Air-Fried Green Tomatoes with a Smoky Paprika Remoulade
Not going to lie to you, I used to really not care about fried green tomatoes. I tried them once and they were soggy, floppy and oily….which turned me off of them forever. Well, the good news is that I was most certainly judging the wrong plate of fried green tomatoes!!! The ones that scarred me for life had just not been fried properly, or something was off that day. So, incase you’re wondering, fried green tomatoes are supposed to be crunchy and crispy on the outside, and soft(er) on the inside with a tangy, bright flavor that just *works.* They are traditionally served with a remoulade. My version is like remoulade-lite with just 5 ingredients, but it tastes like you have at least 20 flavors in there.
Just to cap off this entire rant, these fried green tomatoes are crunchy, crispy, tangy and a little smoky. I used a smoked paprika in the batter and dipping sauce to bring another element of flavor. Also, mine are air-fried! So I only used a fraction of the oil that’s used when frying. An air-fryer is a small convection oven that swirls hot air around your food, which results in crispness. You still need to use oil to get the “fry” and not the “dry” but the results are honestly sometimes BETTER than real frying since the oil doesn’t quickly make the breading soggy.
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What are green tomatoes?
For this purpose, we are talking about tomatoes that aren’t fully ripe. Yep. You know when you eat a fruit that’s not fully ripe, it tends to be a bit sour, tangy and not as sweet? Then, when it’s ripe, it’s sweet and luscious? Well, the same thing pertains to tomatoes, which are fruits.
Where can I find green tomatoes?
Farmers markets or farmers market focused grocery stores tend to have them. If you’re in Philadelphia, check out Iovine Brother’s Produce – that’s where I got mine! They always have the most amazing produce in stock. I would also look at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s or your local produce spot.
Why would I eat fried green tomatoes? Can I make them gluten-free or vegan?
They are SUCH a crowd pleaser! Also, if you use flax egg, they can be vegan as well. If you use gluten-free Panko, they can be gluten-free! Make your substitutes as necessary!
What is the sauce? Any other sauce recommendations?
The dipping sauce in the recipe is a super easy and simple take on a remoulade (the traditional dipping sauce served with fried green tomatoes.) Mine is a smoky paprika version. If you don’t vibe with that, you could serve with a simple sriracha aioli. You could also serve with hot sauce if you love hot sauce. Or, go with a simple mayo ketchup blend. Also….RANCH.
|Air-fried green tomatoes:|
|2-3 green tomatoes (2 if they are large, 3 if they are average sized)|
|Diamond kosher salt (have about 1/4 cup on hand)|
|1/2cup all purpose flour|
|1tsp smoked paprika|
|1tsp mustard powder|
|2 large eggs|
|2/3cup panko bread crumbs|
|Smoky paprika remoulade:|
|1tsp dijon mustard|
|1 1/2tbsp dill pickle juice|
|1/2tsp smoked paprika|
This is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP! Line the tomato slices on a paper towel and pat dry on both sides. Season the slices with kosher salt on both sides and let them sit for 20 minutes. This draws out the moisture, which gives you crunchy tomatoes. While they sit, prepare the remoulade (below) and the batter ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, paprika, mustard powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and pepper. In another mixing bowl, whisk the 2 eggs to create an egg wash. Finally, in a 3rd mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, panko bread crumbs and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Line these up in the order of flour mixture, eggs, then cornmeal mixture. Place a sheet pan or plate near the cornmeal plate.
Dry the tomato slices off again. Designate one hand as your "dry batter" hand and the other as your "wet batter" hand. One at a time, dip the tomato slices into the flour with your dry batter hand. Dust off excess. Then dip in the egg wash with your wet batter hand, until fully coated. Finally, switch back to your dry batter hand and dip into the cornmeal mixture and make sure the tomato slice is coated in cornmeal crumbs on all sides. Repeat with all the slices, then spritz in an oil of your choice.
Air fry at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then flip and air fry for another 5-10 until deep golden brown and crunchy. Do not remove when they are light golden brown. Every air-fryer is different, so it may take you longer to achieve deep golden brown results. Serve immediately for the ultimate crunch!
For the smoky paprika remoulade:
Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until combined. Taste to ensure you like the salt levels. If you want more salt, add a sprinkle of kosher salt, then mix again.