Savoury Stuffed Tomatoes

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4-6

Appears in

When visiting family friends in the south of France, I always look forward to eating stuffed tomatoes. Mme Taurines seasons her dish with abundant garlic and Provençal herbs. It is so aromatic that you can smell it down the street. It is served with plain rice and a simple salad. A bonus is that it can be made in advance and re-heated with no noticeable deterioration in the quality of the dish. Here is my East-West version of her delectable dish.

Ingredients

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 25 g (1 oz) Chinese black mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 350 g (12 oz) minced pork
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoonlight soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoonShaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Chicken Stock or water
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Method

Cut a small slice off the top of each tomato, with the dimple in the centre. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the pulp of the tomato. Strain the pulp and reserve the liquid, which will be used to moisten the filling. Blot the insides of the tomatoes with kitchen paper.

Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Then drain them and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems and finely chop the caps.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic, shallots, spring onions and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove and allow the mixture to cool thoroughly. In a large bowl, combine the pork with the mushrooms, salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, sesame oil and egg white. Mix well and add the stir-fried garlic mixture. Stuff the mixture into the tomatoes.

Wipe the wok clean and re-heat over a high heat. When it is hot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and turn the heat down to moderate. Brown the tomatoes, filling side down. This should take about 5 minutes. Then gently turn the tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the stock or water, oyster sauce, sugar and the reserved tomato juice from the pulp. Bring the mixture to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the stuffing in the tomatoes is cooked thoroughly. Gently transfer to a warm platter and serve at once.

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