Vietnamese or Chinese Eggplants are slender and longer, but firmer comparing to the large globe eggplants sold at an American market. Vietnamese and Chinese prefer using them in cooking comparing to the large globe eggplants because of its final texture and easy cooking. These slender eggplants usually grill and fry better as well.
Recipe for Vietnamese Crispy Batter Fried Eggplant Slices
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup rice flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup ice water, preferably ice mineral soda water
Oil for deep frying
1/3 cup Dipping Fish Sauce
Trim off the ends of each eggplant and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Soak the slices in water for 10 minutes to lessen the bitterness of the eggplants.
In a shallow bowl, stir together all purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper.
Add in the ice water and whisk it into a smooth batter. Set aside.
Drain the eggplant slices and use paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set them aside.
Pour oil into a wok or a Dutch oven to a depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil over medium high heat to 350F on a deep frying thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, stand a bamboo chopstick in to the oil; if small bubbles immediately gather around the chopstick, the oil is ready.
Dip each eggplant slice into the batter, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and then gently drop it into the hot oil and lower the oil temperature. Fry them into several batches to avoid crowding the pan. Fry about 2 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. When the slices are ready, transfer to a rack to drain.
When all the eggplant slices are fried, arrange them on a serving plate. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce.
Serves 4 to 6