Fried tomatoes are a popular Southern dish that is usually served in the summer. Tomatoes that haven’t ripened yet are coated in cornmeal breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy.
The cornmeal and flour crust on fried tomatoes is what makes them stand out. Within minutes, your tomatoes will be perfectly battered, fried, and crisp. During the summer, these can be served as a snack with herb ranch sauce. It’s very easy to make fried tomatoes from scratch at home. Without a doubt, they are the best snack or starter.
What Are Fried Tomatoes?
Fried tomatoes are a Southern recipe of dunking and deep-frying coated unripened and ripened tomatoes. Green tomatoes are a bit tangy and sour to taste, while fried red tomatoes are still crunchy because of the frying. They are often served with some type of dipping sauce since they are a fried and crunchy treat. They can also be served as a sandwich topping or on burgers.
Green Tomatoes Vs. Red Tomatoes: What’s the Difference?
Maturity – this is one of the significant differences between red and green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are fully developed, and yet they have not yet turned red. On the other hand, red tomatoes have fully matured, and green tomato is an unripened red tomato.
Color – Green tomatoes have grown all the way, except in color. They are green in color. Red tomatoes, on the other hand, have fully matured, and they are red.
Texture – green tomatoes are much crunchier and firmer, and red tomatoes are softer and have more tomato juice.
Taste – green tomatoes are slightly tangy and sour, but in a good way, and red tomatoes are less acidic.
Nutrient content – green tomatoes are a rich source of potassium and vitamins A and C and dietary fiber, magnesium, and calcium, amongst other nutrients. Red tomatoes, on the other end, will not have the exact levels of nutrients.
Serving suggestions – green tomatoes are often served in dishes where a little extra crunch is needed, such as on burgers. Red tomatoes can be used as part of a stew.
- Tomatoes – the best type of tomatoes to use for frying are not too soft or juicy or with too many seeds. Look for firm ripened tomatoes, whether they are green or red. Green tomatoes tend to be firmer and work better for this recipe. When it comes to a specific variety, you can use plum or romas tomatoes. They hold up well when they are coated and deep-fried; they won’t turn mushy or soggy. You will need ten plum tomatoes and 1 ½ pound of green tomatoes.
- Garlic powder – use ½ a teaspoon of garlic powder to enhance the flavor.
- Salt – use two teaspoons of salt.
- Flour – you will need 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
- Seasoning – this can be preferential. Look for dry seasoning that will mix well with the bread crumbs. You can then determine how mild or hot the tomatoes will be by using a specific type of seasoning. Ground dried herbs also work well at this stage.
- Fresh herbs – use ¼ cup of freshly minced basil to add a flavor you may want the tomatoes to have.
- Cornmeal – this will help make the tomatoes crunchy and crispy as well. You will need 2 cups.
- Cheese – use two ¼ cups of parmesan grated cheese.
- Eggs – you will need three large eggs to dip the tomatoes in.
- Buttermilk – you will need 1 cup of buttermilk.
- Oil – you can use vegetable oil for this recipe as it will have the right heating point, and one cup will be enough.
The Best Way to Make Fried Tomatoes Crispy
Fried tomatoes are at their best when they are made crispy. The secret lies in having dry tomatoes coated in the right coating. Try to make sure that you remove as much of the watery part of the tomato as possible. The firmer and drier the tomato is, the better. To remove this moisture from the tomatoes, place the sliced tomatoes on an oven rack. And let them drip before you turn them over and pat them with a paper towel.
To get the crispy, crunchy texture from the tomatoes, you will need to dip them double. Ordinarily, double-dipping isn’t good, but not in this case. First, dip in the egg or buttermilk and then into the bread crumb coating.
How to Store Leftovers
You can store these for up to 3 days in the fridge and then reheat them in a skillet when you are ready to serve them again. If you want to get a bit more shelf life from them, you can store them in the freezer. This is If you want to make them ahead of time. Prepare them right up to the point where you are meant to fry the tomatoes. Then put them in a tray and the freezer, making sure they aren’t stacked up. You can then transfer them to an airtight bag and keep them in the freezer when they are frozen.
Serving/Side Dish Ideas
Chicken – you can have them with fried chicken, and the two roast flavors easily compliment each other.
Dipping sauce – you can make or buy a dipping sauce for the tomato slices, to compliment the zingy taste
Eggs benedict – you can also serve these tomato discs for breakfast with eggs benedict.
Easy Fried Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds Tomatoes
- ½ tsp Garlic powder
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup All-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Freshly minced Basil
- 2 cups Cornmeal
- 1/4 cup Cheese
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 cup Vegetable oil
- Prepare the tomatoes by draining the red tomatoes, patting dry with a paper towel, and then laying out the green tomatoes and sprinkling them with garlic powder. Make sure the tomatoes are properly dried before frying. For red tomatoes, allow them about 45 minutes to drain. Green tomatoes will need less time, and about 20 minutes will do the trick. This is because green tomatoes have a lot less moisture in them.
- In a bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg, making sure the ingredients are properly combined.
- In another bowl, mix the parmesan cheese, cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper, for the coating mixture.
- Dip the tomato slices first in the buttermilk mixture and then in the cornmeal and cheese coating
- Heat oil in a skillet on a medium-high heat
- Fry the tomato slices for about 2 to 4 minutes on each side. The point is to get them golden brown.
- Once they are fried well, put them aside and then sprinkle freshly chopped herbs such as basil. You could also serve them with lemon wedges.