Eggplant Schnitzel with Japanese Salad

Elevate super-healthy eggplant with the crunchy, golden goodness of panko breadcrumbs for this vegetarian schnitzel served with a refreshing watercress and cucumber salad.


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) cornflour, or rice flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 150 g (2 cups) panko breadcrumbs
  • 100 ml sunflower oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 75 g (3 cups) watercress, washed
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled into ribbons
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 – 3 tbs pickled ginger, optional
  • 1 lime, halved


Step 1.
For the schnitzel: Trim the eggplants and cut into slices, lengthwise, about 1 1/2 cm thick. Arrange on a large tray and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Step 2.
In the meantime, place the cornflour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs in a second dish with the soy sauce. Place the breadcrumbs in a third dish and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3.
Wipe the excess salt and water from the eggplant slices using kitchen paper. Working one by one, dip in the cornflour to coat, shaking off the excess. Dip into the egg, turning to coat, and then add to the breadcrumbs, turning to coat and pressing the crumbs into both sides. Repeat for the remaining eggplant slices.

Step 4.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set over a medium heat until hot. Working in batches, fry three or four schnitzels at a time until golden-brown all over, turning once, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove completed schnitzel to a plate lined with kitchen paper, covering with aluminium foil to keep warm.

Step 5.
For the salad: Combine the watercress, cucumber, and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, tossing to combine.

Step 6.
Transfer to a serving platter and top with the sesame seeds. Serve with the schnitzel on the side and a garnish of pickled ginger and lime halves.

Serves 4