Welcome, foodies! Today, I am excited to share with you one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes, the Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe. This dish is the perfect addition to any meal or can be enjoyed as a standalone meal. The combination of salt and pepper, along with tangy limes and crispy eggplants, makes this recipe an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
My love for this recipe started when I was traveling through Asia and tried it for the first time. I was blown away by how well the simplicity of the ingredients worked together. Since then, I have been perfecting the recipe to bring you all its deliciousness.
Not only is this dish packed with flavor, but it’s also a healthier alternative to traditional fried foods – thanks to soda water and baking powder. It’s a perfect side dish for any Asian-themed dinner party, barbecue or weekend lunch.
So let’s jump into the ingredients list and learn how to make this sensational Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for an Asian-inspired eggplant recipe that will make your family and friends drool? Look no further than this Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant recipe.
What makes this dish so special? First, the combination of salt and pepper gives the eggplant a unique depth of flavor. The slightly spicy kick is balanced perfectly with the mild sweetness of eggplant.
The recipe also calls for a secret ingredient: soda water mixed with baking powder and flour to create a crispy coating for the eggplant. This results in perfectly fried eggplant that stays crispy even after tossing with soy sauce and lime juice.
Not only is this dish a crowd-pleaser, it’s also incredibly versatile. Pair it with steamed rice as a main course or serve it as a delicious side dish to any Asian meal. And don’t be afraid to get creative with substitutions – try using Chinese eggplant or even green bell peppers.
Trust us, once you try this Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe, it will become a go-to addition to your weekly meal rotation.
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at what ingredients you’ll need for this Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe. Here is what you should have on hand:
- 2 Chinese eggplants or 3 to 4 Asian eggplants cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons of rice flour or plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ cup of soda water
- Canola oil for frying
For the seasoning:
– ? teaspoon salt
– ? teaspoon ground black pepper
– Lime wedges and cilantro leaves
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have gone through the ingredients list, we’ll get into how to make this delicious Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe.
Before starting with the recipe, we need to do some preparation. This includes cutting the eggplants and getting our dry batter ready.
To start, take 2 large eggplants or 4 small Chinese eggplants, wash them and cut off the ends. Cut them into 1-inch cubes, then toss in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Afterward, rinse them with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Then, in a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of rice flour, 1/2 cup of plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly add in about 1/2 cup of cold soda water, whisking until you have a thin batter.
Frying the Eggplant
Now that our preparation is done, it’s time to fry the eggplant. In a large wok or frying pan, heat up about 2-3 cups of cooking oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F.
One by one, dip each piece of eggplant in the batter and let any excess batter drip off before carefully placing them in the oil. Fry for about 3-4 minutes until they turn crispy golden brown. Then, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place it onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Flavoring the Eggplant
In another pan or wok over high heat, add about 1 tablespoon of oil (canola oil works well) along with diced garlic and chili peppers. Stir-fry for 30 seconds then add in about 3 tablespoons of sliced green onions. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds then add the fried eggplant into the pan, along with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Saute everything for another minute until well combined.
Serving your Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant
Once all the ingredients have been stirred together, it’s time to serve your Vietnamese salt and pepper eggplant hot! A fresh sprinkle of lime juice will add brightness to the dish. This dish is a perfect complement when served with steamed rice and other Vietanmese or asian dishes like Di San Xian, Tom Rang Muoi, or Pepper Tofu.
Substitutions and Variations
There are plenty of ways to get creative with this Vietnamese salt and pepper eggplant recipe, and I’m excited to share a few substitutions and variations that will make your taste buds dance.
First off, if you can’t find Chinese eggplant, don’t fret- regular eggplant works just as well. It may even provide a heartier texture to the dish than Chinese eggplant would.
If you’re looking for a spicier kick to your eggplant dish, consider adding some red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce to the mix. This will really ramp up the heat factor and add depth of flavor to the dish.
Not feeling like frying your eggplant? You can still achieve those delicious crispy bits by grilling or roasting the eggplant instead. Try cutting them into 1 inch cubes, brushing them with some canola oil, and popping them in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
For a vegetarian twist on this recipe, swap out the pork for tofu. You can use firm tofu in place of pork ribs, cubed and seasoned with salt and pepper before frying until crispy. Alternatively, you can stuff the eggplant with seasoned tofu filling for a delicious vegetarian meal.
Looking for a fresh twist on this classic Vietnamese dish? Add sliced green onions and cilantro leaves as garnish before serving to really elevate those flavors. You can also try pairing it with some garlic sauce or soy sauce dipping sauce for added depth of flavor.
No matter which variation you choose, this recipe is sure to delight your taste buds and impress your guests!
Serving and Pairing
This Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant recipe is the ultimate treat for those who love their side dishes with a bit of a spicy kick. The dish works well with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals and can even act as the star of an Asian-inspired spread.
One way you can serve it is by pairing it with a main course of stir-fried beef or chicken. Alternatively, it can also be paired with rice, noodles or other grains. The spiciness provides great contrasting flavors against bland main dishes, while the crispy outer layer of the eggplant adds texture in every bite.
For vegetarians, this eggplant recipe can be paired perfectly with other vegetable dishes such as stir-fried bok choy or snap peas, which have light flavors that complement the spiciness of the eggplant.
To balance out the flavor of this side dish, you can squeeze fresh lime juice on top. The acidity from the lime juice will help brighten up the salty and spicy taste of the eggplant.
Lastly, for those looking to pair this dish with a drink, a light lager beer or a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc will complement the saltiness of this dish without overpowering it.
Try this Salt and Pepper Eggplant recipe alongside your favorite Asian-inspired dishes and bring new life to your recipes.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to make-ahead, storing and reheating this Vietnamese salt and pepper eggplant recipe, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best results possible.
If you want to make this dish ahead of time, just follow the recipe instructions up to the point of frying the eggplant. Once the eggplant is fried, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. You can store the fried eggplant in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to serve, heat up some cooking oil in a pan and fry the eggplant until it’s crispy and heated through. This will help the eggplant maintain its crispy texture while still being tender on the inside.
If you have leftovers of this dish, it can also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. To reheat, simply heat some oil in a pan, add the leftover eggplant and stir-fry until heated through.
One thing to keep in mind is that reheating can cause the eggplant to become slightly less crispy than when it was freshly cooked. But don’t worry – it will still be delicious!
Overall, this dish stores well for several days if stored properly and can easily be reheated with just a little bit of oil and a frying pan.
Tips for Perfect Results
If you want to achieve the best-fried salt and pepper eggplant, here are some tips that I recommend:
Firstly, use Chinese eggplant or Asian eggplant as your main ingredient. They have a thinner skin compared to other types of eggplants, which makes it easier to cook and absorb the flavors in the dish.
Secondly, make sure to cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes for even frying. This will ensure that each piece is evenly cooked and delicious.
Thirdly, I highly recommend using a mixture of rice flour and plain flour when coating the eggplant before frying. The combination of these flours creates a thin and crispy outer layer that retains its texture even when the eggplant is cooked.
Fourthly, be sure to mix baking powder and soda water in your batter. This mixture will create bubbles when mixed which gives a fluffier texture to your fried eggplants.
Fifthly, don’t overcrowd your skillet with too many pieces of eggplant at once. This will cause the temperature of the oil to drop, resulting in soggy eggplants. It is best to fry the eggplant in small batches until they are all cooked perfectly.
Last but not least, be mindful of the oil temperature while frying. For optimal results, heat canola oil until it reaches 375°Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius before adding the coated eggplants into it. This temperature ensures that your salt and pepper eggplants become crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
By following these easy tips, you’ll end up with perfectly fried salt and pepper eggplant every time.
In conclusion, this Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe is the perfect addition to your recipe collection. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also a healthy and delicious alternative to more traditional eggplant recipes. With its crispy coating and spicy seasoning, this dish is sure to impress.
The addition of soda water and baking powder creates a light and airy batter that will leave your eggplant perfectly crispy, while the use of rice flour and plain flour ensures that it stays gluten-free. And with so many variations and substitutions available, you can customize this dish to suit your tastes and preferences.
Whether you’re looking for a tasty side dish or a main course, this recipe has you covered. Serve it alongside rice or noodles for a filling meal that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. And with its long list of health benefits, including its high fiber content and low calorie count, you can feel great about indulging in this Asian-inspired treat.
So why wait? Head to your local grocery store today and gather all the ingredients you need to make this delicious Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe. It’s sure to become a staple in your recipe repertoire, earning rave reviews from family and friends alike. Give it a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Eggplant Recipe
- 2 eggplants
- 75 g plain flour
- 100 g rice flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup soda water
- 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons pepper
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 2 cups oil
- mix freshly ground pepper and salt together set aside.
- peel eggplant and slice into finger sized pieces - not too thick.
- sift and mix flours with baking soda.
- add iced soda water slowly till consistency of pouring cream.
- heat oil in wok or deep fryer.
- dust eggplant with flour dip in batter thin coating
- fry in batches till golden.
- sprinkle with salt n pepper mixture.
- serve with wedges of limes
- optional add egg to flour for softer batter.
- add chili to batter for extra zing.