It is painful to me how many people have not tried this Southern American delicacy. I’m not even from the South and I am scrambling to my grandma’s tomato garden every year to get some green ones.
(Even if she would rather I let her get some red ones!)
I could eat these for every meal. When I was a vegetarian, I ate them in place of bacon on BLT sandwiches.
Unfortunately, unless you have access to a summer tomato garden, these are not so easy to make since they don’t sell unripened tomatoes in the store. But if you have absolutely no other choice, or it’s the middle of winter and you just can’t stand to wait any longer, you can look for the green-ish pink tomatoes and use those.
You want as little juice as possible. Because I’m here to tell you that water + hot grease = explosion.
Normally I don’t take you through step-by-step pictures. But it is VERY IMPORTANT (as in, life or death) that these are right!
So slice up some tomatoes. Not too thin, not too thick. You want heirlooms or beefsteaks. Romas do not work for this. They need to have enough juice that the coating sticks to them.
Then you make a spice blend and an egg wash not pictured because there’s no pretty way to photograph an egg wash).
Then you dip the tomato slice into the egg and then cover it in flour. It’s now ready to fry.
Then you fry them until they’re golden brown, and then take them out of the oil and put them on a baking sheet (with a paper towel) to drain the grease.
And try to refrain from eating them all while you’re making the rest! I’ve still not mastered this art.
See? Perfect! Sweet, salty, tangy, fried!
And I’m sorry to prolong this, but I actually have another green tomato story. And I need to tell you or I will explode (like the water in hot grease?).
My grandma (not the tomato growing one) that she ate them all the time as a kid, but she never told anyone because she thought she was poor and it was embarrassing. So until the movie came out, she had no idea that this was something other people ate too.
I like that story for two reasons.
1. It makes sense. They are a very cheap food. Usually free tomatoes, and flour for their most basic version. I beef them up.
2. It is the polar opposite as how I feel about green tomatoes. I shove them down everyone’s throat and covet the times I can actually make them. I seriously spent upwards of an hour making them last week. And then I ate almost all of them alone. Because I don’t share green tomatoes. Get real!
Here’s the printable recipe card!
- 2 Large Green (Unripened) Tomatoes (heirlooms work best, romas are not great for this)
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash, or to taste (optional but definitely worth it)
- Canola Oil, for frying
- Begin by heating your oil over medium high heat. You may want to start it on low so it gets hot, but you still have some time to prepare the eggs. If it gets too hot it could go rancid or fry unevenly. You’ll want about 1/4th inch of oil in the pan.
- Then start to prepare them by cracking your egg into a small bowl and beating it so that the yolk and the whites are fully combined (like you would for scrambled eggs).
- Then in a separate, larger bowl (or a plate) combine the flour, sugar, salt, and spices and mix together so that the spices are distributed evenly throughout the flour.
- While the oil is heating, start preparing your tomatoes by dipping each one in the egg and then coating both sides in the flour mixture. It’s a good idea to do a bunch of them ahead of time because once you start things will happen quickly.
- When your oil is hot, place floured tomatoes in a single layer with a little bit of room to move around between them, in the pan. Fry until golden on the bottom and then flip and repeat. It should take about a minute to a minute and a half per side. Depending on your stove you may need to adjust the heat if the oil starts smoking and/or the tomatoes start to burn.
- As each slice of tomato gets done, place them on a cooling rack covered in a paper towel to cool. Sprinkle with more salt if desired. Continue this process until all of your tomatoes are ready!