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Jerky with a Twist

June 28, 2012

Dried Eggplant Jerky

I have never liked Beef Jerky or Biltong. A cured meat, dried & salted, it has gained popularity recently with the advent of Paleo movement and also, our widening access to more diverse international cuisines.

The Asian regions have a very sweet, almost wet jerky, called bagua, which is seen everywhere, while Africa has its biltong which has hardly any sugar at all. A common theme, though, is salt, and using a lean muscle meat and can vary from beef, pork, goat and lamb. Wild animals including deer, elk, caribou, springbok, kangaroo & bison are also used. I have even seen recently, other meats such as turkey, salmon, crocodile, emu & horse utilised as jerky.

You may have seen in Asia, dried meat products called “floss”. This is a jerky dried to the point of being able to shred – and often very sweet tasting too. (I have to admit, I do love a floss bun – have you tried one?)

So it was curiosity which led me to try Eggplant Jerky. It was another reason to buy a dehydrator, beside “activating nuts” and I am hooked. You could make it without a dehydrator, by using a VERY low temp in the oven, but you would have to watch that the eggplant does not catch. I found that marinating the eggplant for longer than specified, was detrimental to the end result. And also over drying, leads to eggplant chips. This is my recipe.

Eggplant marinating

Slice 2 large eggplants into 5mm slices and marinate for 20 minutes in:

2 tabs each of soy, apple cider vinegar & maple syrup

1 tab each of chilli sauce & olive oil

Spread out on the dehydrator trays and dry for 4 hours on 50ºC or use a wire tray in an oven with the door ajar.

You could add garlic or herbs – I admit to using a few drops of liquid smoke, which I found lurking in my cupboard, not very wholefood, I know, but it does make a yummy difference. Give it to your friends next time you have drinks and see what they say. It is a great, healthy low-fat option as a snack and I love it!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    July 1, 2012 6:57 pm

    Not a big fan of Eggplant, but I’ll give it a whirl! I have an oil intolerance, but I suppose I could put a bit of butter on them?

    • July 1, 2012 9:13 pm

      Yes, you could use ghee. This works also with zuchini but not as tasty!


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