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Jun 26, 2012 06:31 AM

Salting aubergine (eggplant) - obsolete?

Most aubergine recipes I find tell you to 'degorge' the flesh by heavily salting it and weighting it for about half an hour or more. I've recently heard, however, that modern varieties of aubergine no longer contain those horrible bitter compounds that the salting is supposed to draw out, and so theoretically you could skip this step and avoid the extra effort, time and salt it asks for. Is this true? Or does the salting have another purpose beyond drawing out bitter flavours? I have to say, I have tried both ways various times and have never really been able to put my finger on any real difference, but am definitely no expert... Looking forward to hearing from aubergine/eggplant veterans!

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  1. Salting and pressing removes water -- which may be more important than removing bitterness.

    1. As l don't like excess salt, l saute in a non-stick pan or on grill with no fat, and the salt is not needed.

      1. I vote for obsolete. I never salt/weight eggplant/aubergine/brinjal any more, any variety.

        1. I didn't salt eggplant/aubergine in the past, but recently I discovered that salting it causes it to absorb much less oil. The end product is also firmer to the bite. As much as I hate doing extra work, the result is very much worth it to me.

          1. I always salt and never weight. Salting closes those pores that otherwise will suck as much oil as you give them! Claudia Roden's method to soak eggplant in milk seems to work too.