Spicy Eggplant Recipe (Ogoniok)

Spicy eggplant is my all-time favorite eggplant recipe. Hands down. Ogoniok (Огонек) means "little fire." Must-try eggplant recipe from the old country! | natashaskitchen.com

This spicy eggplant is my all-time favorite eggplant recipe. Hands down. the name Ogoniok (Огонек) means “little fire” because it does have a spicy kick to it.

My Aunt Tanya brought this recipe over from the old country. I’m telling you, It will knock your socks right off (not because it’s too spicy but because it’s ridiculously amazing)!! I eat this right out of the fridge with a piece of toast and it’s all I need.

My mom told me a story that’s funny/not funny. I have an uncle who ate spicy eggplant in Ukraine and he loved it so much that he couldn’t stop eating it. Long story short, he over did it big time and ended up in the hospital with a major belly ache. He was ok and I guess the lesson here is; there is such thing as too much of a good thing ;). It really is an amazing recipe, just don’t try to eat the entire batch!

Spicy eggplant is my all-time favorite eggplant recipe. Hands down. Ogoniok (Огонек) means "little fire." Must-try eggplant recipe from the old country! | natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients for Spicy Eggplant Recipe:

4 1/2 lbs (2 kg) eggplant *
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp (100 mL) white vinegar
1 Tbsp sea salt
2-3 medium/large jalapenos (or to taste), seeded and minced
7 large (or 10 medium) garlic cloves, peeled and pressed/minced
Canola Oil to fry eggplant

Spicy eggplant is my all-time favorite eggplant recipe. Hands down. Ogoniok (Огонек) means "little fire." Must-try eggplant recipe from the old country! | natashaskitchen.com

*How to Buy and Store Eggplant:

1. Choose slightly firm eggplant that are heavy for their size.

2. Choose eggplants that are small to medium in size (avoid the big ones)

3. Skins should be smooth and glossy and stems should be bright green.

4. Eggplants are best enjoyed fresh so use them within 4 days of purchasing. Store whole and unwashed at room temperature, uncovered and away from direct sunlight and away from bananas, tomatoes and melons which release ethylene while ripening and can cause eggplant to spoil quicker.

How to Make Spicy Eggplant Recipe:

1. Cut eggplant into 1 1/2″ to 2″ pieces.

Spicy Eggplant-2

2. Fill 1/3 of medium/large pot with canola oil and place over med/high heat. To test if oil is ready, drop in a piece of eggplant and it should bubble and sizzle. Once oil is hot, add enough eggplant to keep it mostly submerged in oil. The eggplant should be bubbling and boiling in the oil the entire time.

Cook in 2 to 3 batches depending on the size of your pot. Once eggplant is golden (15 to 20 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander set over a bowl to drain off excess oil. Let it drain in the colander until eggplant is just barely warm then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Spicy Eggplant-8Spicy Eggplant SQ-2Spicy Eggplant-3

3. In a small bowl, combine white vinegar, pressed garlic cloves, minced jalapeños and salt. Stir together and drizzle over cooled eggplant. Toss to combine. Eggplant can be enjoyed right away or refrigerated. It keeps for several weeks and only gets better as the flavors meld.

Spicy Eggplant-10Spicy eggplant is my all-time favorite eggplant recipe. Hands down. Ogoniok (Огонек) means "little fire." Must-try eggplant recipe from the old country! | natashaskitchen.com

Spicy Eggplant Recipe (Ogoniok)

5.0 from 11 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This spicy eggplant is my all-time favorite eggplant recipe. Hands down. the name Ogoniok (Огонек) means "little fire" because it does have a spicy kick to it. My Aunt Tanya brought this recipe over from the old country. I'm telling you, It will knock your socks right off (not because it's too spicy but because it's ridiculously amazing)!! I eat this right out of the fridge with a piece of toast and it's all I need.
Author:
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost To Make: $6-$10 (varies by season)
Serving: 8 as an appetizer

Ingredients

  • 4½ lbs (2 kg) eggplant
  • ⅓ cup + 2 Tbsp (100 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 2-3 medium/large jalapenos (or to taste), seeded and minced
  • 7 large (or 10 medium) garlic cloves, peeled and pressed/minced
  • Canola Oil to fry eggplant

Instructions

  1. Cut eggplant into 1½" to 2" pieces.
  2. Fill ⅓ of medium/large pot with canola oil and place over med/high heat. To test if oil is ready, drop in a piece of eggplant and it should bubble and sizzle. Once oil is hot, add enough eggplant to keep it mostly submerged in oil. The eggplant should be bubbling and boiling in the oil the entire time. Cook in 2 to 3 batches depending on the size of your pot. Once eggplant is golden (15 to 20 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander set over a bowl to drain off excess oil. Let it drain in the colander until eggplant is just barely warm then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine white vinegar, pressed garlic cloves, minced jalapeños and salt. Stir together and drizzle over cooled eggplant. Toss to combine. Eggplant can be enjoyed right away or refrigerated. It keeps for several weeks and only gets better as the flavors meld.
  4. Be sure to explore our other Eggplant recipes like this eggplant spread and definitely eggplant parmesan!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Spicy eggplant is my all-time favorite eggplant recipe. Hands down. Ogoniok (Огонек) means "little fire." Must-try eggplant recipe from the old country! | natashaskitchen.com

Be sure to explore our other Eggplant recipes like this eggplant spread and definitely eggplant parmesan!

Q: What’s your all-time favorite eggplant dish?

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Yulia
    September 18, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    Jalapeno is common in US but not in Europe. What can it be replace with, what do Ukrainians in Ukraine use?
    Thank you 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 18, 2017

      Hi Yulia, you can use any kind of spicy pepper that you prefer. Reply

  • Dan J
    February 12, 2017

    Has anyone tried a substitute for the garlic? Any success? I prefer to be one of those in the Metro who does not stink up the entire wagon. (= Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 12, 2017

      Hi Dan, unfortunately this recipe just wouldn’t be the same without the garlic. This recipe only has a few ingredients and they are all important. Maybe this one just isn’t the best for the “wagon”. lol. 🙂 Reply

  • Alesia
    November 3, 2016

    Absolutely one of the best eggplant recipes I’ve ever tried! My hubby loves it too! Thank you, Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 3, 2016

      Alesia, thank you for such a great review! I have to exercise self-control around this dish 😋. Reply

  • Naeema
    October 31, 2016

    Hi Natasha. Could I fry these in coconut oil? I try not to eat oily foods Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 1, 2016

      Hi Naeema, I haven’t tried that but I think that would work. Reply

    • Wendi
      June 27, 2017

      Canola is better suited for stove top temperatures because of chemical property and it is lower in saturated fat than coconut oil. Coconut oil works nicely to replace butter in baking.

      I love this recipe, by the way. We love using our jalapenos. Reply

  • Natasha Shishman
    September 23, 2016

    I made these last night and love them! I love eggplant dishes, and this was no exception. Thank you for a simple recipe with lots of flavor and a strong garlicky kick 😉 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 23, 2016

      Natasha, I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing such a nice review with us 😀. Reply

  • gene
    September 15, 2016

    thank you so much for this recipe! I loved it, so so yummy!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 16, 2016

      You are welcome Gene and thank you for the nice feedback 😀. Reply

  • Olga
    September 9, 2016

    Very good recipe, not spicy at all. Thanks for sharing with us your family favorites. God bless you, and your family. ☺ Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 9, 2016

      I’m so glad you liked it!! 🙂 Reply

  • September 3, 2016

    This recipe looks absolutely gorgeous, Natasha and I am one of the biggest eggplant fans out there! I’ve never seen this recipe before and you know it’s not easy to come up with something very original to please the Russian/Ukrainian folks, so well done you!! Love the photos as well. I’ve never actually deep fried a thing in my life but I think I might break the rule for this recipe, it’s too tempting! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 3, 2016

      Thank you Julia!! A couple of my readers have reported good results with roasting the eggplant but I haven’t tested it that way. Yes, this eggplant makes my eggplant loving world go ’round. It’s truly delicious!! 🙂 Reply

  • Natalya
    September 1, 2016

    Natasha, I made this recipe yesterday following your directions and it turned out wonderful. The eggplant turned out just right, not too spicy nor was it bland. Thank you for the recipe on an all time favorite Ukrainian food! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 1, 2016

      Natalya, I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us and you are welcome! Reply

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