Filipino Fried Eggplant (A Recipe from Our Honeymoon)
When Joshua and I got married in 2018, he searched the whole world to decide on the best country to honeymoon in. Knowing that this was my first time on a plane AND my first time to leave the country, he considered the decision carefully and ultimately decided on the Philippines.
Although I was nervous about such a long distance trip, it turned out to be a wonderful experience and one I remember with fondness (that is after my mosquito bites and sunburn healed and I forgot miserable my body felt.)
The hosts that we had were all very good cooks and Joshua and I enjoyed the food immensely. We even smuggled home a donut in our backpack to share with our family.
One of the places we stayed was an AirBnB on a remote island. Upon arriving on the island, I discovered that our accommodations were to be a tree house that looked like it came straight out of the Swiss Family Robinson movie.
(This was the view of the ocean from our treehouse balcony.)
Our hosts there were Christine, Bryan, and Albin (pictured above) and one of the dishes they made for us several times was this fried eggplant.
On our last night on the island, I entered their off-the-grid open-air kitchen and asked them to show me how to make the recipe.
I later recreated it at home and this is my version.
Despite being the ugliest looking food on this blog, I promise this fried eggplant is delicious.
A few recipe notes:
Roasting- In the Philippines, the eggplant was roasted over a grill, but I use the oven when making it at home.
Breading- I believe they used regular white flour and seasoning for the breading, but I created a breading that is grain and gluten free.
Eggplant- For this recipe, you will want 2 skinny eggplants that are about the size and shape of a hotdog bun or slightly larger.
Filipino Fried Eggplant
- 2 skinny eggplants, about the size and shape of a hotdog bun or slightly larger
- 1 egg
- 2 T. almond flour
- 2 T. arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 2 T. grated parmesan
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 T. coconut oil for frying
Preheat oven or grill to 425. Roast the whole eggplants (without removing the skin or stems) for 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender, but not mushy. They will probably deflate when pierced with a fork and the skins will be an ugly brown color.
Allow the eggplants to cool enough to handle.
Use your fingers to peel off the skins while holding the eggplant by the stem. (If the eggplants are fully cooked, the skins will peel easily.)
In a shallow container, beat the egg.
In another shallow container, combine the dry ingredients to make a breading.
Heat the oil in a skillet.
Use a fork and gently rake the tines through the meat of the eggplant lengthwise. The idea is to allow the breading to soak into the eggplant, so smash and shred as much as possible while still keeping the eggplant in one piece (you don't want it to fall apart).
Dip both sides of the eggplant in the beaten egg, then thoroughly coat in the breading.
Fry in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides.
In the Philippines, we ate them with nothing but a sprinkle of salt and pepper, but I'm sure they would also be delicious if topped with sour cream, salsa, or your preferred topping!