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Do You Peel Eggplant Before Sauteing?

Do You Peel Eggplant Before Sauteing?

If you are getting ready to saute some eggplant, asking yourself if you should peel the eggplant before you saute is a common question. I am here to help you today to dive into the pros and cons of peeling eggplant.

I recommend that you peel an eggplant before you saute it. No hard and fast rule states you must peel your eggplant before you sautee it. 

However, most people prefer to peel eggplant before sautering it because eggplant skin tastes bitter. It truly is about your taste preferences. 

Whether you should peel it or not also depends on the type of eggplant that you have because larger and older eggplants will have thicker skin, which will be much more bitter. A smaller young eggplant will have thinner skin and taste better.

Pros of peeling the eggplant:

  • Peeling the eggplant will ensure you won’t have a bitter taste from the skin.
  • Peeled eggplant will taste smoother when sauteed. 
  • You won’t have tough skin to chew thru when eating the sauteed eggplant.
  • A peeled eggplant will better absorb the flavors.

Cons of peeling the eggplant:

  • It will take more time to prep and peel the eggplant
  • The eggplant skin does contain nutrients that you will lose out on.
  • The skin does add contrast in color.
  • The skin does add a bit of texture that some people enjoy.

Can you saute eggplant without peeling?

Yes, you can absolutely saute eggplant without peeling it. If you choose not to peel the eggplant before you cook it, be sure to wash and dry it thoroughly before cooking it. 

Also, if you have been sauteeing eggplant without peeling it and always feel like it tastes too bitter, try peeling it next time. While you can do it either way, the skin has a bitter taste.

Do you peel eggplant before slicing it?

Yes, if you want to peel your eggplant, be sure to peel it before slicing it. It would be difficult to peel eggplant once it has been sliced.

Tips on peeling eggplant

  • Wash and dry the eggplant before you peel it. You want to do this because if there are contaminants on the eggplant, you don’t want to spread them around on the flesh of the eggplant as you are handling it and peeling it. 
  • Use a sharp vegetable peeler. Trying to peel an eggplant with a dull vegetable peeler will tear the skin instead of smoothly peeling it. It will complicate the process, and you will likely end up with an unevenly peeled eggplant. (See the video below on how to sharpen a vegetable peeler.)
  • If the eggplant is large, cut it in half before you peel it. This will make it easier to handle.
  • Peel the eggplant under slow-running cool water. 
  • Wash the eggplant once again after you are finished peeling it.

The bottom line

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to peel an eggplant before you sautee it really comes down to personal preference. 

You aren’t doing anything wrong if you sautee the eggplant with the skin on. When deciding, consider the eggplant’s size and age and how much time you want to take in preparing your side dish.