Eggplant jerky? You may be asking yourself what that means. The truth is, this is the perfect snack for those that love jerky but want to stay healthy or vegetarian. I happened to make this because I was trying to make a snack for my family that was filling, vegetarian, and that would last a long time.
This Eggplant Jerky Will Pleasantly Surprise You
For this recipe, I use about two large eggplants. It is key that you prepare them beforehand, as you may know, eggplants are very bitter. To do this, I remove the stem and cut them into thin slices, but you can choose to make them thicker or into squares. If you can’t find regular eggplant, you can choose the Chinese or Japanese variations, which are a bit milder in flavor.
Gather the rest of the ingredients, which include minced garlic, sea salt, paprika, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. You can substitute the minced garlic with powdered garlic or garlic salt. As for the paprika, if you don’t have any, try using cumin, red pepper flakes, or chili powder. You can also change the balsamic vinegar with apple cider or red wine vinegar. If you don’t have olive oil, regular vegetable oil can do the trick.
I love the sauce in this jerky recipe, so I make sure to mix everything ahead of time. The eggplant needs to absorb the flavors really well before you can dehydrate it, so I put my eggplant pieces in the bowl and let them rest for about two hours. Some people like to leave the eggplant soaking for longer.
Get your food dehydrator ready, and start drying! It should take a long time, about 12-18 hours, but it is worth the wait.
Once dry and cool, enjoy this eggplant jerky as a snack, on a salad, or as a side dish.
2 large eggplants
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground blackpepper
1 cup (240 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
- Cut eggplants into 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Prepare sauce by taking a large bowl and mixing all remaining ingredients in it.
- Whisk until combined.
- Add in the eggplant pieces. Toss until the pieces are well coated with sauce.
- Let it rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
- Turn on dehydrator and set it to 115 F (46 C). Let it preheat.
- Line parchment paper into dehydrator trays.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in single layer. Ensure a 1/2 inch space between slices.
- Place tray in the dehydrator then cover with lid.
- Dry for 12 to 18 hours until they’re all completely dry but still pliable.
- Turn off dehydrator when done, open lid and let the jerky cool to room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Serve right away or store in an airtight container and place in a cool, dry place.