Oven-Fried Eggplant Sticks

Oven-Fried Eggplant

Molly Watson

Ratings (39)
  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 Portions (4-6 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
229 Calories
6g Fat
37g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4-6 Portions (4-6 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 229
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 2619mg 114%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Protein 9g
Calcium 95mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These oven-fried eggplant sticks were inspired by the deep-fried versions served at Galatoire's restaurant in New Orleans. FYI: "oven-fried" is a fancy word for "baked," if you really love crispy and don't mind frying, consider making the fried version instead.

At Galatoire's these lovelies are served with powdered sugar for dipping or sprinkling. Sound odd? It may be, but it's also delicious. It's a good reminder that in earlier days vegetables of all sorts, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and peas were commonly sweetened when served. A dash or two of Tabasco sauce isn't out of order here either.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (divided)
  • 2 globe eggplants
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large bowl dissolve 2 tablespoons of the salt in 1 cup warm water. Add 2 quarts (8 cups) cold water. Set aside.

  2. Trim the eggplants and cut them into ½-inch thick, 3- to 4-inch long sticks. Some people find eggplant skin difficult to digest; you can remove and discard the peel, if you like. Put the sticks in the salt water, use a pot lid or an upside-down plate to submerge them and keep them under the water (they will want to float), and let them sit 30 minutes. (Why are you doing this? It's called brining, and it magically helps eggplant hold its shape when you cook it.)

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus the pepper and cayenne, if you like. Add the oil and use your fingers to work the oil into the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large plate or shallow bowl. Set aside.

  4. Whisk the eggs to break them up completely; seriously whisk them, you don't want any blobs of egg white in there. When you lift the whisk up it should be as lifting it out of water.

  5. Preheat an oven to 425 F. Liberally oil a large baking sheet (or use a nonstick one).

  6. Drain and thoroughly dry the eggplant sticks by patting them with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.

  7. Keeping one hand dry and one hand wet, dip an eggplant stick in the eggs, lift in out and shake off any excess egg, put the stick in the breadcrumb mixture and coat the eggplant stick completely, lift it out and shake off any excess bread crumbs, transfer the stick to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sticks.

  8. Bake the eggplant, turning once, until browned, crispy, and tender to the bite, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

You can keep them warm in a 220 F oven, but they really are best if served and eaten right away.