First of all, I want to thank all of you for your kind messages and supportive votes for CBS San Francisco’s Most Valuable Blogger award finalist (Voting is open everyday until September 9th). For those of you who had nominated my blog – it was really an amazing surprise!!! I appreciate each one of your votes and thank you so much! (Update: Just One Cookbook won this award! Thank you for your support!)
Today’s menu is not Japanese food. When I saw Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan post at my blogger friend Kayo’s (Kay) site at My Home Cooked Meals, I immediately fell in love. I’ve never cooked Eggplant Parmesan before but I love eggplants, tomato sauce, and pasta, and her pictures made me super hungry.
However, I had one problem: my husband wants meat (or any kind of seafood) with all his dinners. So what I did was to use my favorite Meat Sauce instead of tomato sauce. He absolutely loved it and said the combination of meat sauce and panko crusted eggplant was just perfect. The taste of crispy eggplants and cheese with the tartness of the tomato blended very well together. He even brought the leftover next day for his lunch. My kids normally don’t like eggplant but even they enjoyed extra serving of crispy eggplant on the side.
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- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Oil for deep frying
- 1 pkg fresh mozzarella
- 4 servings spaghetti
- Meat Sauce
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Basil for garnish
- Cut eggplant into ⅓-inch-thick rounds and soak in water for 10 minutes. I learned to do this from my mom. I think this process will get rid of tart taste and also avoid eggplant from changing its color.
- Dry the eggplants completely with paper towels.
- Working with 1 slice at a time, dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg, letting the excess drip off, and dredge in panko until evenly coated. Transfer to a plate and continue with the next slice until you’re all done.
- If you want to make eggplant look nicer, wipe off panko from the rims with fingers so it shows nice purple color.
- In a large non-stick frying pan, heat ¼ inch oil on high heat. When the oil it hot, but not smoking, deep fry the eggplants until golden brown (See How To Deep Fry Food). Transfer them to paper towels to drain.
- Place slices of eggplants on top of a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Put the mozzarella cheese on top and broil until cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve pasta on a plate and pour meat sauce. Then sprinkle lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and top with eggplants. Lastly pour more meat sauce on top and garnish with basil. Grate extra Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese so everyone can add their preferred amount of cheese on top.