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Eggplant Parm- a question of thickness

I love eggplant, in any preparation that I can think of, across culinary borders, and in various methods of cooking. I'm not an experienced cook, and I'm wondering if anyone can answer a question for me. Every eggplant parmesan I have ordered from a restaurant, the eggplant has been sliced almost paper thin and fried. I am assuming this is for the best outcome in terms of frying. But I love eggplant and would love to see thicker slices of the vegetable used. Is this impossible? Inauthentic? Gross to others? I have made "baked" eggplant parmesan before, and the thick slices have been to my liking. Does anyone else like thicker slices?

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  1. My Mom does, but I hated her eggplant parm. She also left the skin on, just to make it worse. To each his own.

    If you're cooking, then make it how you like it! but to me, it has to be fried, and that's non negotiable.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Fried is king. But I love the skin of eggplant! lol

      1. re: Meowzerz

        My Dad did too, hence the skin. He thought it was "fancy".

    2. You can make it as thick as you want it; I worked in restaurants that made it paper thin as you described and that was so that it could be fried quickly. Go a little thicker

      1. I make my slices thick, salt then coat in egg and breadcrumb. I'm too lazy to fry so I bake them. I only want one pan in there so I slice them thick enough so they all fit on one pan and I use slightly less breadcrumbs.

        I also leave the skin on but I do peel the top and bottom so there are no slices that are all skin. Just skin on the sides.

        1. I don't like the real thin either. When I make eggplant parm I peel stripes on mine and slice between 1/4 and 1/3 inch thick. And then bake in the oven.

          1. Half inch thick, top rack under the broiler until it has leopard spots, turn, and repeat.

            1. I've done eggplant both ways, I like thin, especially it adsorbs the sauce better. I use a mandolin to cut then about 1/4".

              1. I think my favorite version was fairly thick, and fried - I'm recalling something like a quarter-inch. Between the very good sauce, the rich cheese and that fried-eggplant taste I love, it was heaven on a plate. Discovered entirely by chance on a stopover in Greenville NC, of all places. I have tried with limited success to re-create that.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  Where in Greenville, NC? This town isn't exactly known for its Italian specialties. I'd love to know where you found it!

                  1. re: kagi

                    It was on the main drag (I think) we came into town on, down near the university. This was about sixteen years ago, so It's very likely come and gone. My buddy Bob and I were trailering his race car to VIR in Danville, and stopped for the night in Greenville. Unhitched the trailer and headed for the university area, figuring if there was any smart folks' food it'd be there. Heck, they even had wine!

                    Funny thing is, the most promising restaurant we found in Danville was Italian too! Got a great sausage Stromboli.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Thanks, Will -- I'm gonna bet it was Finelli's. Good to know!