fried green tomatoes


If someone mention fried green tomatoes the first thing that will come to mind is the 1991 movie hit, based on a novel by Fannie Flagg called Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, and the second one will be the homey southern cuisine, with its fried chicken, BBQ and grits…but apparently friend green tomatoes are not a Southern dish at all, they may even be a Northern dish…Gasp!

According to Smithsonian magazine, fried green tomatoes may have been as unusual in the South before 1991 as they were everywhere else. In fact, according to Robert F. Moss, a food historian and writer in South Carolina, “they entered the American culinary scene in the Northeast and Midwest, perhaps with a link to Jewish immigrants, and from there moved onto the menu of the home-economics school of cooking teachers who flourished in the United States in the early-to-mid 20th century.”

Moss found recipes in several Jewish and Midwestern cookbooks of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, but none in Southern cookbooks and hardly any in Southern newspapers. You can read the whole entertaining and informative account of how a movie changed (or distorted) culinary history at his blog.


Today’s recipe was taken from an Epicurious magazine with America’s best recipes (July 2014), and it is among the Southern comforts recipes. It couldn’t be easier, and the secret to this dish is obviously tomatoes, green tomatoes.


  • 4 large, firm green tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ slices
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 tsp paprika or pimentón
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Sprinkle tomato slices with salt and pepper; set aside. Combine cornmeal and paprika in a shallow dish, beat eggs in a bowl.

Cover bottom of a large heavy skillet with 1/2″ of oil, then place it over medium-high heat.

Coat tomato slices in egg, then dredge in cornmeal mixture. Fry tomatoes in batches until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer tomatoes to a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat until all tomatoes are cooked.


NOTE: There are many variations to this recipe, at Southern Living magazine, for instance, they add buttermilk to the eggs and a layer of flour before eggs and cornmeal. And just the other day I saw one with beer batter that looked very nice. And I like this one very much, from my friend MD.

10 Replies to “fried green tomatoes”

  1. Thanks Giovanna! You’ve got a terrific crust on your tomatoes. It’s getting to that time of year when there are lots of green ones left that don’t ripen – frying them is the perfect solution 😉

  2. nice post, and luckhy me to see it while online briefly!

    i grew up in mississippi, and my father often prepared fried green tomatoes (just picked green ones from the garden!) when i was growing up in the 60’s/70’s… i never thought to ask about the origin, but they were as ‘normal’ for our summer menus as fried okra and ‘field peas’ and cornbread!

    i usually add finely-diced onions to the tomatoes as well as the salt and pepper. i skip the egg part and use milk and double dredge w/corn meal and a touch of flour… if the tomatoes happen to be ‘store bought and generic in flavor,’ i add a bit of lemon at the very first before adding salt,pepper and onion.

    sigh, makes me hungry for fried green tomatoes… and fried okra… and an orb of cornbread and peas!


    1. Hi Lisa! Lucky me! I’m happy to know that fried green tomatoes were part of southern cuisine for you, I’m sure it was delicious just picked from the garden. Your recipe sounds delicious and lemon will add a great touch. Thanks for sharing and thanks for your comment! Take care 😊 Besos

        1. Hi! Never heard of it before!
          I just googled it and it sounds amazing!!! Really!!Is like a croqueta made with plantain and peanut and filled with tuna…fantastic!! I’ll try it very very soon.

          1. YES! here on the coast at the tiny village of ‘la division’ we enjoyed one shrimp corviche and one fish corviche each. they look like a cross between a hush puppy (southern usa!) and a corn dog.. they cost fifty usa cents each and were very crispy outside and moist inside. traditionally they are served with a carrot/cabbage/limon shredded salad, which you spoon into the ‘split’ down the upper/center…. i should have taken photos!

            1. Well, it can’t sounds more delicious, seriously…yes, next time take some pictures please! But now I see they are big, I thought they were bite size… 😘😘

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