I was reading about eggplant in some magazine somewhere (sorry, no cite), and they recommended breading eggplant before frying it to reduce the amount of oil absorbed.
Now, it’s true that eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge, and I can maybe imagine that a layer of breading might prevent the oil from reaching the eggplant, but I’ve always thought of breading as a coating designed to soak up oil. Can breading in this case actually reduce the total amount of fat?
If you use beaten egg or similar to make the breading stick to the eggplant, and (most importantly) the oil is screaming hot before you put the food in it, then it really does cut down on the amount of oil absorbed by the eggplant by forming a coating.
When properly frying something, A) getting the oil hot enough and b) not letting the cooked food hang out in the oil the amount of oil absorbed is minimal. The you see the “sizzling” of a frying item, that’s the water vapor escaping the food item, as long as that’s being forced out the poil can’t get in. Some seepage is unavoidable but breading will drastically reduce the oil intake of the eggplant.
Also, the cooked egg in the breading doesn’t soak up that much oil; when frying in general, if the oil is hot enough you sear the outer surface so that it’s cooked “closed.”
This is all true… but what’s the point of eating fried food if you don’t get a big greasy dose of fat?
Thanks for the info! I’ll definitely try a little bread-crumb action next time I make eggplant!
Sprinkle on a little tarragon and put a slice of tomato on top. It won’t do anything about oil absorption, but do it anyway. I command you! Actually it’s just a suggestion.