Pan-Seared Tomatoes Stuffed With Pork

Vietnam was a French colony for about 100 years. During that time, French and Vietnamese cuisine blended, resulting in some fabulous dishes.

Pan-Seared Tomatoes Stuffed With Pork

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 1

    slice white bread

  • 4

    slightly underripe tomatoes, each about 3 inches in diameter

  • 1

    lb ground pork

  • ½

    small yellow onion, minced

  • 1

    clove garlic, minced

  • 2

    tsp fish sauce

  • ½

    tsp salt

  • ¼

    tsp black pepper

  • 3

    tbsp canola or other neutral oil

  • (Alternatively, you can also use the uncooked meat mixture from the Vietnamese Meatballs recipe.)


Trim off the crust from the bread, put the bread in a small bowl, and cover with water. While the bread softens, prepare the tomatoes for stuffing. Halve each tomato crosswise. Seed the tomato halves, then use a teaspoon to remove the meaty insides to create a tomato cup. Do your best not to carve out too much, but if you happen to make a small hole, no worries. It still tastes great. To make the stuffing, drain the bread and squeeze firmly to extract excess liquid. Shred the bread with your fingers. In a bowl, combine the bread, pork, onion, garlic, fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly with a fork and then divide into 8 roughly equal portions. Blot the insides of each tomato cup with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Stuff each tomato cup, pressing gently to ensure that the stuffing reaches all the crevices. Mound the stuffing a bit, if necessary. In a deep, 12” skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place each tomato cup, skin side down, in the skillet. Cover with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil and cook for 5 minutes to brown the tomatoes and begin cooking the filling. Uncover the skillet and be ready for a little drama. Using tongs or two spatulas, carefully turn each cup over, stuffing side down. (There will be a dark brown or even black circle on the bottom of the tomato. It’s okay if the skin breaks.) Lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes; use a splatter guard if needed. After 5 minutes, check the stuffing side to see if it is browning too quickly, reducing the heat if necessary. You want a gentle sizzle. When the tomatoes show signs of collapse and there is some wrinkling in the skin, they are done, or nearly so. (The meat will feel firm.) Use a spatula to transfer the cups to a platter, placing them stuffing –side up. The diners may use their knives to break each cup into smaller manageable pieces for easy eating. Serve with hot rice.


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