Eggplant is a really versatile low-carb veggie. Its taste is quite mild, which gives you lots of options for spicing it up with your favorite seasonings. This method here produces a super-succulent interior with a crispy surface. Serve as a fabulous side dish, appetizer, or as a light meal: just pair it with green salad and a vinaigrette dressing.
Tips for making the Easy Fried Keto Eggplant
This is a relatively easy dish to make, but you can actually make it even easier. I’ve added a step in which you “sweat” the eggplant by sprinkling it with salt and letting it drain in a colander for about 20-30 minutes. This procedure does improve the texture and flavor, but it’s not absolutely necessary, so if you are in a hurry, feel free to skip this step.
Be prepared to use lots of butter or olive oil. The coating absorbs a lot of fat (yum!), so you need a substantial amount of fat for frying. However, you don’t want the eggplant to become soggy. Therefore, whichever type of fat you use, be sure it’s piping hot before you add the coated eggplant slices. If it’s not hot enough, you’ll end up with a soggy result instead of the deliciously crunchy surface you’re looking for.
Like I said, eggplant is pretty bland in itself, so be sure to add enough spices. I love this garlicky herb mix, but feel free to use any of your favorite spices. (For more ideas, see the end of this post!) In any case, make sure you add enough seasoning to give the dish some flavor.
I don’t think there’s any need to add salt here. Both the Parmesan and the pork rinds have salt, and if you don’t skip the step in which you sprinkle the eggplant with salt, the eggplant will become slightly salty anyway (even after rinsing).
So, that’s it. Let’s take a look at how to make this exceptionally scrumptious keto dish:
Take a large eggplant and slice it into 1/4-inch (0.6 cm) thick slices.
Here we go.
Sprinkle the eggplant slices liberally on both sides with salt.
Place the salted eggplant slices into a colander and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Rinse the salted eggplant slices thoroughly with cold water.
Pat dry. Set aside.
Place the eggs into a shallow bowl.
Place the pork rinds…
…and the herb mix (or whatever spices you’re using) into a large shallow bowl.
Mix until well combined.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add plenty of butter or oil.
Dip the eggplant slices — one by one — first in the beaten eggs…
…and then in the seasoned Parmesan and pork rind mixture.
Ensure it’s properly coated.
Ensure that the butter or oil in the pan is piping hot. Add the coated eggplant slices and fry for about 5-10 minutes on each side, or until the surface is crispy and golden brown.
I’m flipping the eggplant slice here.
See? Now they look nicely golden brown with a crispy surface and a moist, succulent interior.
My fried eggplant experiments
I seldom make eggplant dishes — and I don’t know why, because they’re very tasty when you add enough spices. I love to make a baba ganoush-style dip, and fried eggplant slices, too. Here is one of my favorite recipes featuring fried eggplant. Actually, having been inspired by that particular dish, I wanted to make a version of fried eggplant with a thick, crispy coating. I often use almond flour for coating (like in this recipe), but now I wanted to see how crushed pork rinds would work. In many recipes, almond flour can be replaced with crushed pork rinds to further reduce carbs — as in the aforementioned fish recipe, which also has a variation using pork rinds.
Since pork rinds lack any real taste, I wanted to add some Parmesan and another type of seasoning. Eggplant is mild, so it really does need to be seasoned properly. I chose this garlicky herb mix, since garlic goes wonderfully with eggplant. Eggplant just shines when it’s paired with garlic and herbs!
I usually like to cut corners when cooking, but this time I wanted to see whether sprinkling the eggplant slices with salt and letting them sit before rinsing would affect the texture and/or taste. This is a very common procedure when cooking with eggplant, but as an impatient (and busy!) person, I often simply skip it.
This procedure did indeed improve the texture slightly — and I think it reduced the required cooking time — but it’s not absolutely necessary. The recipe works fine without this step.
At first, I used far too little egg and not enough dry ingredients for coating. I started with 1/3 cup (80 ml) Parmesan and the same amount of pork rinds. However, this amount wasn’t enough for even 1/3 of the eggplant! All in all, I conducted several experiments before I finally managed to get the amounts right.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
|Nutrition Information||In total||Per serving if 6 servings in total|
|Protein||99.8 g||16.6 g|
|Fat||62.2 g||10.4 g|
|Net carbs||14.0 g||2.3 g|
|kcal||1013 kcal||169 kcal|
Tips for variations
Feel free to use your favorite seasonings instead of the recommended herb mix: again, this dish really needs a good dose of spice. Parmesan does have some flavor on its own, but you’ll definitely want to add something spicy or herby as well.
If you want to try individual herbs, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, tarragon and chives are good choices. Or you can simply choose an Italian-style seasoning mix, like this one, or this one.