- 4 Japanese eggplants (1 1/2 lb. total), trimmed and cut crosswise, on a bias, 1/4" thick
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 2 1/2 c. whole milk
- canola oil, for frying
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- sea salt
- 3 tbsp. honey
- finely grated lemon zest, for garnish
Place the eggplant in a single layer on a rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet and season with the kosher salt. Top with another baking sheet and press firmly. Let stand for 20 minutes. Press again to help release the juices from the eggplant. Transfer the slices to a large bowl and cover with the milk. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 inch of oil to 350°. In a shallow bowl, spread the flour. Remove the eggplant from the milk, shaking off any excess liquid. Dredge in the flour and shake off the excess. Working in batches, fry the eggplant, turning a few times, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a paper towel–lined baking sheet and immediately season with sea salt.
Transfer the eggplant to a serving platter, drizzle with the honey and garnish generously with lemon zest. Sprinkle with more sea salt and serve immediately.
José Andrés, Food & Wine