This eggplant jerky recipe is delicious, bursting with tomato fragrance and other bright flavors. Tastes like eating something fresh out of the garden.
For those who choose not to eat meat, eggplants, like mushrooms, are a great substitute to make jerky. From a nutritional standpoint, they are high in fiber and low in calories for the win.
Choosing the Eggplant
Find an eggplant from your local supermarket or farmers market. Look for smooth, shiny skin and have a uniform color all around the eggplant.
Press your finger into it and if it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe. They say the smaller the eggplant, the less bitter and more sweeter they are.
Slice the eggplant. Shoot for uniform slices, this will be better for the dehydration process.
I soak the eggplant slices for about 40 minutes in salt water to draw out bitterness.
After 40 minutes, I drain the water by using a colander.
After draining out the saltwater, I give the eggplant slices a quick little rinse.
I lay the eggplant slices on paper towel to allow them to dry. While it dries, I work on the marinade.
Making the Marinade
I love tomatoes so I was excited to find tomato powder seasoning in the store. Whisk all ingredients and pour the bright red marinade into plastic bag with eggplant slices. I can already smell the tomato deliciousness.
Like mushrooms, eggplants are able to absorb liquid well, so make sure all eggplant slice is covered.
Place in refrigerator. Occasionally, I will flip the bag to marinade the slices evenly. Marinade anywhere from 4 to 12 hours.
Drying the Eggplant Jerky
After the eggplant slices are done marinating, it’s time to prep them for dehydrator. First I drain the eggplant slices, using a colander.
Then, I place the eggplant slices on paper towel and gently pat off any excess liquid.
The eggplant slices are now ready to be placed onto dehydrator trays. I used my Nesco dehydrator for this recipe. Make sure the slices are evenly spaced so as not to overcrowd.
I set the temp for 145F and let it dehydrate anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.
Testing for when the Eggplant Jerky is Finished
You can check it at 4 hours and decide if you like the texture as is or more on the crispier side.
I like it a little on the crispier side so I tend to dehydrate longer.
Taking a bite of this eggplant jerky is like taking a bite from something fresh picked from the garden. It is bursting with tomato flavor. It's a refreshing snack.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool dry environment.
- 8 oz Eggplant (Evenly Sliced)
- ½ teaspoon Tomato Powder
- 1 teaspoon Avocado Oil
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Basil
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Pink Salt
- ½ Cup White Vinegar
- ⅔ Cup Vegetable Broth
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- Slice eggplant into even slices
- Place eggplant slices in water with salt to draw out bitterness for 40 minutes
- Strain eggplant slices in colander and place on papertowel to dry
- Add all ingredients and blend well
- Pour marinade into ziplock bag with eggplant slices and marinade for 4-12 hours in fridge
- After marinading, drain in colander
- Place eggplant strips on papertowel and gently pat to get excess liquid off
- Place eggplant slices on dehydrator trays
- Set dehydrator at 145F and allow to dry anywhere from 4 - 6 hours
- Check after 4 hours and continue to dry to your preference of texture
- Slice Eggplant in even slices so it dehydrates evenly
- Place eggplant slices in salt water to draw out bitterness