How to Salt Eggplant

The secret to delicious, quickly-cooking eggplant is just one basic ingredient and a little time. Here’s how to salt eggplant before cooking to draw out moisture and condense its flavor.

Eggplant slices being dried.

Recipe ingredients:

Eggplant cut into planks, slices, and cubes on a gray board.

Ingredient notes:

  • Eggplant: Salting removes excess liquid and some of the bitterness. Today’s eggplants are bred for mildness, thought, so it’s not as important as it used to be. If the recipe calls for it, or if you want to, peel the eggplant before cutting. This method works for eggplant slices, cubes, or planks.
  • Salt: I like to use kosher salt because it’s fun to sprinkle and easier to handle. But, table salt is fine too.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Set a colander or wire rack over a sink, bowl, or rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle salt generously over all sides of the eggplant and add to colander. Let sit for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
    Sliced eggplant in a colander set in a clear bowl full of eggplant juice.
  2. Rinse lightly under cold water, place on paper towels, and pat dry.
    Eggplant slices being dried.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: 1 pound eggplant = 6 cups cubed, raw (3 cups cooked). Serving size is about 2 cups raw, 1 cup cooked.
  • Shopping for eggplant: Look for an eggplant that has firm skin and has a substantial heft in your hand. Heavier fruit is a sign that the eggplant is fresh and hydrated. Avoid eggplant with any soft spots, discoloration, or wrinkling.
  • Ideal for frying: Salting eggplant that will be fried makes it creamy and rich.

More delicious recipe ideas:

Eggplant slices being dried.

How to Salt Eggplant

The secret to delicious, not water-logged, eggplant is just one basic ingredient and a little time. Here’s how to salt eggplant before cooking to draw out moisture and bring out its subtle yet remarkable flavor.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 38kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant sliced or cubed, peeled if desired (about 12 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (see note 2)

Instructions

  • Toss the eggplant with salt and let it drain in a colander for about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Spread drained eggplant over paper towels. Wipe away as much salt as possible and press firmly on each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.

Notes

  1. Eggplant: Salting removes excess liquid and some of the bitterness. Today’s eggplants are bred for mildness, thought, so it’s not as important as it used to be. If the recipe calls for it, or if you want to, peel the eggplant before cutting. This method works for eggplant slices, cubes, or planks.
  2. Salt: I like to use kosher salt because it's fun to sprinkle and easier to handle. But, table salt is fine too.
  3. Yield: 1 pound eggplant = 6 cups cubed, raw (3 cups cooked). Serving size is about 2 cups raw, 1 cup cooked.
  4. Shopping for eggplant: Look for an eggplant that has firm skin and has a substantial heft in your hand. Heavier fruit is a sign that the eggplant is fresh and hydrated. Avoid eggplant with any soft spots, discoloration, or wrinkling.
  5. Ideal for frying: Salting eggplant that will be fried makes it creamy and rich.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1166mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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