How to Cook Eggplant? Let’s Find Out!

Are you planning to try Eggplant for the first time and want to know what you are getting yourself into? Well, we are here for you to describe how you are going to feel when you put the first bite of cooked eggplant in your mouth. But let us tell you that eggplant is not for everyone. Some people are fond of it while some have described it bland and bitter. 

So, how to cook eggplant?

Generally, Cooked eggplant tastes like zucchini, which makes sense as both belong to the same family (Nightshade). So, the taste is creamy, mild, soft with a hint of vegetal bitterness.

However, this is just an overview as the complete detail is described later in this article. 

What Does Eggplant/ Aubergine/ Brinjal Taste Like? Complete Details!

Eggplant, also known as Brinjal (in Asia) or Aubergine (in the UK), is a popular vegetable of the nightshade family that is grown in hot climates. You may have thought eggplant to be a vegetable until now, but technically, it is a berry. Yep! Jaw dropped, right? However, since almost everyone in the world knows it as a vegetable, we will also be referring to it like this to avoid any confusion.

eggplant

People often search, What does cooked eggplant taste like? You have already read that cooked eggplant is mild, soft, tender, and has a vegetal bitterness. However, its creamy texture depends on how you cook it. If you are using the right ingredients like butter, cooked eggplants will taste delightfully creamy as well. 

But that’s the description of the cooked brinjal. What does Raw Eggplant taste like?

Raw Eggplant after peeling is spongy, a little firm, has an aura of bitterness, and tastes similar to zucchini flavor. So, here is the answer to another frequently asked question, “Does eggplant taste like zucchini?”

People often ask, Can we eat Raw Eggplant? Several strains are available of this vegetable, hence it is found in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The two most common varieties of Eggplant the Americans eat are Italian Eggplant and American Eggplant. When Raw, both of these eggplant strains are bitter. 

Despite the bitter taste, Raw eggplant does not cause any harm if you eat it once a week. But if you eat it every two or three days, it will start causing stomach problems. So, be a wise person and only prefer to eat cooked eggplant. 

In addition to this, there is another eggplant variety which is white. You may also want to know, “What does white eggplant taste like?” Well, if the white eggplant is cooked to perfection, it feels creamy with a sweet flavor in your mouth. 

While we are on the topic of how eggplant tastes, you may find it interesting that eggplants are used to make vegan bacon as well. So, Does eggplant taste like meat? No it is not. However, it does have an umami touch in it which is why vegans add lentils and other beans to it to taste like meat. 

Moreover, there is a growing misconception that eggplants taste like mushrooms. Those who haven’t tried eggplants before often believe this. So, “Does eggplant taste like a mushroom?” Well, due to the spongy nature, eggplants do have some similarities with mushrooms. However, the closest one to this vegetable is still zucchini. 

Which Factors Impact The Taste of Eggplant? 

The factors the taste of eggplant depends on are: 

  1. Ingredients used
  2. Size of Eggplant
  3. Condition of Eggplant

Ingredients 

One great property of any eggplant is that it absorbs the flavor of the food item it is being cooked with. Moreover, whether you are using soy sauce or olive oil also influences the taste. That is why cooked Eggplants have a little variation in taste.

The food items you can add with eggplant are potatoes, okra, and summer squash. Moreover, you can add tomato and garlic sauce while cooking this vegetable. 

how-to-cook-eggplant

Size of Eggplant

The size of the eggplant also impacts the taste. The small eggplants are sweeter and have a few edible seeds. The larger eggplant has more seeds and tastes a little bitter. 

Eggplant Condition

Make sure the eggplant you are buying is ripe. Only ripe eggplant tastes good as unripe is always bitter. 

You can check the ripeness of the vegetable by using your thumb. Press the brinjal gently and see how the vegetable is resisting. If the vegetable allows a thumb to leave a print, it is ripe. Unripe vegetables are firm and do not let thumbs leave prints.

Moreover, if the thumb goes far in the eggplant, it means the vegetable is old and the taste will also be not up to the mark. Also, look whether there are any bruises on the eggplant or not. You should avoid bruised eggplants because the chances of microorganisms and germs in them are higher. 

Now, let us tell you what nutrients you are going to get after eating them.

Nutrition in Eggplant

Eggplant is a superfood as it is rich in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating eggplant aids in digestion, improves heart health, and even reduces the risk of cancer as antioxidants fight free radicals that promote cancer cell development.

In addition, eating eggplant at least once a week leads to stronger bones. The minerals present in eggplants are calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, which work together to improve bone health. Similarly, the potassium content in the eggplant improves muscle strength. Also, people use it to cure asthma, bronchitis, and other lung-related diseases as well.

How to Cook Eggplant? 

Now is the time we tell you how you can cook delicious eggplants. Start by picking the right eggplant from the grocery store. 

Here are a few indications of good quality eggplant: 

  • If the eggplant is heavy, it means it is healthy. Brinjals get lighter when the rotting phase starts. 
  • The color of the brinjal should be shiny and smooth. If there are bruises on the skin, then don’t buy it. 
  • Ripe eggplant is the most delicious one that can also be cooked easily. So, use your thumb and now the vegetable’s maturity status before purchasing. 

When you have bought the right eggplant, then you can do several things with it. Most people peel the eggplant rind before cooking it. Although it is rich in fiber, it may not taste good when cooked. So, peeling off the skin remains the only choice.

After peeling, you can deep fry, steam, boil, broil, grill, and pickle this vegetable. There are dozens of eggplant recipes available on the internet. What you want to do depends solely on your preference.

Moreover, there are some varieties of eggplant that have very slim skin, so there is no need to peel them off. You can cook it as it is or make a delicious soup with such eggplants. Eggplant casserole is also a popular dish of this vegetable.

You must be wondering, Wouldn’t the eggplant have a little bitter taste after cooking too? It is no secret that some eggplants do have a hint of bitterness. But you can get rid of this easily by following a simple technique.

To get rid of the bitterness, chefs sprinkle a pinch of salt after peeling and slicing the brinjal . You should also do the same and then wait for almost 20 minutes to let the salt do its magic.

Then, pat the slices with a kitchen towel, and what you have left with are mild eggplant slices ready to be cooked.

How to make an eggplant recipe? Eggplant recipe infographic

How to Properly Store Eggplant to Maintain the Taste and Quality?

You should only store eggplant for up to three days as it is highly perishable. After three days, the moisture content in it will slowly start spoiling the food and change its taste. However, if you are a kitchen gardener and have just plucked an eggplant, you can store it in the refrigerator for a week (not more than that).

Important Note: Keep one thing in mind that uncooked eggplants should not be stored with bananas. Bananas produce ethylene which may also spoil other vegetables including eggplants. 

Moreover, Refrigerating the cooked eggplant for more than three days will change its quality from good to bad. Plus, when you heat it after taking it out of the fridge, the eggplant will get mushy. That is why the best place you can choose to store eggplant is a cool environment (away from sunlight).

Another way to store the cooked brinjal is to freeze it. Do this by adding lemon juice to discourage any color change and then freeze it for up to 180 days (nearly six months).

FAQs

Question: What does eggplant taste similar to?

Answer: Eggplant tastes almost similar to zucchini which is understandable as both belong to the nightshade family. Also, cooking the eggplant with the right ingredients is served as vegetable bacon for the vegans. 

Question: What does fried eggplant taste like?

Answer: Fried eggplant tastes tender, juicy, and mild if you do it the right way. Eggplant is generally fried after peeling and slicing. The sprinkling of salt before frying and then brushing it with oil are also important steps before frying. People also ask, What does grilled eggplant taste like and the answer is, just like juicy and tender zucchini. 

Question: What are the benefits of eating raw eggplant? 

Answer: Raw eggplant is a good source of important minerals and fibers that aids in digestion and improves heart health. In addition, the calcium present in this vegetable makes the bones stronger. 

Wrapping Up

Eggplant is a superfood that is now consumed all around the world. Globally, it has received mixed reactions from the people. Some have really liked its taste while some are not fond of it. If you haven’t tried it before, it is important you have an idea about how it tastes. 

We described it in detail here along with some fun facts. So, what does Eggplant taste like? 

Cooked Eggplant tastes mild, tender, creamy with just a hint of vegetal bitterness. Raw eggplant, on the other hand, has more bitterness in it. 

The best part about the Eggplant is that you can cook it however you like. You can deep fry, roast, steam, boil, or boil it before putting it on your plate. 
We hope now you have an idea of what the eggplant tastes like after reading this article!

Dr. Rimita Farid

Dr. Rimita Farid

Hi this is Dr. Rimita Farid. I have completed my MBBS from MAHSA University in Kuala Lampur , Malaysia and currently a registered doctor in Bangladesh. I am training in Dermatology and Venerology and writing for me has been a hobby, even before i decided to be a doctor. I believe our lives are getting stressful with every moment and i believe writing is the solution to all our problems. The power of pen and paper is highly underestimated by many, and i am blessed that i realized how stimulating writing can be for my well being. Hope my articles are relatable and can reach as many readers as possible.

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