This Vietnamese stuffed tomatoes recipe is another family favourite that I have enjoyed all through my childhood. It is basically hollowed out tomatoes packed with pork mince and vegetables, then cooked in a delicious sauce. Super easy and quick to make, this recipe is easily one of best comfort dishes that you are sure to enjoy!
What Tomatoes to Pick?
This recipe is very simple and flexible but there are factors that will make this dish a little easier. When it comes to tomatoes:
- Don’t use overly ripe tomatoes. These will disintegrate when cooking and turn into mush.
- Try to buy tomatoes that are similar in size. This is because if they are roughly the same size then they will have the same cooking time.
- Any larger or plump variety of tomato will be fine, but I do not recommend Roma tomatoes as they are too long and narrow.
Does Fry Pan Size Matter?
I believe it does! This is because when the fry pan is overly cramped, you will begin steaming / boiling the stuffed tomatoes rather than frying them. This is undesirable for a few reasons:
- The meat side of the stuffed tomatoes will not brown properly. I understand it is purely for aesthetics reasons but to us Vietnamese it is important feature of the dish.
- The stuffed tomatoes will begin to sweat and release a lot of moisture. This will dry out the meat and cause the tomato cups to turn mushy.
To avoid these pitfalls, I recommend using a fry pan of at least a 30 cm (12 in) so you can fit all the tomatoes in without cramming.
More Tips for a Successful Vietnamese Stuffed Tomatoes
- Do not skip sprinkling cornstarch into each tomato cup before stuffing. This is because the cornstarch will act like a glue to stop the meat from falling out.
- Over pack your tomato cups with stuffing. The meat will shrink once it is cooked and you want to make the stuffed tomatoes look as plump as possible.
- To get a good colour on the stuffed tomatoes, make sure each tomato is in contact with a good amount of cooking oil in the frying pan.
- Cooking times may vary according to the size of your tomatoes and how generously you have stuffed them. Please always check the doneness of the stuffed tomatoes before taking them out of the pan.
Other Recipes that are Similar to Vietnamese Stuffed Tomatoes
- Vietnamese Beef and Celery in Tomato Sauce
- Easy Vietnamese Fried Tofu in Tomato Sauce
- Simple Pork Mince and Rice
- Vietnamese Pork Mince Omelette
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Vietnamese Stuffed Tomatoes
- At least a 30 cm / 12 In fry pan
- 6 medium tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 250 gm pork mince
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- pepper, to taste
- 5 gm wood ear mushroom / black fungus, soaked and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- tomato pulp (from coring)
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 tsp water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- In a bowl, add the dried black fungus and soak in boiling water for at least 20 minutes. Once ready, finely chop into small pieces.
- Use a spoon to core out the tomatoes. Save the pulp and put it into a medium bowl.
- Add all sauce ingredients to the pulp and combine well. Leave aside until needed.
- Prep all your ingredients.
- In a mixing bowl, add the stuffing ingredients and combine well with your hands.
- In each tomato cup, sprinkle a little bit of cornstarch in the middle. Rub the cornstarch in with your fingers and then add the stuffing into each tomato cup. Make sure to pack it tight and generous.
- Warm up a fry pan on medium high with 2 tbsp of oil. Sprinkle a little cornstarch on the top of each stuffed tomato then into the pan meat side down. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the meat has browned but not burnt.
- Once done, flip the tomatoes on to the other side and add let it cook for a further 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, add the sauce into the pan and flip the tomatoes back over. Make sure the meat side is immersed in the sauce. Turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer for roughly 2 – 3 minutes.
- Check to see if the meat is done by taking one out and cutting it in half. If yes, then take the tomatoes out and onto a serving bowl. If not, then cook until done.
- In a small bowl, mix the thickener together and add it to the sauce. Keep stirring with a spoon until it is fully combined and the sauce has thickened.
- Add the spring onions and taste test. Adjust the sauce according to your preference.
- Pour the sauce over the stuffed tomatoes and serve with white jasmine rice.