Updated: Nov 16, 2021
I saw a YouTube video featuring eggplant katsu, and I knew I had to recreate it. For this recipe, I did not use Chinese eggplant. Instead, I used the circular eggplant, and for seasoning, I kept it simple because I knew I would serve this in multiple ways, such as in a sandwich or on top of my coconut red Thai curry (stay tuned for that recipe).
A few things to remember is to prep the eggplant ahead of time, and this will save you time and cooking in no time.
Cut the ends of the eggplant
Peel the eggplant
Cut about 8-9 circular even pieces
Place a paper towel on a baking pan
Place the eggplant on top and sprinkle salt all over the eggplant (set aside about 3-5 min).
The salt will drive the moisture out of the eggplant, making this easier to bread and a crispier outcome.
Pat the eggplant pieces dry.
While waiting for the moisture, I would also prep the batter at this time.
In a wide bowl, mix flour and cornstarch.
Slowly pour water into the mixture until you get a smooth consistency (slowly to avoid too thick or too thin batter).
On a separate plate or wide bowl, mix breadcrumbs or panko and mushroom seasoning (if you do not have mushroom seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder will do).
I don't like to use too much oil in my cooking, so I lightly fried the eggplant katsu in olive oil for a shorter time and finished frying them in the air-fryer. The lightly frying part is excellent for giving the katsu that golden brown color. If not using the air fryer at the end, fry the katsu a little longer. Also, keeping the heat on a low/medium will help with even doneness and will cook through the eggplant.