Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Eggplant's Bitterness

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01-11-2009, 10:15 PM
How do you get rid of (or can you get rid of) eggplant's bitterness? I was so excited about trying eggplant tonight, but was very disappointed when the bitterness reared it's ugly little head.

01-11-2009, 10:30 PM
I find that baby eggplant is less bitter. Maybe give that a shot?

01-11-2009, 10:41 PM
I don't care for american eggplant but japanese (long darker purple) and chinese (long lighter purple) eggplants are delicious.

01-11-2009, 10:54 PM
I also prefer the long, thin eggplants (they also come in shades of pink and white, solids and stripes) and the small egg shaped ones (also in several solid and striped colors of white, green and dark green stripes, and pinks and purples).

The smaller egg shaped ones sometimes have more seeds, though. Bitterness isn't a problem with the smaller eggplant varieties, and I've never had to try to reduce the bitterness (because there wasn't any).

You can salt slices of eggplant and let them sit and then rinse - this is supposed to leach out the bitterness. Personally, I've never found it to work well, I just ended up with a barely noticeably less bitter and now horrendously too salty eggplant.

01-11-2009, 11:52 PM
What was your prep and recipe? I never get bitter from eggplants, even the "bigguns".

01-12-2009, 12:05 AM
I dont know if this helps, but my dad used to soak them in apple cider vinegar. That actually probably made them more bitter...
Also my grandma used to make eggplant schnitzel.

Thighs Be Gone
01-12-2009, 12:07 AM
Did you peel it first? I eat eggplant a couple of times a week right now as I have been finding it super cheap. I have never gotten a bitter taste. How are you preparing it?

01-12-2009, 08:07 AM
First I salted it for a 1/2 hour, rinsed and dried. Then I dipped them in egg, and then in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and pepper (the crust was outstanding). Then I baked them.

01-12-2009, 03:43 PM
I have heard that only some people can detect the bitter flavor in some vegetables. Maybe it's true and eggplant is one of them.

I know some people don't detect the bitter, metallic taste in potassium chloride (salt substitutes) so it tastes just like regular salt to them. I thought I was nuts when my grandmother used it and would get annoyed with me when I'd refuse to eat anything seasoned with it. She'd say "it tastes just fine, eat it."

01-13-2009, 06:39 AM
If eggplant isn't thoroughly cooked, it can be bitter and tough. I salt it then let it weep, then brush the salt off, then cook. I think the bitterness is in the liquid that it releases and cooking it through should bring out a nutty flavor. I have however had eggplants that became a bitter, mushy mess no matter what I did.
My best luck with eggplant has been to peel and saute it and add it to soup. It adds a savory flavor and thickens the stock.
Good luck!

01-13-2009, 06:52 AM
A lady that my DH works with, told him, that the best way to prepare eggplant is to hollow out the core and use it as a vase!!! I thought that was pretty funny!!

01-13-2009, 11:07 AM
Sometimes I peel, chop and bake eggplant with can of diced tomatoes & abit of garlic, when tender grate cheese on top & bake until melted. Or use peeled eggplant slices (thick) instead of noodles in my lasagna. Both are never bitter & very tasty.

01-13-2009, 01:39 PM
A lady that my DH works with, told him, that the best way to prepare eggplant is to hollow out the core and use it as a vase!!! I thought that was pretty funny!!

LOL! I would have agreed completely, if I hadn't tried the japanese eggplant. In fact, I would never have even tried it, but one of the vendors at a farmers' market I frequent gave me some as a gift. She told me how to prepare them Hmong style (and I did, but I was highly suspicious of not having to leach out the bitterness).

If there'd been even a trace of bitterness, I would have pitched the batch, but they were great in a stir fry, and even better roasted.