These Vietnamese style stuffed tomatoes are made from marinated ground pork and mushroom mixture. Then served with super duper delicious tomato sauce made from scratch. There is no doubt to say this is the best homemade comfort food recipe.
What make these stuffed tomatoes different from the others? Well, typically you'll see these types of recipes come with cheese on top or cream base sauce.
However with these Vietnamese style stuff tomatoes (Cà chua nhồi thịt), please rest assure that it is a dairy free recipe. Won't that make this homemade comfort food 100% better for lactose intolerance folks?
It sure will, I bet.
What meal are these best for?
Since it is a homemade comfort food recipe, technically you can cook this for any meal you like.
Lunch, dinner, or supper. You name it.
Cooking schedule for these stuffed tomatoes
Here is the timeline to cook these amazing, one of a kind Vietnamese style stuffed tomatoes (Cà chua nhồi thịt), for dinner. You're welcome to adjust this timeline to suit your own time table.
- 5:00 pm - prep stuffing ingredients and marinade
- 5:20 pm - prep tomatoes
- 5:50 pm - stuff tomatoes with stuffing
- 6:10 pm - put stuffed tomatoes into a steamer
- 6:15 pm - prep tomato sauce ingredients
- 6:30 pm - cook tomato sauce
- 6:45 pm - tomato sauce done
- 6:50 pm - stuffed tomatoes done
- 7:00 pm - serve
For these Vietnamese style stuffed tomatoes, you'll need:
- Tomatoes - any kind of fresh tomatoes are good. But if you like to make it look appealing (like the ones I have in the photos), go for tomatoes on vine. Or those fancy heirloom tomatoes (by the way what are heirloom tomatoes anyway?).
- One thing if you haven't known already is you should never: ever put them in a fridge if they haven't ripe completely. "The refrigerator can buy you some time before the tomatoes begin to break down and eventually rot" (Serious Eats).
- Ground pork - the main ingredient of the stuffing. You want to go for lean pork but don't be too lean thus at the same time, you need your stuffed tomatoes (cà chua nhồi thịt) have a little moist in them.
- Corn starch - to bind all ingredients together. You can substitute corn starch for potato starch (Bob's red mill potato starch has always been my number one choice).
- Shitake mushroom - to add a nice flavor to the stuffing. If you can't find fresh shitake, dry ones will work perfectly too. You can buy either one at your local Asian market or Amazon to the rescue.
- Fried shallots - to add a little texture to the stuffing. You can either fry shallots yourself or buy real good ones.
- Fried shallots make a very good companion to almost any dish. Such as these amazing rice rolls (bánh cuốn).
- Fish sauce - Red Boat fish sauce is always my number one choice. You can substitute with half amount of salt if fish sauce is not available to you.
Other related recipes that you want to explore:
- Cajun cheesesteak stuffed peppers - a fusion dish which only takes 30 minutes to make.
- Stuffed creamy baked sweet potatoes.
- A traditional comfort soup for rainy day: Vietnamese hot & sour shrimp soup.
- Another comfort food in spotlight: macaroni soup with pork ribs.
One of a kind stuffed tomato
- 7 medium tomatoes
- 3 stalks green onion chopped, for garnish
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 tbsp fish sauce or 1.5 tbsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp corn starch or potato starch
- 2 tbsp fried onion
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- ¼ medium yellow onion small dice
- 7 caps shitake mushroom small dice
- ½ medium yellow onion small dice
- ¼ c ketchup
- 5 medium tomatoes small dice
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp sugar
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Take a small amount of the meat mixture and do taste testing by boiling or frying. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Let the mixture marinade for 45 minutes (maximum 24 hours).
- Use a petty knife, remove the top of each tomato.
- Use a small spoon to scoop out seeds and juice inside. Set tomatoes aside and preserved juice mixture for making sauce.
- Carefully stuff tomatoes with marinated stuffing. Set up a steamer. Put stuffed tomatoes on a small pan inside a steamer and steam for 20-30 minutes.
For tomato sauce
- In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, add diced yellow onion and saute until onion turn brown.
- Add ketchup, followed by diced tomato and 1 cup of preserved juice mixture (from above).
- Add salt, sugar, and ground black pepper. Bring the mixture to boil then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Adjust tomatoes sauce with salt and pepper if needed.
- Put stuffed tomatoes on serving platter, spoon enough sauce to cover and garnish with chopped green onion. Served with hot steamed rice. Enjoy!