How to Cut an Eggplant

Learning how to cut an eggplant is easy to do. Besides peeling, slicing or cutting the eggplant into chunks to prepare for cooking, some varieties should have some of the moisture removed by salting or purging. Salting, also referred to as purging, was also used in the past to remove some of the bitterness from the larger varieties but now the eggplants have been bred so that they are not as bitter. The more common variety, the American eggplant, should have the skin removed because it is too tough to eat and it may be bitter tasting. If cooking whole, the skin can be removed after cooking.

The flesh of the eggplant browns quickly when exposed to air so once it is cut it should be treated with lemon juice to help minimize browning. For some recipes this won't be necessary because many times browning is part of the cooking process so it doesn't really matter that the eggplant turns brown when cut. But if the browning is not desired, brush with lemon juice as soon as it is cut. Described below are some methods used when preparing eggplant.

Cutting Eggplant Chunks or Cubes

Clean the eggplant by running under cold running water and wiping dry with a paper towel or wipe off with a damp paper towel.

Trim stem off from the eggplant. Do not peel.

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise with a large knife.
Brush the cut flesh with lemon juice to minimize browning.
To cut the eggplant into chunks, begin by cutting around the outside of each half without cutting through the skin.
Then cut the center diagonally to form a crisscross pattern in the flesh. Be sure to cut deep enough to cut all the flesh but do not cut through the skin.
Lift the cubed chunks out of each half using the tip of a knife and brush immediately with lemon juice.

Cutting Eggplant into Slices

Clean the eggplant by running under cold running water and wiping dry with a paper towel or wipe off with a damp paper towel.

Trim stem off from the eggplant.

Remove the skin from the eggplant by peeling with a vegetable peeler.
Brush the peeled flesh with lemon juice to minimize browning.
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.
Cut each half into slices of desired thickness.
Once the slices are all cut, brush them immediately with lemon juice. Prepare slices according to desired recipe.

Salting (Purging) the Eggplant

Salting the eggplant will remove some of the moisture and decrease the amount of oil that will be absorbed. The salt draws out the moisture in the eggplant, causing the air pockets in the flesh to collapse, preventing the flesh from absorbing took much oil when cooking. If the variety of eggplant being used has any bitterness to its flavor, salting will help reduce that also.

Slice the eggplant using the method shown above. Spread the slices out and sprinkle both sides generously with salt. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt for a medium sized eggplant.

After salting, place the slices in a colander and allow the slices to stand for 1/2 to 1 hour. Place the colander in the sink or in a bowl during the standing time so moisture can drain.
Once the slices have sat for the appropriate time, wipe the salt from the slices with a paper towel. Do not rinse off with water because that will cause the eggplant to absorb moisture back into it.
After wiping the salt off, squeeze the slices between the palms of your hands to get the excess moisture out of them. Squeeze over a bowl to catch the juices.
After all the slices have been squeezed, pat the slices dry with paper towels.
Slices are then ready to cook in the desire manner.

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chiefcharlie User
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"First year for growing eggplant. We weren't sure what to do with it so we were happy when we found this information. I see there is more info about eggplant on this site so I will be anxious to see what else we can find."
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