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Aug 7, 2014 07:45 AM

Draining eggplant and zucchini without salt

Does anyone know a method for draining water from a vegetable like eggplant or zucchini that does not involve salting it? Over the winter, I contracted a virus that did some damage to my heart. I am on a sodium restricted diet now, and I follow it as a matter of life and death. Salting veggies to drain them is not an option. But I still want to make things with my favorite summer produce. I would appreciate any suggestions.

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  1. Answer Selected

    I only buy Japanese eggplants (the long, skinny kind) and they don't need draining. As for zucchini, I guess I've never felt they needed draining.

  2. My suggestion is, don't worry about draining it. I never do, don't find it necessary....if anything you're making it less "juicy", if that's the word.

  3. If you're grating it you could squeeze the excess water out by hand. Wrap it in a cheap tea towel and squeeze the heck out of it over the sink.

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    I just slice the eggplant and let it dry for a couple of hours without salting -- my eggplant parmigiana turns out just fine

    • + 1 CHOW user

    If you're not frying, you don't need to bother. If you are frying, I second the microwave method. Slice the eggplant and put a single layer on a plate, cover with a clean dishcloth/papertowel, repeat. Put another plate on top. Micro for a minute on low.

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    Microwaving for a short time and then squeezing the moisture out might be effective.

  6. 1

    Either don't drain or or buy varieties that don't need it- look for heirloom varieties at your farmers market or local market with a good produce section. None of the ones I grow need to be salted and drained- Japanese Millionaire, Ichiban, Listada de Gandia, Rosa Bianca, etc. Ask someone if you don't know which varieties are which.)

    If I've needed to drain zucchini (after shredding or making into noodles, for instance,) I just wrap it in a clean kitchen towel or leave it in a colander over a bowl in the fridge.


    I second the grating idea - put it into a sieve afterward with something heavy on top and let it drain into a large bowl for a while. If I'm in a hurry I'll set the full sieve in a soup plate directly on several paper towels.


    Just to clarify, I don't want to salt to remove bitterness. I buy young produce that tastes good. But, for things like fritters and certain types of pies, those vegetables create a soggy product if they are not drained of some of their water before cooking.


    I made an Ottolenghi salad with zucchini in which it was drained after being grilled.


    I have never even thought of draining zucchini---I slice it and saute' in olive oil and eat it with lemon juice and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, which has 'way less sodium than salt does. BTW if you have access to a Trader Joe's, their Organic Marinara Sauce NO SALT is the best low-NA product I know of---name brands of jar pasta sauce have 300-700 mgm NA per half-cup but this one has 35 and it is very tomato-y and good. Most pasta has zero Na and you can use the same trick, a little Parmesan in lieu of salt (salt has 2350 mgm Na per teaspoon, grated Parmesan has `120 mgm Na per tablespoon).