Eggplant Your Kids Will Love

I am so tired of hearing people say they hate eggplant. Children, particularly, seem hard pressed to even try it. Maybe it’s the name, or the fact that without properly prepping it, this vegetable is just a big loafy sponge. It can also turn into a soggy mess if it’s not cooked correctly. So when people say they don’t like the taste, I figure they’ve just had a bad experience with it.

When my nieces were visiting recently, they said they didn’t like eggplant. I found this hard to believe as they live near my mother, who is the queen of eggplant, and I know she’s made her famous eggplant parmesan for them numerous times. But after a little questioning, I found out that what they really didn’t like was the texture of unbreaded eggplant. Ready to defend the honor of this beloved vegetable, I set to work to find a recipe they would love.

Luckily my mother was also visiting so I had two brains working on this problem instead of just one. When one of my nieces saw my zucchini post on BAB, she said the fried flowers looked good. My mother then remembered that her dad (my grandfather) had loved eggplant dipped in only seasoned flower and egg and then lightly fried in olive oil. I figured this was a great way to introduce kids to eggplant as the simple batter recipe kept the spices to a minimum and the crunchiness of the fried eggplant would negate any squishy texture the eggplant would naturally provide.

Both my nieces and daughters loved this dish. We actually had to slice up a second eggplant to make more for the demanding fans. Everyone also had a lot of fun preparing it with me. So if your little ones insist they hate eggplant (or if you have an adult in the same boat), try this recipe. It’s fun to make with kids and a surefire way to create eggplant lovers in your house.

Simply Breaded and Fried Eggplant

1 medium-large eggplant
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt

Preparation

  1. Peel eggplant and then cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  2. Lay sheets of paper towel onto a cookie sheet or large colander (I prefer the latter) and lay enough eggplant slices down to cover the surface. Generously sprinkle salt onto the eggplant and then cover with another layer of paper towels. Repeat until you’re out of eggplant.
  3. Let eggplant slices sit for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Heat a frying pan (not nonstick) on medium high. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom with a 1/4-inch of oil.
  5. Beat eggs with milk in a large flatish bowl and add 1/2 tsp salt to season it. Then mix the oregano and the other 1/2 tsp salt into the flour on a plate.
  6. When oil is heated, press paper towels into the eggplant to soak up any extra liquid and then start dipping the eggplant slices into the flour mixture. Shake off an excess flour and then dip into the egg mixture to coat thoroughly.
  7. Lay battered eggplant into the pan in batches, being sure not to crowd the pan.
  8. Fry each side until golden brown. If the pan starts to get too hot, just lower the heat.
  9. Serve immediately.
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45 Responses so far »

  1. 2

    Tory said,

    Unbelievably good recipe!!! My 5 year old loved it and so did I! Know I finally know what to do with eggplant! I can’t imagine anyone not liking this – it is that good. I followed the recipe exactly except I used rice flour in place of wheat flour. Thanks for a great recipe to add to my cook book!

  2. 3

    dslincoln said,

    Hi Tory — I’m so glad you and your 5-year old liked it and using rice flour is a great way to make the recipe gluten free. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. 4

    Tamara McFarland said,

    Thank, super tasty!

  4. 5

    Lisha.B said,

    Hi, just want to make but wasn’t sure about a step. Please clarify … You state “… when oil is heated, press paper towels into the eggplant to soak up any extra liquid and then start dipping the eggplant slices into the flour mixture. Shake off an excess oil and then dip into the egg mixture to coat thoroughly…”

    Does this mean that I coat in flour then oil then egg?

  5. 6

    dslincoln said,

    Hi Lisha — Oops. You’ve caught a typo! Sorry about that. Step 6 should have read “Shake off an excess flour and then dip into the egg mixture to coat thoroughly.” So definitely only dip in flour and then egg before frying (no oil before it hits the pan). I’ve fixed the error. Thanks for alerting me to it 🙂

    • 7

      Lisha.B said,

      no problem, i just want to get it right as I always seem to mess recipes up. I truly like this one as it is healthy and the kids can assist in making it.

      I’m actually drying the eggplant slices (didn;t realize the eggplant slices have so much wetness to them) right now and waiting for the hubby to bring the breadcrumbs. Will let you know, keeping my fingers crossed.

    • 8

      Lisha.B said,

      We just finished and it was a definite success with the kids, both preparing it and actually eating the finished product. Also, I mixed seasoned breadcrumbs and flour together for a final granular finish. Thank you.

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  7. 10

    mary said,

    Love the recipe. You still have a tiny typo: in step six you say shake of an excess flour. We’re sure you meant any excess flour.

  8. 11

    sameerah said,

    I dont think my kids like it but i do.

  9. 12

    Jennfer said,

    I’ve never tried eggplant and used your recipe tonight. What a hit!! My picky 4 year old couldn’t get enough. I sprinkled a little bit of parmesan cheese on top when piping hot- yummy!

  10. 14

    Jacklyn said,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Not only dose my very picky husband love it but the children I nanny for(ages 1 and 3) couldn’t get enough. The mom tried some the last time I made it and today requested I make it.

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  13. 18

    stephenie said,

    I’m excited to try this recipe as my picky daughter has choosen eggplant as her new vegetable this week and I’m determined for her to like them! I was wondering what you like to serve this with?

    • 19

      dslincoln said,

      Hi Stephanie – How great that your daughter has a vegetable of the week! What a great idea. You can really serve this with just about anything. I’ve served it alongside chicken and fish with a salad and also served it with pasta on the side. Keep in mind that they are so good fresh out of the pan that only about half of them are around by the time dinner arrives as everyone in my family just eats them off the plate as soon as they cool a bit. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Thanks for writing!

  14. 20

    Beth said,

    Hi – I am preparing the eggplant now and just finished generously salting the slices before letting them weep. Do I then wipe off the excess salt? Seems like they’ll taste great, but have a high sodium content…

    • 21

      dslincoln said,

      Hi Beth – great question. I just pat the slices with the dampened paper towels and that removes any excess salt. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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    CPCT said,

    Does this recipe call for salting both sides of the slices of eggplant? or only the side facing up in the layers placed in the colander? In other words, salt on one or both sides of eggplant? Already done the salting so for this time it is what it is but for the next one potentially….. 😉

    • 44

      dslincoln said,

      I only salt one side, but I don’t think it would hurt to salt both. Just make sure you wipe some of it off with a paper towel before using so it’s not too salty. Good luck!

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