When you think of fried green tomatoes, what comes to mind? Southern cooking? For me, I think about my mom’s cooking, the end of the tomato season, and a story from a 92 year old woman about neighbors stealing her unripe tomatoes. For such a simple recipe, fried green tomatoes have a ton of nostalgia and character.
Our garden is full of green tomatoes, which refuse to ripen due to the plummeting temperatures so I’m ready to try fried green tomatoes in a whole new way. Today I made you dynamic, crispy, delicious, vegetarian fried green tomato tacos. Be prepared to be blown away.
I am of the firm believe that vegetarian dishes should be just as satisfying as ones that contain meat. This taco is just that. It is composed of super crispy fried green tomatoes, roasted poblano, queso fresco, and a tomato and corn salsa. It’s tangy, a little sweet, cheesy, smoky, and has that irresistible flavor that only something breaded and deep fried can achieve. The taste of this taco reminds me quite a bit of a chile relleno, which I absolutely looooove. You can’t go wrong with a cheese-stuffed, deep fried roasted chile.
And can I just gush about these fried green tomatoes for just a minute? I have always loved the flavor of FGT, but have been disappointed about the lack of crisp. While fried green tomatoes are breaded and fried, the moisture from the tomatoes quickly soaks into the breading, leaving them a bit soggy. In this recipe, I took advantage of the super powers of panko breadcrumbs. These bad boys stay crispy even after they are stone cold. The crunch lives on!
While creating this crisp involves breading, which takes some work, I’ve got your back. Here are some tips that you can use when you bread anything– yes anything. Here we go:
Set Up a Station – Something I will always carry with me from culinary school is the idea of a breading station. From left to right, it goes a little something like this: 1) Tray (cookie sheet) holding items to be breaded. 2) Seasoned flour. 3) Liquid portion (usually beaten eggs with liquid). 4) Breading that will go on the outside (breadcrumbs, nuts, more seasoned flour, etc.) 5) A tray to catch your breaded masterpieces. Setting yourself up like this saves time and frustration because you know exactly what step is next.
Flour First – While you may be tempted to start your breading process by dipping into the liquid (usually an eggwash), it’s best to start with the flour. The flour creates a tiny abrasive surface that the liquid will adhere to beautifully. This means that your breading is less likely to slide off while you’re dredging or as you’re eating it.
Wet Hand Dry Hand – Another culinary school gem is keeping one hand wet and one hand dry while breading. Reserve one hand for the flour and breadcrumbs and the other for the eggwash. This will prevent you from creating the mitt of doom (layers of flour, breadcrumbs, and egg).
Season All Steps – Taking the time to season (definitely add salt, but pepper is optional) not just the final breadcrumbs, but also the eggwash, flour, and the item to be breaded means that you are adding layers of flavor and you will be less likely to end up with a bland final product. You are going to put a lot of love into your food, so you deserve tasty, crispy, well seasoned breaded goodness. Don’t forget to season after frying, too!
You got this! Go out and craft yourself some scrumptious Fried Green Tomato Tacos. They’re good for both Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesday, so you should probably eat them twice. See you next time!
- 1 tomato, core removed and small diced
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and small diced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 poblano chiles
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ tablespoons milk
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil for frying
- 3 large green tomatoes, stems removed, halved lengthwise, then sliced ¼-inch thick
- 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 5 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine the diced tomato, corn, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
- Roast the poblanos. This can be done by placing it over an open flame on a stove burner or under a preheated broiler. Roast and turn until all of the skin is charred and black. Set aside until cool to the touch, then rub off the charred skin. Resist the temptation to wash the charred skin off. That’s good flavor! Remove the seeds and stem from the poblano, then slice into ½-inch strips.
- In a wide dish like a pie pan, stir together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. In another similar dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. Finally, in another similar dish, add the panko breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Place the green tomato slices on a cutting board and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the tomatoes with the flour mixture, then dip in the egg mixture, and then finish by coating with the seasoned panko. Place on a cookie sheet.
- Line a cookie sheet with paper towels. Fill a wide, heavy skillet with 1 inch of vegetable oil and heat to 350ºF. Make sure you have at least 2 inches of head room in your pan for the addition of the breaded tomatoes. Add the breaded green tomatoes, in batches if needed, and fry until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to the paper towel lined cookie sheet and season with salt.
- Heat the tortillas in a heavy skillet over high heat, one at a time, until they are pliable or in the microwave. Wrap with foil until you are ready to use them.
- Assemble the tacos. Arrange the tortillas on a clean work surface. Evenly distribute the poblano strips among the tortillas, top with an even amount of crispy green tomatoes, and top with an even amount of the corn salsa. Sprinkle with queso fresco and serve.