No, You Don’t Have to Salt Your Eggplant
When it comes to a lot of things in the kitchen, I mostly lean towards Type A — precise and particular — but I am definitely not that way about everything. In fact, there are a handful of things that I am just plain ol’ lazy about, and eggplant is one of them.
Modern Eggplants Are Less Bitter — No Salt Required
Read through your average eggplant recipe and it will advise you to slice or cube the vegetable, and then sprinkle a heavy hand of salt over it. Let the pieces sit for about an hour while the salt apparently draws any bitterness that might be in the eggplant out. Then you’re told to rinse the eggplant and pat it dry to remove the excess salt before proceeding with the recipe.
But you see, I don’t have time for that. Who really does? Losing a whole hour simply to prep the eggplant just isn’t my jam. Once or twice on a leisurely weekend I’ve tried it and never notice a difference, so I skip it. Yep, I just slice that large purple orb and proceed with the recipe. Not once in all my eggplant eating years have I found my unsalted eggplant to be bitter or unpalatable, whether it’s a big globe eggplant or tiny Japanese eggplant.
In fact, after doing a little digging, I discovered that eggplants are now bred to be less bitter than they once were, so while salting may have been useful in the past, it’s unnecessary now. I like to think my laziness has actually just been instinctual wisdom all these years. Hali, on the other hand, feels differently.