The Brining Tip To Follow For More Delicious Eggplant

Delicately sweet with a mild bitter flavor, eggplants are a delicious addition to a variety of meals. The nightshade fruit is versatile, used in everything from ratatouille to a vegan eggplant BLT recipe. Although eggplants are routinely cooked in many cuisines, the fruit often gets a bad rap. It's often called soggy, overly bitter, or mushy. However, not preparing it properly is the real problem.

Eggplants are naturally porous. The fruit has tiny holes all over it that soak in oil and water like a sponge, resulting in soggy eggplants. If you've ever been to a restaurant and had tender yet firm eggplant, the fruit was most likely placed in brine. By letting it soak in a bath of salt water, you'll get sturdier eggplant slices.

It may sound counterintuitive to soak eggplant in water to prevent it from being mushy, but the key is the salt. The mineral brings moisture out, getting rid of the excess water found within the eggplant. The method also rids eggplant of that bitter taste.

Properly brine and season eggplant

After slicing and rinsing your eggplant in cold water, fill a bowl with lukewarm and salt it heavily, as if you were boiling pasta. Pat your eggplant slices dry and then place them in the saltwater bath, allowing each slice to be fully submerged. Once the eggplant has been soaking for around 30 minutes to 1 hour, pour out the brine. Rinse the eggplant slices with cold water to get rid of excess salt. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth. 

Afterward, you can cook your eggplant as normal. Like most vegetables, you can season your eggplant right before or as it's cooking. However, you can also place spices in your brine in order for them to infuse flavor into the eggplant. Make spiced eggplant by sprinkling garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, cumin, and turmeric into the salt water. You can also use fresh herbs in the brine as well. Let herbs boil for a few minutes then allow the water to reach room temperature before placing the eggplant inside.