This fried eggplant seasoned with sweet chili sauce and served with green bell peppers and cherry tomatoes became a huge hit this summer in our house. The texture of fried eggplant is soft and creamy. It pairs very well with the crunchy peppers and firm cherry tomatoes. This is an excellent appetizer and or a whole dish on its own. I like meat, but this fried eggplant dish is so satisfying. I don’t even crave meat after eating this healthy and delightful vegetarian dish. If you are tired of the usual fried eggplant with some dipping sauce or stuffed eggplant and want something new – this dish is for you!
Fried eggplant with white or soy sauce-based dipping sauce is how we usually eat it, right? How about seasoning it with a little bit of sweet chili sauce? It’s delicious. I like to season my eggplant with some salt and pepper before frying it. It’s so nicely crispy on the outside and so soft and creamy on the inside that you just can’t stop eating it. It’s delicious as is, like french fries. A drizzle of sweet chili sauce makes it even tastier.
Don’t go crazy on the chili sauce. Too much of it will ruin the crispy texture of fried eggplant and hide its flavor.
But I realized that the soft, creamy texture of fried eggplant needs some crunch to balance it out. So, I added fresh bell peppers and firm cherry tomatoes. They go exceptionally well together. I also added some sweet chili peppers, red onion, green onion, fresh garlic, and fresh herbs. Oh my goodness!
Now, I liked the sweetness of the sweet chili sauce, but I felt like the dish needed some acidity, too, so I drizzled it with some lime juice. As soon as I did it, it tasted perfect. This dish is as summery as it can get. It is full of bright summer textures and flavors. It’s so unbelievably good!
I’ve never craved eggplant, but now I do. We must have made this dish four to five times this past month. My kids keep asking for more. It must be really good.
Fried Eggplant (Served with Fresh Peppers & Cherry Tomatoes)Print Pin
- 4 Asian eggplant you may use one large regular eggplant instead
- 2 sweet chili peppers sliced into 3/8" thick pieces
- 1 small red onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper cut into 1"-1.5" sticks
- 12 firm cherry tomatoes cut in halves
- 4 Tbsp sweet chili sauce plus more to taste
- 1 clove garlic pressed
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh green onion
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Vegetable or peanut oil for frying
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Rinse the eggplant and cut into 3/4" pieces. Let them soak in a bowl of salted water at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine cornstarch with salt and pepper in a large bowl and set aside.
- Next, remove the eggplant from the water, pat dry with paper towels, and toss in cornstarch.
- Pour about 3" of oil into a wok or a large wide pot. Bring the oil to 365-375F and maintain it at that temperature.
- Remove half of the dredged eggplant from the bowl, shaking off excess cornstarch, and carefully lower it into the preheated oil.
- Cook for 4 minutes, flipping halfway. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels to soak in excess oil. Repeat with the second batch.
- Next, place the eggplant into a bowl, add the sliced red chili peppers, pressed garlic, diced red onion, and chopped herbs, and toss them together.
- Transfer the eggplant to serving plates. Drizzle evenly with sweet chili sauce. Arrange tomatoes and peppers around the eggplant. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over tomatoes and peppers, then drizzle olive oil over them. Squeeze lime juice over the entire plate.
- Serve immediately.