Recently we went through a phase of really missing home made Vietnamese comfort food so we made ca kho to (braised catfish in clay pot), and thit kho (Vietnamese braised pork–recipe soon), banh mi, but another one of our favorite Vietnamese comfort food is stuffed tomatoes, ca chua nhoi thit. This is one of my family favorite dishes of my Aunt nine who taught me her recipe. Stuffed tomatoes is rarely found in Vietnamese restaurants but pretty common in family dinners. The sweet juices of the tomatoes and the stuffing make this a really tasty dish with rice. The pork stuffing recipe is very popular in Vietnamese cuisine and can also be used as a base for making eggrolls, cha trung hap in com tam (pork/egg custard in broken rice dishes), and for stuffing tofu, bell peppers, game hens, catfish, and bitter melon.
Stuffed Tomatoes Ca Chua Nhoi Thit
- 1/2 lb of ground pork
- 1 tsp of fish sauce
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 2 tbs diced shallots
- 1/4 cup of wood ear mushrooms, chopped into small sections (soak in hot water for about 10 min or until softened)
- 1/2 cup of bean thread noodles, cut in 1-2″ length (soak in hot water for about 10 min or until soften)
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- Can of tomato sauce (optional)
- 1 green onion, thinly diced
- cooking oil and minced garlic for the sautee
My Aunt’s recipe calls for sectioning the tomatoes horizontally in half and coring out the inside. Set aside. If you cut the tomato at the top, there’s alot of stuff that may cook unevenly and take a long time. By cutting it in half, you’re able to use both halves and the smaller amount of stuffing results in shorter and even cooking. Save the cored tomatoes for the sauce.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, salt, shallots, wood ear mushrooms, bean thread noodles. Now you’re ready to stuff the tomatoes. Stuff just to the top of the tomotoes, leaving a flat surface for even cooking.
In a large sautee pan, heat cooking oil and garlic on medium high heat. Add the stuffed tomatoes with the stuffing side down first. Also add the cored tomatoes around as well. Cook until the meat is nicely golden brown and flip once. The cored tomatoes will also soften and turn in beautiful sauce. If you like more sauce, supplement with your favorite brand of canned tomato sauce. Season with fish sauce or salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with thinly diced green onions.
Enjoy as an appetizer or with rice.