This is a great vegan and gluten free twist on a great finger food idea. Nutritional yeast flakes offer a great nutty and cheesy flavour to lift the flavour of this dish to new heights.






Skill level

Average: 4.9 (33 votes)

Crispy fried eggplant dippers with a delicious sesame mayonnaise. Eggplants are such a versatile ingredient for their silky texture.


  • 1 eggplant, cut into 2 cm–thick rounds
  • salt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 500 g gluten-free plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 500 ml (2 cups) cold sparkling water
  • 100 g nutritional yeast flakes
  • 40 g icing sugar

Sesame mayo

  • 180 ml soy milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 g table salt
  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable oil
  • drizzle of sesame oil
  • 50 g toasted black sesame seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Place the eggplant slices a large bowl, add a good sprinkling of salt and toss to combine. Stand for 10 minutes to draw out some of the moisture.
  2. Meanwhile, for the sesame mayo, place the soy milk, vinegar and salt in a jug and use a stick blender to combine and form a vortex. With the motor running, gradually add the vegetable oil in a slow steady stream until the mayo has thickened and emulsified. Stir in a drizzle of sesame oil and the sesame seeds. This will make more than you need for this recipe, but it will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
  3. Heat the oil for deep – frying in a large saucepan to 180°C. Using paper towel or a kitchen cloth, squeeze out any liquid from the eggplant. Place in a bowl and lightly dust with a small amount of gluten free flour.
  4. Place the remaining flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Gradually whisk in the sparkling water until it forms a thick batter. Try to make this batter just before you’re about to fry so that it remains as fizzy and cold as possible.
  5. Dip the lightly dusted eggplants in the batter and fry until light golden and crisp. Drain, then toss in a bowl with the nutritional yeast flakes, icing sugar and a good pinch of salt.
  6. Serve immediately with the sesame mayo on the side for dipping.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.