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Vietnamese pork-stuffed tomatoes

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Ingredients 

  • 5 round tomatoes (weighing about 120g each)
  • 2 tsp Red Boat fish sauce (for tomato sauce)
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil (like vegetable or canola oil)
  • Filling
    • 300 g ground pork
    • 10 g dry shiitake mushroom
    • 10 g dry wood-ear mushroom
    • 25 g green onion, diced
    • 1 tbsp Red Boat fish sauce
    • 1 tsp bouillon granules/powder
    • 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper

 

Directions

1.  Add both types of mushrooms to a heat-proof bowl, pour in boiling water, and let sit to rehydrate.

2.  Once the mushrooms have rehydrated, drain, rinse and finely chop.

3.  In a large bowl, add the pork and the rest of the filling ingredients.  Mix until well combined.

4.  Cut tomatoes in halves crosswise.
NOTE: only cut the tomatoes for stuffing. For every 4 tomatoes you are stuffing, one is reserved for the sauce. Do not cut the sauce tomato yet.

5.  Use a knife and/or small spoon to scoop out the "guts" of the tomatoes into a bowl. Make sure you only remove the seeds and liquid, do not break and scoop out the cross walls. Set the tomato halves aside.

6.  Finely chop up the reserved tomato and the tomato "guts" from the previous step. Add everything back to the small bowl and set aside.

7.  Gently stuff the tomato halves with the filling. Start by taking a small bit of the filling and pack the cavities of the tomato half tightly, leaving no space. This helps secure the filling to the tomatoes when they're being cooked. Once the cavities are filled, add more filling and use your palm to shape it into a dome, still packing tightly.

8.  Start by making small domes at first to ensure you have enough filling for all the tomato halves. Once all of them are filled, you can evenly divide any remaining filling between the tomatoes and make the domes bigger.

9.  Heat oil in a pan (large enough to fit all the tomato halves in a single layer) on medium.

10.  Add the stuffed tomatoes, meat-side down, in a single layer- pressing them down very gently to get some browning but not destroy the shape.  Fry for 5 minutes.

11.  Use tongs or a spatula to flip the tomatoes meat-side up.

12 Pour the bowl of chopped tomato into the pan and season with fish sauce.
Reduce heat to medium low and cover.

13 Simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve in a large bowl or plate.

14 Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with rice!

Recipe Source: MMBonAppétit

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