Crispy Japanese Eggplant Recipe with Harissa

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Experience the fusion of crispy Japanese Eggplant medallions, vibrant Harissa, and cool Tzatziki in a Mediterranean-inspired dish that’s sure to captivate.

As I ventured into the catering world, I found myself drawn to this crispy Japanese eggplant recipe, which wasn’t by chance. Their petite size lends itself perfectly to creating delectable, bite-sized appetizers that have consistently stolen the spotlight at my events. Join me in exploring this crispy baked Japanese eggplant recipe, and you’ll soon understand why they’ve become the undeniable stars of the show.

Key Ingredients Japanese Eggplant recipe

Eggplant Medallions

  • Japanese eggplants offer a mild and slightly sweet flavor with tender flesh.
  • Salt and pepper: Enhance the overall taste of the dish.
  • Flour: Provides a light coating and a subtle crunch.
  • Eggs: Bind the breadcrumbs to the eggplant, adding a creamy element.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Add a crispy texture and absorb flavors well.
  • Fresh parsley: Offers a fresh and earthy aroma.
  • Aleppo pepper: Provides mild heat and fruity notes.

Harissa Tomato Salsa

  • Tomatoes: Provide a juicy and slightly tangy base.
  • Harissa paste: Infuses the salsa with smoky, spicy, and complex flavors.
  • Red onion: Adds a sharp and pungent kick.
  • Fresh basil and mint: Offer a herbaceous and refreshing touch.
  • Juice of 1 lemon: Provides zesty and citrusy brightness.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • Greek yogurt: Brings creaminess and a slightly tangy note.
  • Cucumber: Offers a cool and refreshing quality.
  • Garlic: Provides a pungent, savory kick.
  • Fresh dill: Adds a bright, herbaceous flavor.

Layering Flavors Japanese Eggplant Recipe

  • Starting with TzatzikiFirst up is the tzatziki. It’s smooth and calm, spread thick at the bottom. Its tangy flavor, with hints of garlic and dill, prepares your taste buds for what’s next.
  • The Main Act – Crispy Eggplant: Next, we have the Japanese eggplant, the real star. A crispy outside and a soft inside bring the perfect balance of textures to the dish.
  • A Spicy Twist with Harissa Tomato Salsa: The Harissa Tomato Salsa jumps in. It adds a kick with its spicy touch and the freshness of tomatoes and herbs. It wraps up the dish, ensuring every bite is a delightful mix of flavors.

Tips for Perfect Crispy Japanese Eggplant Recipe

Making the perfect plate of Japanese Eggplant Medallions is as much about technique as ingredients. Here are some of my insider tips to elevate your dish:

  • Salting the Eggplant: Start by salting your eggplant slices. This helps draw out the moisture and enhances the flavor, giving you a meatier texture.
  • Mastering the Breadcrumbs: When coating your eggplant slices, ensure the breadcrumbs cling well. This is your ticket to that irresistible crunch later.
  • The Two-Step Cooking: Begin by browning the eggplant slices in a skillet. Then, transfer them to a rack placed over a cooking tray to ensure even cooking and maintain that crispness. This method allows air to circulate the slices, ensuring they cook evenly and stay crisp.
  • Temperature Matters: Before adding the salsa and tzatziki, let your eggplant slices come to room temperature. This ensures that the tzatziki remains cool and the salsa’s flavors pop.
  • Prep the Salsa and Tzatziki. First, Make your Harissa tomato salsa and tzatziki beforehand. Letting them sit for a while allows the flavors to meld and intensify.
  • Controlling the Harissa Heat: Remember, Harissa can pack a punch! Adjust the amount to your liking if you’re sensitive to heat or catering to a varied crowd.

With these tips in hand, you’re well on your way to creating a flavorful, Crispy Japanese Eggplant with Harissa and tzatziki dish that’s both flavorful and visually impressive. Remember, it’s all about the details!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What other dishes pair well with this eggplant dish?
    These medallions complement grilled lamb or chicken, Mediterranean grain salads such as bulgur or farro, or roasted vegetables. They’re also a fantastic addition to mezze platters alongside various appetizers.
  • How can I ensure the Harissa salsa isn’t too spicy for guests?
    For those sensitive to spice, you can dilute the Harissa paste with a bit of tomato puree or reduce the quantity used. Always taste as you mix to find the perfect balance!
  • If I prepare the eggplant medallions ahead of time, how should I reheat them?
    To bring back their crispiness, spread the medallions on a baking sheet and reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes. Microwaving is not recommended as it can make them soggy.
  • Can I use store-bought Harissa and Tzatziki?
    Of course! Store-bought Harissa and Tzatziki can be time savers and still taste great. Choose high-quality brands to ensure the best flavor and consistency.
How to Make Crispy Japanese Eggplant Recipe with Harissa

Preparation

1.
Prepare the Eggplants:
Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the Japanese eggplants into thick circles. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Rinse the slices and pat dry. Season with pepper.

Mark as complete
2.
In a shallow dish, combine the Panko breadcrumbs, parsley, and Aleppo pepper. Dredge each eggplant slice in flour, dip into the beaten eggs, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
Mark as complete
3.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Brown the eggplant slices on both sides (2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to the baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and fully cooked.
Mark as complete
4.
Prepare the Harissa Tomato Salsa:
In a bowl, mix diced tomatoes, Harissa paste, red onion, basil, mint, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
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5.
Prepare the Tzatziki:
Combine Greek yogurt, drained cucumber, garlic, dill, and lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt.
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6.
Serve:
On a plate, spread a generous layer of tzatziki. Place the crispy eggplant medallions on top. Spoon over the Harissa tomato salsa. Garnish with additional parsley or basil. Enjoy!
Mark as complete

Ingredients:

1X 2X 3X
Adjust Servings
2 Japanese eggplants
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
Olive oil for browning
For the Harissa Tomato Salsa:
1 12 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 tablespoon Harissa paste
1 small red onion, finely chopped
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
A few sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
1 lemon juice
For the Tzatziki:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 small cucumber, finely grated and drained
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 lemon juiced

Preparation

1
Prepare the Eggplants: Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the Japanese eggplants into thick circles. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Rinse the slices and pat dry. Season with pepper.
2
In a shallow dish, combine the Panko breadcrumbs, parsley, and Aleppo pepper. Dredge each eggplant slice in flour, dip into the beaten eggs, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
3
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Brown the eggplant slices on both sides (2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and fully cooked.
4
Prepare the Harissa Tomato Salsa: In a bowl, mix diced tomatoes, Harissa paste, red onion, basil, mint, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
5
Prepare the Tzatziki: Combine Greek yogurt, drained cucumber, garlic, dill, and lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt.
6
Serve: On a plate, spread a generous layer of tzatziki. Place the crispy eggplant medallions on top. Spoon over the Harissa tomato salsa. Garnish with additional parsley or basil. Enjoy!

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