Fried Eggplant with Honey Recipe - Spanish Berenjenas con Miel - Spanish Sabores

Fried Eggplant with Honey Recipe – Spanish Berenjenas con Miel

This fried eggplant with honey recipe is a popular tapa throughout Andalusia. Known locally as berenjenas fritas con miel, it’s a sweet and savory dish that you must try at least once! Luckily, it’s easy enough to prepare at home. You can use molasses (miel de caña) or bee’s honey if you prefer.

Fried eggplant with honey being drizzled on top
Fried eggplant with honey.

I miss the tapas culture in Seville every day.

One of the reasons? Crispy fried eggplant with honey.

This tapa is especially popular in Seville and Malaga and is one of the best vegetarian tapas I’ve tried. Luckily, it isn’t difficult to make at home.

Not a fan of honey or want a vegan version? The most traditional berenjenas de miel recipes actually use “miel de caña” — literally translated to “sugarcane honey”. This is a very high-quality molasses from the province of Malaga. If you can’t get your hands on this, try them with bee’s honey, or go for something totally different (but also really popular, authentic, and delicious) and serve them with salmorejo!

Here is the fried eggplant with honey recipe I learned from my mother-in-law, Antonia.

Berenjenas fritas con miel in a large bowl

Key Ingredients

Fried eggplant with honey ingredients on a white marble countertop

Key Ingredients: Eggplants, milk, salt, pepper, flour, olive oil, honey or molasses

See also: 8 delicious fried tapas recipes from Spain

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Eggplants: So the eggplants are kind of the star of the show here, but if you must substitute them for some reason, your best bet is to try this using zucchini. The result won’t be quite the same, but will still taste delicious. You do not need to soak zucchini in milk, however, and I’d cut slightly larger pieces.
  • Milk: This is optional. It’s a way to remove the bitterness found in many eggplants. I prefer it to salting the eggplant (but you can do that too!). Or, if your eggplant is not bitter (some varieties aren’t) skip this step altogether!
  • Olive Oil: As with all Spanish fried foods, olive oil (preferably virgin or extra virgin) is the oil of choice. Read why here. If you must substitute, any neutral frying oil will do.
  • Honey: As mentioned above, the most traditional topping isn’t actually honey, but rather molasses (miel de caña). But many tapas bars also serve these with bee’s honey and they’re delicious. Another option is serving them with extra thick salmorejo. Or serve half and half!

Fried Eggplant with Honey: Step by Step

Follow this tutorial and in only a handful of steps you’ll have crispy and delicious berenjenas fritas con miel ready to enjoy! For the full printable recipe (including exact quantities) scroll down to the recipe card.

Steps 1-2: Start by cutting the eggplant into matchsticks (some prefer rounds — either way works well). Then cover with the milk and a healthy pinch of salt. Soak the eggplant for at least 30 minutes (preferably one hour) to draw out the bitterness. Then discard the milk and pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels.

Fried eggplant with honey recipe steps 1-2

Steps 3-4: Season a bowl of flour with salt and pepper and lightly flour the eggplant. Heat about one inch of olive oil in a heavy pan and when hot (but not smoking) add the eggplant in batches. Fry on both sides (if not fully submerged in the oil) until browned.

Fried eggplant with honey recipe steps 3-4

Steps 5-6: Once browned, drain each batch of the eggplant on paper towels.

Fried eggplant with honey recipe steps 5-6

Steps 7-8: Season the fried eggplant with sea salt, and then drizzle with honey or molasses. If serving with salmorejo serve the salmorejo on the side for dipping. Enjoy immediately!

Fried eggplant with honey recipe steps 7-8

Recipe Tips & FAQs

What does soaking eggplant in milk do?

Soaking eggplant in milk is a great way to remove the eggplant’s bitterness. Simply cover in milk for at least 30 minutes, and then drain and pat dry. The eggplant will have released most of its bitterness and will also have absorbed some of the milk — making it extra creamy in your recipe.

Should you peel the eggplant before frying?

You can peel eggplant before frying if you wish, but I prefer to keep the skin on. It gives the final dish more texture and is more nutritious.

What is miel de caña?

Miel de caña is Spanish for “cane honey” or molasses. The best miel de caña in Spain comes from Malaga in Andalusia. It’s a dark colored, slightly bitter, sweet syrup that is delicious on top of fried foods.

Can you reheat leftover berenjenas con miel?

Sure, you can (if doing so I recommend heating them in the oven at a high heat for a few minutes to remain somewhat crispy). But, like most fried foods, these fried eggplant are best when freshly made.

Fried eggplant with honey in a bowl and a jar of honey and a spoon in the top right corner.

Serving Suggestions

I recommend making these delicious fried eggplant tapas as part of a larger tapas feast! My favorite things to pair with them? Ham croquettes, homemade Spanish tortilla, chorizo stuffed mushrooms, salmorejo, and boiled shrimp. Don’t forget about drinks! Try my tinto de verano or refreshing cava sangria.

More Delicious Fried Tapas

Spain is home to some of the world’s most delicious fried foods. Try these other crispy bites too!

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Berenjenas fritas con miel in a large bowl

Fried Eggplant with Honey (Berenjenas Fritas con Miel)

These delicious fried eggplants with honey are a typical Spanish tapa. Easy to make and even easier to eat, try them today!
5 from 6 votes
Print (images optional) Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Tapa, Tapas/ Starter
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 128.16kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-3 small eggplants
  • Milk to cover
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • Flour
  • Olive Oil an inch or two for frying
  • Honey or molasses to drizzle on top

Instructions

  • Cut the eggplant in round slices or in matchsticks, depending on your preference.
  • In a large bowl, cover the eggplant with milk and add a pinch of salt. Allow the eggplant to soak for about an hour (this is to draw out any bitterness).
  • Drain the eggplant and coat the slices in the flour, which you can season with salt and pepper if desired.
  • Fry the slices in a deep, heavy pan with abundant olive oil. (Make sure the oil is very hot before adding the slices and fry in batches as to not overcrowd the pan!)
  • Remove the eggplant and drain on paper towels. Season with a pinch of salt. Drizzle with honey or molasses before serving.

Notes

  • Possible Substitutions:
    • Eggplant: If you must substitute the eggplant, use zucchini. The result won’t be quite the same, but will still taste delicious. You do not need to soak zucchini in milk, however, and you should cut slightly larger pieces.
    • Milk: This is optional. It’s a way to remove the bitterness found in many eggplants. I prefer it to salting the eggplant (but you can do that too!). Or, if your eggplant is not bitter (some varieties aren’t) skip this step altogether!
    • Olive Oil: As with all Spanish fried foods, olive oil (preferably virgin or extra virgin) is the oil of choice. If you must substitute, any neutral frying oil will do.
    • Honey: As mentioned above, the most traditional topping isn’t actually honey, but rather molasses (miel de caña). But many tapas bars also serve these with bee’s honey and they’re delicious. Another option is serving them with extra thick salmorejo. Or serve half and half!

Nutrition

Calories: 128.16kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.43g | Protein: 2.63g | Fat: 4.15g | Saturated Fat: 0.69g | Cholesterol: 0.61mg | Sodium: 1752.01mg | Potassium: 552.14mg | Fiber: 7.16g | Sugar: 17.02g | Vitamin A: 68.02IU | Vitamin C: 5.09mg | Calcium: 33.75mg | Iron: 0.73mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @spanishsabores on IG and hashtag it #spanishsabores!

Update Notice: This post was originally published on May 2, 2012, and was republished with new text and photos on May 19, 2021.

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Have you tried this fried eggplant with honey recipe? What did you think?

Photography by Giulia Verdinelli

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