Eggplant Fries with Honey and Sea Salt

eggplant fries

Eggplant Fries with Honey and Sea Salt. Don’t get me started. I could eat this everyday. I really could.

Why is it that whenever I eat fried eggplant I make an involuntary “uhmmmm” sound? No other food does that to me. Sure I’ll catch myself saying “mmm” lots of times with lots of foods. These instances are usually premeditated however. Either I know somebody worked hard on something and I’d like to acknowledge their effort. Or sometimes I am so pleasantly relieved that Aunt Audrey’s chocolate chip cookies didn’t break my teeth that I want to offer my encouragement. Of course sometimes something is so plainly delicious that “mmm” just seems pertinent. I’ve been known to  murmmle out the appropriate response “mmm” when other adjectives can’t quite fall from my too full mouth. “Mmm” makes everyone’s happy and I don’t actually have to stop eating.

But “uhmmmm” is reserved solely for fried eggplant. On my world “uhmmmm” is the ultimate compliment because it is indeed involuntary. I literally can’t stop myself. Believe me I would never choose to make such a sound. Plain old “mmm” has a much nicer ring to it. Everyone knows what it means, and no one thinks I’m having a heart attack.

Poppy’s Eggplant Fries

However, I was recently in Seattle at Poppy restaurant and a whole new gasp of approval passed my greasy lips. “Uhmmmmgoawd” is how I unintelligibly and uncontrollably described the sweet and savory eggplant fries that passed my way. Golden and crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside. Dusted with the best Maldon sea salt and drizzled with a touch of honey. These fries will satisfy your salty-sweet cravings and leave you murmmering like an idiot. How can something so simple be so completely irresistible? I wish I had gotten the recipe, but my mouth was too full to ask. Here’s my humble recreation of Poppy’s Eggplant Fries. GREG

PS Yes they are soaked in ice water. Here’s why.

eggplant fries

Poppy’s Eggplant Fries 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Inspired by Poppy restaurant in Seattle, WAPublished
Eggplant Fries


  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 pound) cut into ½” rounds, then into ½”-thick strips
  • 2 cup ice cubes
  • water (as needed)
  • peanut oil (as needed for frying)
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • honey (as needed)


Place the eggplant strips in a large bowl. Add ice and enough water to cover. Place a plate on top of eggplant to weigh it down. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

When ready to fry, heat the oil in a deep fryer to about 360 degrees F.

Meanwhile, whisk rice flour, garlic salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Drain eggplant in a colander, then working in batches, toss damp eggplant in rice flour mixture to coat.

Fry eggplant in batches to avoid crowding, rolling them in the oil occasionally, until golden brown; 3–4 minutes per batch. (Reheat oil to 360 degrees F between batches.)

Transfer the cooked fries to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Season with sea salt while hot. Serve immediately with a drizzle of honey.