Green Curry with Eggplant
Stuffed Eggplant
Eggplant Stir-Fry
Deep Fried Eggplant
Eggplant sandwich
Eggplant Casserole
Eggplant Soup
Eggplant Salad
Roasted Eggplant
Pickled Eggplant
Eggplant Juice
Eggplant Pizza
Eggplant Fritters
Imam Bayildi
Moussaka
Caponata
Rollatini

 

 

 


Eggplant Tips And Techniques

It is not recommended to store eggplants in the refrigerator. They store best on the kitchen counter for several days.

Remove the stem from eggplants before cooking. Removing the skin is optional. Some people enjoy the different texture the skin can add to a dish, but it is usually removed before pureeing a dish.

Salting and draining over a colander for 20 to 60 minutes before cooking is optional. It probably does not actually remove bitterness but it may hide any bitterness that may be present in older eggplants. It will help to keep eggplants from absorbing excess oil, but some recipes actually depend on absorbed oil to create the optimum texture.

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