Which Eggplants Have Fewer Seeds?

Eggplant, aubergine, or brinjal is a plant species in the nightshade family Solanaceae, which is grown worldwide for its edible fruit — or what most people recognize as a purple, spongy ingredient that is typically used as a vegetable in cooking. 

An eggplant with too many seeds is often a sign of poor harvesting or harvesting at the wrong time, which usually means the fruit is very ripe.

However, it is also the case that if you want to find an eggplant with fewer seeds, it’s best to choose a “male” eggplant, as that one will contain fewer seeds than the “female” eggplant.

Difference Between “Male” & “Female” Eggplants

There is a long-standing controversy about male and female eggplants because while there’s a common saying that male and female eggplants exist— that is not scientifically the case. 

Eggplants do not have a gender, even though two types of eggplants may develop on one plant — which is probably the reason why the gender myth was started. 

One type has a roundish dimpled area at the bottom end, and the other type has a more oval-shaped dimpled area.

round vs oval

The round ones – which some people refer to as “male” eggplants – tend to contain fewer seeds and be meatier than the oval dimpled eggplants.

However, that’s not the only advice that you need to take into account — the maturity of eggplants can also determine how seedy (i.e. mushy) they are. The younger, smaller eggplants have fewer seeds, and the larger, more mature ones are seedier and mushier. 

As a rule of thumb, choose young eggplants that have a round dimple at the bottom. 

Are There Seedless Eggplants?

Frankly, seedless eggplants are almost impossible to come across, but I can understand the frustration as eggplants containing too many seeds tend to have a bitter taste. 

There is an eggplant variety marketed by the Israeli Ein Yahav brand that is entirely seedless. It was developed through natural insemination, and it can be characterized by its attractive outer appearance, good structure, and shiny black coloration. It is relatively large and the vast majority of its weight is meat. 

However, this variety is almost impossible to find, even in large supermarket chains — much less local markets where one can mostly encounter varieties that are produced within the region or country.

How To Remove Eggplant Seeds

Unlike most fruits and vegetables, eggplant seeds are completely edible and nutritious, however, their texture and taste might not be pleasant.

As a result, some people will want to remove them, and if that’s you, make sure you’re still with me. 

To remove the seeds, you can start by cutting your eggplant open and dicing it in 2-inch square cubes, and place the cubes in a colander over a pan of boiling water or in a steamer. Sprinkle them with salt. 

As they begin to soften, squeeze them with your hands or mash them with a fork or potato masher, and try to get out as much water as possible to release the seeds from the cubes. 

Rinse the smashed cubes with water over a bowl and the seeds should fall through the strainer into the water. As you continue to pour water through the mixture, immature seeds will float whereas mature seeds will sink.

Feel free to use the seeds or discard them. 

For a more visual explanation, WikiHow has a neat, short video on Youtube that shows you how to remove the seeds using a spoon:

Conclusion

Unfortunately, eggplants will generally contain seeds, so the best option is to attempt to find the variety with the least amount of seeds.

The eggplants with fewer seeds are often referred to as “male” eggplants, which are essentially eggplants with a roundish dimpled area at the bottom end. It’s also best that you pick younger eggplants, as those will be meatier and have had less time to develop seeds. 

FAQs

Do eggplants grow on trees?

No, eggplants do not grow on actual trees. Like tomatoes and bell peppers, they grow and hang from the branches of a plant that can grow several feet in height. 

eggplant growing from a plant

Do eggplants need to be refrigerated?

Like most vegetables, eggplants do not last a long time at room temperature, so if you don’t intend to eat your eggplants in a few days, it’s better to refrigerate them as you can increase their life for one more week. 

Another way to increase their life is by chopping them into pieces and storing them in the freezer inside an airtight container or sealable bag. This should help them last a few months.

Can you eat raw eggplants?

Whilst you might be able to eat small amounts of raw eggplants without experiencing drastic side effects, eggplants contain a neurotoxin called solanine, which may cause headaches and nausea.  

The average eggplant contains about 11mg of solanine, which means that to consume anything close to a lethal dose of solanine, you would have to eat 12 eggplants.

Therefore, one or two eggplants will not represent a problem for most people. 

Does eggplant skin need to be peeled?

If you intend to cook the eggplant, you don’t have to remove the skin as it’s edible.

It’s actually in the skin that you can find its powerful antioxidant, nasunin, which is associated with different health benefits.

Larger eggplants, however, have tougher skin, so you might want to remove them just to be able to chew better and remove some of their bitter taste. 

Why are eggplants sometimes bitter?

Eggplants develop bitterness due to phenolic compounds known as Anthocyanins.

This effect usually occurs when the eggplant is old and has been stored for too long. The seeds are also often responsible for the bitterness, but the flesh and skin can also be bitter.

The longer the eggplant has been kept for, the more bitter it will taste, so it’s always best to choose an eggplant that is young and small. 

Why are eggplants purple?

Eggplants turn purple because they produce a pigment called nasunin, which is an antioxidant. 

This can appear in a variety of hues, including red, black, and blue, but it often takes the form of a deep purple – as it does in most eggplants. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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