Skip to Content

Do You Need To Salt Eggplant Before Sauteing?

Do You Need To Salt Eggplant Before Sauteing?

There can be many questions when it comes to sauteing eggplant. One of the questions I repeatedly hear is if you should salt the eggplant before you saute it. This is a great question. Let’s dive into it together.

Salting an eggplant is when you slice an eggplant and then put salt on the slices. This is also sometimes called sweating an eggplant. What you are doing is allowing the salt to draw out some of the moisture from the eggplant. 

People do this so that the eggplant is not as spongy. It also can help remove some of the bitterness from the eggplant.

Do you need to salt eggplant before sauteing?

You don’t have to salt eggplant before you saute it, but there are reasons why people recommend that you do so. There are three main reasons why people salt eggplant before cooking it.

First, salt the eggplant will draw out the moisture and help the eggplant cook up creamier. The second reason is that it does add more flavor to the eggplant. The third reason is that it does help remove a bit of the bitterness from the eggplant. 

Salting eggplant was much more desirable in the past because eggplant was quite bitter. However, over the years, growers have been able to breed out a lot of that bitterness, so salting isn’t quite as necessary for that reason alone.

Do you salt both sides of eggplant slices?

I do recommend that you salt both sides of the eggplant slices. Now, depending on the chef you talk with, you will get varying answers to this question. 

However, in the end, salting both sides isn’t going to hurt anything. From my experience, salting both sides of the eggplant will speed up the process of sweating the eggplant.

Do you peel the eggplant before salting it?

If you plan to peel the eggplant, you want to peel it before salting it. Salting the eggplant will make it soft and extremely challenging to peel it after the fact. Now, with that said, it is not required that you peel your eggplant. It is safe to eat the eggplant skin but if you don’t want to eat it, peel it first.

Should you rinse the eggplant after salting it?

After salting your eggplant, you can either rinse it or blot it dry. I think that it is better to blot the eggplant dry because the salt will add some flavor to the dish. 

However, I recommend considering this when completing the dish because you don’t want to over-salt the eggplant. So if you don’t rinse off the salt, skip adding too much salt during the cooking process.

The bottom line

To salt eggplant before sauteing it or to not salt eggplant is a great question. I lean into salting it even though it isn’t required. The benefits of salting it are that it helps keep the eggplant from being too spongy and helps remove some of the bitterness.