One of the most popular Spanish starters is something a little unexpected; fried eggplant with honey. It’s often something I order when I am out on the town in Granada, although my recipe is a great way to save money by making it at home!
I had never really associated eggplant with Spanish cuisine; the only food I knew it was in was pisto (Spain’s answer to ratatouille). However this fried eggplant dish is so, so tasty and one of my favorite things to cook for guests when I have parties.
The best thing about this recipe, other than the taste, is that it is extremely simple with just a few ingredients. In fact, I probably use more than most since I actually season my flour!
How To Make Spanish Fried Eggplant With Honey
Like many of the best Spanish recipes this berenjenas con miel only requires a few ingredients. Of course the star of the show is the eggplant (or aubergine).
- 1 Eggplant – The shape doesn’t really matter, but if you are cutting it in sticks instead of rounds you will want to get a relatively straight one.
- 250 ml Milk – about one cup, or enough to cover the eggplant after it has been cut.
- 1 cup Flour – You will need less, but it is easier to coat the eggplant pieces if you use more.
- 2-3 tbsp Honey – Adjust the amount depending on your preference. If you would like to keep this recipe vegan then use molasses instead. Actually sugarcane molasses is the more traditional ingredient, but can be harder to find.
- 1 tsp Paprika – optional
- Olive Oil – for frying
- Salt – to taste
Love Eggplant? Try my Japanese miso eggplant or my Levantine style roast eggplant with tahini yogurt sauce.
Cut your eggplant into rounds. It is also popular to cut into sticks like french fries so you can do that if you like. I suggest leaving the skin on as it helps preserve the structure during frying.
Place the eggplant slices in a bowl and pour over the milk. I use a lid to weigh the eggplant down otherwise they tend to float and some will be outside the milk. Let sit in the milk for one hour. This will remove the bitterness that some people find in eggplants.
In a dish add the flour and paprika as well as some salt and mix. You will salt after frying as well so just use a half teaspoon here. Most of it will go to waste so don’t worry if you add ‘too much’.
Drain your eggplant from the milk. Pat each side in the flour mix then place carefully in a pan of hot oil. Fry each side for about a minute then repeat until all the eggplant is fried. Because you are frying in olive oil, you do not need to use a super high quality oil. When the eggplant is fried then put the slices on a paper towel lined plate to drain, and sprinkle with a bit more salt.
Place the fried eggplant in your serving dish and drizzle generously with the honey. You don’t want to completely coat every piece. Well, maybe you do. I know I like my berenjenas con mucho miel!
Fried Eggplant With Honey
- 1 Bowl for soaking
- 1 Pan for frying
- 1 Eggplant The shape doesn't really matter but if you are cutting it in sticks instead of rounds you will want to get a relatively straight one.
- 250 ml Milk about one cup or enough to cover the eggplant after it has been cut.
- 1 cup Flour You will need less but it is easier to coat the eggplant pieces if you use more.
- 2-3 tbsp Honey Adjust the amount depending on your preference. If you would like to keep this recipe vegan then use molasses instead. Actually sugarcane molasses is the more traditional ingredient but can be harder to find.
- 1 tsp Paprika optional
- Olive Oil for frying
- Salt to taste
- Slice your eggplant into rounds or sticks. Place the pieces in a bowl and pour over the milk. If the eggplant pieces float then use a lid or plate to weigh them down. Soak for 1 hour.
- In a dish mix together the flour and paprika as well as about 1/2 tsp of salt.
- Begin heating up a frying pan with the oil.
- Drain the eggplant pieces and dip them on both sides into the flour. Shake off any excess then carefully lay them down in the hot oil. Fry each side for about a minute. Repeat until all the eggplant is fried. When you remove them, place them on a paper tower lined plate and sprinkle with a little more salt.
- Place your eggplant in your serving dish and drizzle generously with your honey (or molasses if you are keeping it vegan). Enjoy.