Fried Green Tomato Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing + Menu For Hope

Fried Green Tomato Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

Because I live in one of the hottest states in the United States, and by “hot” I mean the moment you step outside, the crease in the back of your knees sweat as fast as spinach in a fry pan. In the summer, I curse the humidity, especially when my friends back in San Francisco brag about having lunch alfresco on happy-sunshiney-afternoons. But then along comes December, and guess what. I am still growing tomatoes, gardening in shorts and a tank top in almost 80F degree weather. Love it.

Na na na na boo boo!

In October, I bought a few Earthboxes – and began growing 3 tomato plants, lettuce, herbs, cauliflower, peppers and broccoli. The tomatoes took off like like a dog in heat and within weeks grew to 3 ft tall with a gazillion flowers. That’s the beauty of the Earthboxes…low maintenance…high productivity. Kinda like me, right Scott?! πŸ™‚

Anyways, they grew so friggin’ fast that one day I came home to find all 3 tomato plants toppled over because the wire trellis couldn’t support the plants’ weight. One plant broke and therefore the 2 months of tomatoes which i had lovingly massaged, sang to and kissed, were left dangling helplessly on the stem. The other plants were ok, so today Scott built a massive wooden trellis system, about the size of a small bathroom just for them to “grow into.” I really should take a photo for you (next time).

18 small green tomatoes…perfect for Elise’s Fried Green Tomato recipe paired with my Sweet Chili Dressing and home-grown greens. These green babies are goin’ out in style.

I have another Earthbox just dedicated to different kinds of salad greens – our little family can’t keep up with all the lettuce we are producing. I’ve become a lettuce-pusher….presenting bags of lettuce and herbs to my friends every time I visit. This Fried Green Tomato Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing was so satisfying that I have a feeling that many of the remaining tomatoes will be plucked before ripening. Panko breadcrumbs were a perfect breading – so incredibly light yet packs a massive crunch when fried…..continued….

Fried Green Tomato Salad

pssst….I forgot to drizzle with the Sweet Chili Dressing before taking the photo.


Fried Green Tomato Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 8 minutes
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 3.02.13 PM

adapted from Elise who adapted it from Better Homes & Garden New Cook Book. For my GF friends, substitute flour and breadcrumbs. The sweet chili sauce below in the dressing recipe is GF.


3 medium, firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
large pinch of chili powder
salad greens


1. Slice unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2" slices. Season both sides with salt, pepper and chili powder and let sit. In meantime, make salad dressing (recipe below) and prep the following in separate bowls in this order: milk, flour, egg, panko.

2. Heat a large skillet with olive oil on medium-high heat. Dip tomato slices in milk, then flour, then eggs, then panko. In skillet, fry slices 3-5 minutes each side until golden brown.

Sweet Chili Dressing

1 tbl bottled sweet chili sauce (I use Mae Ploy brand) Sweet chili sauce
1 tbl tomato ketchup
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbl sugar
1 tbl water
1 tbl lime juice
1 tsp minced cilantro leaves

Combine ingredients and mix well.

The Sweet Chili Dressing recipe is adapted from Asian Tapas cookbook. I've been playing with the recipes in this gorgeous book - every recipe has a photo!


Menu for Hope

Menu for Hope

This is my first year participating in Menu For Hope, and rather than me and my chinglish fumble a description, here is the program, from the words of the founder herself, Chez Pim:

“Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising event in support of the UN World Food Programme.Β  Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired me to find a way to help, and the very first Menu for Hope was born.Β  In 2006, Menu for Hope raised US$60,925.12 to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry.

Each year, food bloggers from all over the world join forces to host the Menu for Hope online raffle, offering an array of delectable culinary prizes.Β  For every US$10, the donor receive a virtual raffle ticket toward a prize of their choice.Β  This year, the prizes include once in a lifetime experiences such as touring the elBulli laboratory with Ferran AdriΓ , dining on a historic British meal prepared by Heston Blumenthal, or joining Harold McGee on a lunch date to satisfy a lifetime’s worth of cooking curiosity.Β  You can also tag along with your favorite blogger on a tour of their favorite markets, restaurants, or even receive a care package fashioned especially for you from your favorite bloggers themselves.Β  All you need is $10 and a bit of luck.

We may never eradicate hunger from the face of the earth, but why should that stop us from trying?”

Our East Coast host is Serious Eats, one of my fav food sites. Come support the worthy cause and see the full list of prizes!

My donation is 1 ounce of saffron threads from This, my friends, is an entire ounce – more than you can ever use!Β  The prize code is UE-05.

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Comments 33

  1. joanne

    Ugh, I’m so jealous! It’s dry, windy, and cold here in Georgia. I haven’t figured out what I should grow next year. Plus I still have to figure out where to put it and hope deer do not eat it all. But nah nah nah na… I’m heading back to SF for Christmas! Wohoo, I’m gonna stuff my self on good sushi, pho, and hopefully lots of dungeness crab cantonese style. The canadian crabs should be safe. I always gain 5lbs when I go home.

  2. Kat

    I have a vine with green cherry tomatoes on it just waiting to topple over. What a great recipe and donation!

  3. Neece

    Oh, fried green tomatoes! I haven’t had them in decades! I think I’ll get me an earthbox, but I’ll get my husband to make the trellis before I even plant the seeds! πŸ˜›
    That salad looks scrumptious.
    It was a great movie, too πŸ™‚

  4. Nags

    That’s a nice pic and I was just beginning to wonder about the dressing when I saw the footnote.

    It must be awesome to grow your own veggies! I should try that when I have some space where I live.

  5. Ellie

    Just checked out the link to the Earthboxes – those things look totally neat! Argh, I wish they had things like that here – the unpaved bits of my garden are overwhelmed with shrubs and trees and are unsuitable for growing edibles – something like this would be far better for it! Sorry to hear about the loss of the tomatoes, but at least you can bear it in mind for the next crop and hopefully there’ll be no losses next year πŸ™‚

    The fried green tomatoes look quite a treat, just seeing that crispy brown crumb coating is making me hungry…!

  6. LunaPierCook

    One evening last year, we were sitting out on the back deck. An elderly woman who lives a couple miles away pulled into our driveway and headed straight for us. In her hands? Fresh fried green tomatoes and a chili cream dipping sauce. She’d made too much and just wanted to give it away! Ah, Michigan natives, what a great bunch.

    Meanwhile, we had an ice storm yesterday and some schools are closed. Yeah, jealous, I am!

  7. MyF

    Cool. I should try fry some green tomatoes and taste them. I never like tomatoes except for sweet red cherry tomatoes!

  8. melch

    Since I am one to gloat (to myself, when I can contain it) during the summers here on the west coast, I feel that I need to point out that I’m so jealous that you’re outside in shorts and a tank top as I’m in my office, still wearing my jacket and hat.

  9. threemilechild

    Does the tomato get cooked through or stay slightly chewy inside?

    (Not that I’d ever get away with making these. My family is southern, and green tomatoes are to be sliced thinly, dipped in egg and flour, fried until crispy in bacon fat, and eaten on Wonderbread with mayonnaise. If I made them on a salad, I’d be forbidden to make anything but Hamburger Helper for weeks…)

  10. Miss T

    Mmmmm…’s going to be a long time before I see a green tomato. I hope I remember this by then!

  11. Nate

    The pics are absolutely gorgeous!

    Unless you get “determinate” varieties of tomatoes, a tomato vine can keep growing until frost or disease kills it. Of course, if you have it in a container, eventually the roots will get crowded. That would also limit the plant’s growth. I’d like to see your trellis system.
    House of Annie is also participating in the Menu for Hope 4, offering heirloom tomato cookbook and seeds, plus plants or fruits. Bid now to help out a good cause.

  12. greensgal

    I want to get my hands on some of these Earthboxes. Sounds like the prefect solution to city living in small spaces. Lovely recipe for the green tomatoes. I will file it away for next summer, as, alas, it is winter-time here in DC. Lovely photo as well.

  13. Lynn

    I’m so jealous of your tomatoes! I try and try every year to grow tomatoes and usually only get one or two ripe by September. Curse the short Northwest growing season!

  14. furiouschef

    Love your blog, Jaden is the best for nice recipes, It’s for that I don’t give any on my blog, hope to read you soon ( how was yor meeting for the cookbook).

  15. Melinda

    Fried green tomatoes at the Steamy Whistlestop Restaurant! Yeah, I’d order them!
    I was flipping through your ‘what am I doing’ thingie on the right side. You really are going to have to do some food teaching to the grocery store staff. What did he think the chestnuts were anyway?

  16. Kevin

    That looks great. Nice photos. I have never tried fried green tomatoes. Bookmarked for when green tomatoes are available.

  17. ilingc

    Hi Jaden,
    Firstly, congratulations on the Food Blog awards nominations. πŸ™‚ Don’t worry, I know where I’m putting my vote.
    Now on a serious note, I don’t suppose I could make do with red tomatoes if I can’t find me any green tomatoes? πŸ˜‰

  18. Pingback: Menu for Hope IV | Chew On That

  19. Zenchef

    I’m reading this while freezing my butt in NY… na na na na boo boo!
    So cold i’m thinking about putting leftover ham to cover my buttocks for my morning commute!… na na na na boo boo!

  20. rxgator07

    It’s been several years. But if you happen to live in Atlanta and Mick’s is still in business I always liked their fried green tomatoes. The dressing they had was really creamy yet tangy. I will have to put this on my to-do list when I visit the ATL.

  21. Pingback: Fried Green Tomato Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing - PURPLEPINKANDORANGE.COM

  22. gowns

    Talk about steamy I too know humideity here in the midwest. Anyway I am very intrigued by the sweet chili sauce. fried green tomatos can certainly benefit from chili of most kinds I like the idea of hot and sweet and would even be open to a fruit or berry based chili sauce. I will use your suggestion and fry up some of the jade colored delights. Thanks for the idea.

  23. Pingback: What to do with those green tomoatoes: Grab your baby carrier and go!

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