Fried eggplant

by LocalTable 4 January, 2018 0 comment

I’m still working eggplant out. So many people I know absolutely love it and relish its summer arrival. I’m dubious, but I’m determined to discover what my friends love about it. I’ve cooked some pretty bleargh eggplant in my time, but as I keep saying: I am not a cook.

But this is community supported agriculture and we must eat what we receive in the box! So I turned to Tim and Tobie of Queen Street Growers (ex-chefs at The River, turned market gardeners) for a foolproof, easy-as way to cook eggplant and this is what they gave me.

The great thing about this recipe is you get to decide how much you want of just about all the ingredients. Add as much garlic, ginger and chilli as you want. No need to be precise, just bung some in and see how it comes out. Adjust it for next time, if you want to.

I’ve also discovered there’s quite a debate around whether or not to salt the eggplant before cooking it. Salt extracts moisture and tenderises, but when I asked Tobie, she said it’s uneccesary and she doesn’t salt eggplant. So I didn’t! And it came out fine.

Stay tuned for more adventures in eggplant.

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Serves: 2-4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 eggplants, cut into approx 1 cm pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • chilli (fresh, dried, flakes... whatever, just add the chilli however you like chilli)
  • small quantity of oil (peanut or ricebran is good, don't use olive)
  • soy sauce or tamari for drizzling
  • coriander, chopped (optional)


  1. Gently heat the oil in your favourite frying pan. You won’t need much, just enough to thinly cover the pan.
  2. Chuck in the chopped eggplant. It should gently but determinedly sizzle, not crackle, when it hits the oil. Stir or toss to coat all the eggplant and fry until almost cooked and starting to look a little golden, around 15 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat down a little and add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn.
  4. If necessary, tip the eggplant onto some paper towels to drain excess oil.
  5. Serve with steamed rice and drizzle with soy sauce or tamari (only a little) and a generous sprinkle of coriander, if you like coriander (I didn’t have any when I made this).


This can be eaten as a side dish, or add some tofu or chicken to the rice and it's an entire meal.

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