Fried eggplant and honey is a classic combination served across Andalusia, especially in Córdoba.
Chrunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and absolutely delicious. This is my take on the recipe, with an Asian twist that will leave you licking the screen. Ideal as an appetizer, to be served with hummus or even with some sweet chili sauce.
We start off by cutting the aubergine. Uneven wedges or long sticks are just fine, but if you want an extra crunch, try to thinly slice it. Normally, after this stage, the traditional recipe will call for soaking the aubergines in milk before tossing them in flour and then frying them.
But, why do they milk? Milk will act as a repellent, preventing the aubergines from soaking up too much oil. As we’re giving the recipe an Asian twist, we will avoid milk and all-purpose flour. So, what will we use instead? For this recipe we will use tempura batter. I just bought the tempura flour from my local Asian supermarket, but if you know how to make your homemade tempura batter, please go crazy! If you’re choosing to use the store-bought flour, please read carefully the instructions. This is especially important for the ratio flour/water.
So, going back to the milk: what did I substitute it with? Sparkling water. This will prevent the fried aubergines from becoming too oily and it won’t change the flavour of the batter. The only thing to take into account is that your water needs to be sufficiently cold (no matter whether you’re using sparkling or still water).
Once your batter is ready, throw in the aubergines one by one and fry them in batches. In the meantime, prepare your honey-soy glaze. Melt together 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. It can also be served as a dipping sauce, which I usually dilute with a few dashes of water.
Now they’re ready to be served! Enjoy 🙂