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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.

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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.

  4. 1

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

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


    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 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.