Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes

I first heard about fried green tomatoes from the movie when it came out, oh, about (ohmygod!) 16 or 17 years ago.

(Although, thinking back on it, why was I watching that movie at such a "young" age, haha. Their concerns weren't my concerns. But I did/do like the movie.)

Anyway, the fried green tomatoes don't make an appearance in the movie until late and they weren't that big a deal in the movie. However, the term "fried green tomatoes" has always stayed with me.

I never see any green (unripe) tomatoes anywhere so the possibility of making it never crossed my mind. Then, I saw a couple of posts about fried green tomatoes, including this video by Chef John of Food Wishes Video Recipes. He even mentions Fried Green Tomatoes in his post, so I had to use his recipe! =)

Then, finally, we came across green tomatoes in the market! They weren't being sold as unripe tomatoes. I had to dig around in the huge crate of red to find them. And some of them were already turning slightly red.

I followed the video recipe quite well. Here are the flour, egg and seasoned cornmeal stations. I salted the sliced tomatoes for a bit beforehand and also let the breaded slices sit before pan-frying. (That posed a little of a problem as I was soon running out of surface area for the slices, hehe.)

The reward:

We've never had fried green tomatoes anywhere before this so we didn't exactly know what to expect. They were so good! They didn't even need any sort of dipping sauce! (I made a caper-mayo number, but that was completely ignored.) The sweetness of the cornmeal and its "gritty" texture in the crust were exactly what the slightly tart tomatoes needed. And the flavor of the green tomatoes were fantastic!

I have not seen the movie, so I did not really know what these "fried green tomatoes" were about. At first, I thought it was just some sort of expression, a turn of phrase. Or perhaps a metaphor, although a metaphor elucidating precisely what aspect of the human condition -- I didn't take that thought that far.

Am I glad that these fried green tomatoes were not metaphors, because the real stuff was just so darn delicious! To be honest, I didn't expect them to be that good or I didn't think I'd like them, because -- well, watery tomatoes? Sure, them watery tomatoes are fried, but still. Watery. Water. As in tasteless. I'm sure there's a metaphor somewhere there, if we care to look.

I did not imagine that frying unripe tomatoes would concentrate that particular tomato genius of tart-and-sweet in these their flesh. Add to the juicy lusciousness the contrast of the cornmeal crust and the whole fried green tomato was a phenomenal experience.

I'm almost tempted to watch the movie, just to see fried green tomatoes being eaten, because even just a vicarious experience would do for me.

Better than the Whistle Stop Cafe?

So, please, make some!!! (Triple exclamation marks!!!)

If you haven't done so before, then please check out the Fried Green Tomatoes video at Food Wishes Video Recipes.


Market Loot Series
Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad
Yellow Beans, English Peas, Radish and Dill Salad
Grilled Corn
Fried Green Tomatoes
Chimichurri with Flank Steak

[eatingclub] vancouver Cornmeal Love
Corn Toasties
Fried Green Tomatoes
Cornmeal-crusted Okra
Potato Cornmeal Foccacia
Cornmeal-crusted Trout w/ Lemon-Anchovy-Caper Sauce
Upside Down Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

[updated 09-17-2008] Ning of Heart and Hearth kindly invited us to submit an entry to Bookmarked Recipes, this edition being hosted by her.

We're glad to join!

The roundup will be posted on Monday, September 22.


  1. Okay, okay!!! Another bookmarked recipe! Now, I have to go out and look for green tomatoes and cornmeal... :)

  2. Wow how unique! Looks a bit like our local 'goreng pisang' but with tomato inside! :D~~

  3. Did you get those green tomatoes from Richmond Farm Market? That looks really really good. Did you use a dip?

  4. You know...I love a good fried green tomato. Try various spice mixes for a little fun.

    I used mine in a grown up BLT - check out the link: http://everydaycookin.blogspot.com/2008/08/blt-grows-up.html

  5. You would make any Southern mama proud with this batch of Fried Green Tomatoes. I am going to hit the market today and make a batch for my daughter who loves these. Fabulous!

  6. I've now seen these little guys cropping up on at least three different blogs. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something?? Until a couple of years ago I also had only heard of them as a movie title, not an actual dish. WIth the London weather being what it is, I have bunches of green tomatoes sitting on my plants and no sun to ripen them, so I may well be trying these soon!

  7. Since you insist, I'll have to try but only when only green tomatoes are left in the garden.

  8. My mom used to make these for us as a treat growing up though we just use a flour batter without the corn meal. Its one of the best tastes ever in my book

  9. It looks like you've been making them all of your life. I haven't had them in so long but now you've teased me into thinking I should go on the hunt for green tomatoes!

  10. Oh yeah! I would so eat those like potato chips, one after the other after the other.
    Looks just perfect--I am starving now!

  11. I loved that movie! I have never had these either, but I am totally going to look for green tomatoes at the farmers market this weekend!

  12. I super love green tomatoes! I think it's Southern thing. When I lived in Kentucky - fried green tomatoes is served as side dishes just about everywhere. Sadly, I have never made it myself!! :) But I sure will now.

  13. I've never had these before either, but they look awesome and sound like they'd be delicious. I'll have to give this a shot

  14. I must have seen that movie 25 times when I was 18...

    My mom tried making them afterwards, but they didn't quite come out right. Maybe I'll give them another shot on my own, all these years later.

    Thanks for the memories. :)

  15. i have never had fried green tomatoes... i'm thinking it's because we can never find unripe tomatoes anywhere, but since you gave it three !!! i'm going to have to look.

  16. I've never had fried green tomatoes but boy do I want to try some now. I have had pickled green tomatoes at some Jewish delis but probably very different.

  17. I love fried green tomatoes and will miss them come winter. Yours look awesome!

  18. saw this Green Fried Tomato recipe on the Food Network website by Mark Ewan ("The Heat"). they used panko instead of cornmeal. both looks easy to do and yummy!

  19. I had no idea making fried green tomatoes would be such a broadway production.
    that.. crisp.. crust.. looks perfect.

  20. I've always wondered about green tomatoes - I never knew if they were just unripe tomatoes or a special variety! I have lots of unripe tomatoes in my garden, so I really need to try this out!

  21. Ooooh! I love Fried Green Tomatoes! And the movie too :) The first time I had them were actually at The Whistle Stop Cafe where the movie was made in Georgia! It's the same dinner from the movie! Since then, I have been in love with them! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. My mouth is watering!! I am going now to the local tienda to grab some geen tomatoes to make them for lunch ... perfect day for it too - today is fresh vegetable day and tomatoes will be green to last, ripening, through the week.

  23. Well, I have been enjoying fried green tomatoes for . . . let me think . . . about 50 years BEFORE the "Whistle Stop Cafe" was ever heard of.

    As a native Southerner, I remember my Grandmother, in Houston, Texas, going out to the garden and fetching a few softball-sized "greenies" (as she called them), and frying them up in her cast-iron skillet, much in the way you have done.

    But, what the hell, we old-timer Southerners weren't much into "movies" or "food blogs" or "chic" dishes, or that kind of thing.

    We were just into GOOD Southern food.

    Loved your post, by the way.

  24. Just wanted to add that my wife (an RN) was born and raised in Wisconsin and I've got her positively ADDICTED to fried green tomatoes, as well as other traditional Southern Delicacies.

  25. I'm sorry. I hate to keep apologizing for my girlfriend "chiff0nade"'s weird behavior on the food blogs (you can read her story here: http://profiles.aim.com/chiff0nade).

    But her post, obviously as an impersonator of "DocChuck" immediately above, must be taken for what it is . . . the cheap vodka and anti-depressant pills stupor, that Louise (SeriousEat's staff member) usually posts.

    Please contact me if you have any ideas on how I can help her:

    David Wyers,

    Southern Data Comm Inc
    10700 76th Ct
    Largo, FL 33777-1440
    Phone:(727) 431-4400
    Fax:(727) 431-4411

  26. I have always wanted to try these. I barely remember anything about it, but I saw the movie when I was very young. Ever since then I've wanted to see what they were all about. You two made them look tempting enough that I may finally try it out!


  27. noobcook:
    I have to look up goreng pisang now! =)

    Yup, we did get them from there. I had to look in the bins if regulkar tomatoes for unripe ones, though. And most of them are ONLY semi-unripe. =( No dip was needed if the tomatoes/cornmeal were well-seasoned (salted). Otherwise, some sort of lemon-mayo wth pickles or capers would do the trick. (I've even tried it with oyster sauce! Haha.)

    Darius T. Williams:
    We had some pizza lying around and I put the fried green tomatoes as a topping on the pizza! =)

    The blogworld and your plants are all conspiring... well, not against you, since making these would only benefit yourself! =D

    Better late than never, since I myself have waited this long after first seeing fried green tomatoes!

    It's really hard to find unripe tomatoes here too.

    We;ve made them since without all the fuss (ie, the lazy way). Still good, but this original method was still the best. =)

    Wow! I didn't know that place actually existed! =)

  28. I also only got to know about Fried Green Tomatoes through the movie, which was excellent by the way. Unfortunately, I've never tried the food version though, but sometime when I visit USA again I simply have to try it. It sure looks interesting!

  29. My husband has gained a great deal of weight since he’s become housebound (medical condition).

    I am trying to wean him off the fatty foods he loves so much and on to low-cal but tasty alternatives.

    I'll be oven frying him some tomatoes, soon.

  30. I love Fried Green Tomatoes, geat post! Ciao from Italy


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