We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Best Tips for Marinating Eggplant?

By Cynde Gregory
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Eggplant is a wonderfully versatile food that can be prepared in a number of ways. It lacks flavor on its own, so marinating eggplant is one way to enhance it. The texture of an uncooked eggplant is porous and spongelike. It will absorb an enormous amount of oil unless the cook guards against this by following a set of steps. A successfully marinated eggplant must first have its bitter juices removed as well.

The first thing a cook needs to know in order to create a successful marinated eggplant dish is what to look for when purchasing. Globe eggplants, which are considerably larger and more pear-shaped than long, narrow Chinese eggplants, should be examined for smooth skin. Eggplants with bruised or broken skin will have damaged flesh; in a vegetable this tender, that condition is best avoided. The wise cook will also select an eggplant that is relatively light in weight. This means the vegetable contains less of the bitter juices and will be easier to prepare.

Marinating eggplant is a popular way to augment the otherwise uninteresting flavor. Even well-chosen eggplants contain a lot of bitter juice, so in order for a marinade to work, the cook must begin by draining off as much of the bitter juice as possible. The best way to do this is to slice or cube the eggplant and cover each piece with a lot of salt. Layering these salted pieces in a colander and weighing them with a heavy platter or saucepan helps the salt draw out the bitter juices, which fall through the colander’s holes and drain away.

Eggplants are notorious when it comes to absorbing oil. Whether the vegetable is fried, baked, or grilled, it does not cook well without some added fat. There are a few things a cook can do to limit the amount of fat the marinating eggplant absorbs.

One method is to mix a small amount of oil with vinegar or soy sauce, some lemon, and flavor enhancers, such as ginger or garlic, in a large zip-top baggie. Diced or sliced eggplant added to the baggie permits all sides of the cut vegetable to be equally exposed to the marinade at once. Marinating eggplant in a glass dish permits the pieces at the bottom to absorb more oil than those higher up, but using a baggie alleviates that problem.

Alternatively, spraying all sides with cooking oil spray before marinating eggplant pieces creates a kind of block that inhibits the oil in the marinade from being absorbed too rapidly. This method permits the cook to use a greater amount of vinegar in the marinade and much less oil. Some cooks say that boiling diced eggplant in water for a few minutes before marinating also keeps the eggplant from absorbing too much oil.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.