"Oh, what I wouldn't give for a plate of fried green tomatoes like we used to have at the café.” Those are the words of Ninny Threadgoode in 1991’s Fried Green Tomatoes, and so often, those exact words are on my mind. Vegans would do best to make their own, rather than ordering a batch of fried green tomatoes from a café. Restaurants tend to use an egg dip to make the batter stick, but as vegan cooks have discovered in so many recipes from cakes to fritters, eggs just aren’t necessary in cooking. As you’ll see in the following recipe, any type of liquid dip helps batter stay on during frying. Here, I’m using dark vegan beer, but soymilk or even water would work. Keep that tip in mind anytime you’re frying anything and wish to keep the meal vegan. Add a few teaspoons of cornstarch to any liquid dip for more staying power. Lucky for us, early summer is the perfect time for whipping up a batch of tangy, battered un-ripe tomatoes. This recipe comes courtesy of my Southern mama, who served up these fried beauties on Father’s Day in my parents’ Arkansas home. If you’re worried about calories and fat, you can also try baking these tomatoes in a 350-degree oven until browned. But nothing beats a crisp, fried tomato. I’d suggest skipping dessert and going all out with tomatoes.

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Fried Green Beer Tomatoes [Vegan]

Ingredients

  • 2 large green tomatoes
  • 1 12-ounce bottle dark vegan beer
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
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Preparation

  1. Wash and slice the tomatoes into very thin slices.
  2. Pour the beer into a medium-sized bowl, and place the tomato slices in the beer. Make sure they’re all covered, and allow to marinate for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the cornmeal and flour in a large bowl.
  4. Cover the bottom of a large skillet with oil, and heat on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Test to make sure the oil is ready by sprinkling a little flour into the oil. If it sizzles, it’s hot enough.
  5. When the tomatoes are marinated, salt and pepper each slice.
  6. Dip each slice into the cornmeal mixture to cover both sides. Carefully place the tomatoes into the hot oil.
  7. Fry on each side for about 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

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