fried eggplant sandwich
An Israeli-style fried eggplant sandwich with ground beef and a garlic tahini sauce, served in warm pita bread

Israeli-style fried eggplant sandwich

I’ll admit, this fried eggplant sandwich is neither extremely photogenic nor easy to photograph.


Just holding it in your hands guarantees that your fingers will be dripping with olive oil that will most likely reach your wrists by the time you’re done eating the sandwich. Which makes it very hard to take a picture at the same time.

Also, it’s heavy. Like really heavy, because it requires about half a liter of olive oil to fry the eggplants. I know, just don’t think about how many calories that is. Just don’t.

But here’s the thing.

This sandwich is literally the most decadent sandwich. It is finger-licking, palm-licking, wrist-licking good. Consider it a labor of love, like most of my recipes.

The tahini sauce I drizzle it with is a sauce that I use on mostly everything (think salads, roasted vegetables, chicken, etc.) and the beef requires a mere 2 ingredients.

How to make a fried eggplant sandwich in a non-sandwich version

There is a slightly lighter way to enjoy this sandwich. And that’s by not serving it as a sandwich, per se.

Fry the eggplants the same way you would for the sandwich, and then set them on a serving plate. Drizzle them with the tahini sauce, the sprinkle freshly chopped mint and coriander plus some pomegranate on top. Serve it as a salad, or with some pita bread on the side so that you can pretend that it’s not a sandwich (even though you’ll inevitably end up stuffing the eggplant in the pita which basically=sandwich).

How to fry eggplants

While the answer to this question might seem quite straightforward, I’ll admit I did actually Google this before I made this eggplant sandwich for the first time.

So here’s what you need to know.

  1. You don’t need to peel the eggplant. The skin actually adds loads of flavor and crunch, so I like to keep it on. Also, less hassle and prep time is always a win in my book.
  2. Make sure you only use olive oil, because the flavor is just so much better.
  3. Get your oil hot, almost piping hot. Olive oil has a high smoking point so if it’s not smoking, don’t worry, you’re good.
  4. Cut the eggplants according to the thickness that YOU like. If you like fried eggplants that are thin and crunchy, slice them thin. If you like a bit of mushyness and more of a mouthful, feel free to cut them thicker. It’s YOUR sandwich, do what makes you happy.
  5. When you’re frying the eggplants, they’ll first suck up the olive oil and then spit it back out as they fry. That’s totally normal.
  6. Be sure to put lots of olive oil in the pan, like a good 4 cm (at least). Eggplants are oil hogs.
  7. Make sure to place the fried eggplants on some paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Trust me, there will be plenty left inside.
fried eggplants
thinly cut, skin on, lightly fried eggplants hanging out on a paper towel

How to make a fried eggplant sandwich

fried eggplant sandwich
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5 from 1 vote

Fried eggplant sandwich

An Israeli-style fried eggplant sandwich with ground beef and a garlic tahini sauce, served in warm pita bread
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Israeli, Middle Eastern
Keyword: eggplant, eggplant sandwich, Israeli eggplant sandwich, meat sandwich, pita
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1000kcal
Author: Gitanjali

Ingredients

For the fried eggplants

  • 2 eggplants cut into circles to whatever thickness you like
  • 1/4 liter olive oil (approximately)

For the tahini sauce

  • 2 tbsp tahini high quality, stone-ground (preferably Lebanese or Israeli)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • water

For the meat

  • 500 g ground beef
  • 3 tbsp 4-spice or 7-spice found in Middle Eastern markets and spice shops
  • salt and pepper

For the sandwiches

  • 4 pita breads
  • fresh mint, coriander, chili pepper

Instructions

For the fried eggplants

  • After slicing the eggplants to your desired thickness, set a wide-bottomed, high-rimmed pot or pan on medium-high heat.
  • Fill with approximately 5 cm of olive oil. Heat the oil. When a test slice of eggplant touches the oil and sizzles, you know the oil is hot enough.
  • Place the eggplants into the hot oil, as many as you can fit but without crowding them too much. Keep in mind they will shrink a bit as they cook.
  • Fry the eggplants for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Flip half way and fry the other side.
  • Note: I like to keep checking under my eggplants to see if they're browning. If so, I flip them. If not, I keep frying them. Don't get them too brown because then they'll get really crunchy, but they do need to be cooked through. Also, don't hesitate to add more oil as you go.
  • Finish frying the first batch of eggplants, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels as you go. Salt each layer of fried eggplants, add another paper towel on top, and keep going until you're done.

To make the tahini sauce

  • In a jar, add the tahini, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon until it becomes a thick, dense paste that you can't really mix anymore. Then, slowly add water while mixing until you get a nice, creamy consistency.

To make the meat

  • When you're done frying the eggplants, drain most of the leftover olive oil out of the pan, leaving just a little bit. Add the meat to the pan on medium-high heat, then sprinkle with the 4 or 7-spice, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cook until the meat is browned. Set aside.

To assemble the sandwiches

  • Warm the pitas in the toaster or oven. Fill them with fried eggplants, meat, and drizzle the tahini sauce on top. Then add whatever fresh herbs and chillies you like!

[FRENCH]

La recette des sandwich Israéliens avec des aubergines frites et de la viande hachée épicée, servit dans des pains pita.

Ingredients:

Pour les aubergines

  • 2 aubergines coupées en tranches (d’une épaisseur qui vout plait, pas trop épais mais pas trop fin non plus idéalement) 
  • 1/4 litre d’huile d’olive (environ) 

Pour la sauce de tahine

  • 2 cas de tahine (tahini) de bonne qualite
  • 1 cas de jus de citron frais 
  • 1 gousse d’ail pressée (dans le presse-ail)
  • sel & poivre a votre gout
  • de l’eau

Pour la viande

  • 500 g viande de boeuf haché
  • 3 cas de 4-epices ou 7-epices (se trouve dans les épiceries Orientales) 
  • sel & poivre

Pour les sandwichs:

  • 4 pains pita
  • de la coriandre et de la menthe fraiche (ciselée) et des piments (si vous aimez ca)

Instructions:

Pour les aubergines frites:

  • Coupez les aubergines sans les peler. Faites chauffer une grand poêle ou casserole sur feu moyen-chaud.
  • Rajoutez environ 5cm d’huile d’olive. Faites chauffer l’huile jusqu’à ce qu’un bout d’aubergine test que vous mettez dans l’huile fait du bruit. La votre huile est assez chaude.
  • Mettez autant de tranches d’aubergine que vous pouvez dans la poêle, sans trop les coller l’un sur l’autre.
  • Faites les frire environ 5 minutes de chaque côté.
  • Personnellement j’aime bien verifier regulierement les aubergines pour voir si ils sont en train de colorer. Si oui, je les retourne, si non, je continue a les faire frire un peu. Il faut qu’ils soient dorés mais pas trop, sinon ils deviennent trop croquants. N’hésitez pas à ajouter de l’huile au fur et au mesure que vous faites frire les aubergines car ils vont absorber beaucoup d’huile.
  • Quand vous avez fini les premières aubergines, posez les sur une assiette avec du papier absorbant, et salez. Continuez à frire toutes les aubergines.

Pour faire la sauce de tahine:

  • Dans un petit bol ou ramequin (ou même un pot de confiture), rajoutez le tahine, l’ail, le sel, le poivre, et le jus de citron. Mélangez avec une cuillère jusqu’à ce que le melange epaissise beaucoup. Ensuite, rajoutez de l’eau doucement, en melangent sans cesse, jusqu’à obtenir une consistance bien crémeuse. Attention a ne pas mettre trop d’eau sinon la sauce n’aura pas beaucoup de goût, mais il faut quand même bien délayer la sauce. Pensez a une consistance un peu plus épaisse qu’une vinaigrette.

Pour faire la viande:

  • Quand vous avez fini de frire les aubergines, enlevez l’excédent d’huile de la poêle (en laissant un tout petit peu). Rajoutez la viande haché sur feu moyen-chaud dans la meme poele, ensuite les epices, et le sel/poivre. Faites bien dorer la viande puis réservez.

Pour faire les sandwichs:

  • Chauffez les pitas un peu, soit dans le four soit dans le grille-pain. Remplissez les pitas avec les aubergines et la viande, puis rajoutez la sauce et les herbes fraîches que vous aimez.
fried eggplant sandwich Pinterest


Be sure to check out all of my savory recipes for more delicious inspiration!

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