Japanese-Style Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Sushi Mayo

More tales from my little garden. So, after 2 months of love, sunshine and water… I’ve got a beautiful crop of grape tomatoes! BUT….(there’s always a BUT with this garden) while they are growing beautifully, there is nary a blush, a hint, a whisper of red. All green. Sigh.

I know the woodland creatures have been enjoying these little green delights before they can mature and while I’m doing my best to keep them at bay,  I was desperate to get in on the action before all the tomatoes were gone.  I nicked a handful of the green beauties and off to the kitchen I went.

Fried green tomatoes were an easy choice, because Hello, I love them. But these little grape tomatoes didn’t seem right for a BLT or just to serve in slices.  I wanted to do something poppable..like a little perfect tangy bite slathered in a creamy, spicy dip.

Once I went through the pantry, I realized I had panko, wasabi powder and rice vinegar…and an idea began to form. Theses are definitely not your Granny’s fried green tomatoes; but I love them. A spicy, crunchy little bite with that beloved sushi restaurant mayo flavor. Just yes.

Japanese Style Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy Sushi Mayo
Time: 25 minutes ~ Serves 2

1/2 c. panko crumbs, blended (to create a crumb consistency)
1/4 c. wasabi powder*
12 cherry or large grape tomatoes
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. frying oil (safflower or vegetable)
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Sea Salt
*Can be found in Asian markets. Or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Spicy Sushi Mayo

1/4c. mayo*
1 tbs. sriracha (or more to taste)
1 tsp lime zest
1 tbs. fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
*Try substituting non-fat greek yogurt. Lighter in calories but adds great tang.
1. Clean tomatoes, pat dry and slice in half lengthwise. Set aside and make mayo.
2. Whisk mayo ingredients in a medium bowl. Adjust heat and seasoning to taste. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
3. In a shallow, wide bowl combine panko and wasabi powder. In a separate bowl, add beaten egg.
4. Line a cookie sheet with paper towels or brown paper bag.
5. In a heavy skillet, heat oil (you may need more or less depending on your skillet size,  (you want enough to comfortably cover tomatoes half-way).  To test oil, flick a drop of water into the pan, if it sizzles, it’s ready, if it splatters, it’s too hot!
6. Dip tomatoes in egg, roll in panko until coated, then immediately drop into oil. Repeat steps for  3-4 more tomatoes, but don’t crowd the skillet.
7. After about 1-2 minutes, the tomatoes should be golden around the edges and ready to flip. Allow to fry another minute until completely golden.
8. Remove from oil and set on lined cookie sheet to drain excess oil.
9. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt and a drizzle of seasoned rice vinegar.
10. Serve with mayo. Serves 2 as an appetizer.

Who needs ripe tomatoes…


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