Fried Tomatillos with Red Onion Salad

fried tomatillos with onion herb salad vinegar on a plate

We grew tomatillos this year for the first time. They look like paper lanterns as they grow inside their beautiful husk. Tomatillos are sour and look a bit like a tomato. When first picked, they will be sticky on the outside of the fruit. Find them fresh in farmers markets. They’re widely used in Latin American cooking for salsa verde. We’ve rearranged that green sauce idea here in a fried version. Serve red onion salad alongside. (Prop styling by Paige Hicks)

Serves 4 as an appetizer


Fried Tomatillos

  • 12small to medium tomatillos
  • 12cup (2.5 ounces) rice-based gluten-free all-purpose flour*
  • 6tablespoons (1.5 ounces) cornstarch
  • 2tablespoons baking powder
  • 12cup hard cider
  • 12teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12teaspoon fine sea salt
  • canola oil for frying
  • *Use a mix that does not contain xanthan or guar gums. See GF Basics for more info.
  • Peel papery leaves back from the tomatillos, but leave them attached. Use a paring knife to quarter the tomatillos, not slicing through entirely, leaving a bit attached at the stem.
  • 2
  • Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, hard cider, cumin, and salt in a medium bowl. Let batter sit while you heat a medium pot filled 4 inches deep with oil to 375 degrees.
  • 3
  • Working with one tomatillo at a time, hold each by the leaves, dip into the batter, shake off excess, and carefully release into the oil. The tomatillos will be golden crusted and soft inside when done, about 4 minutes.

Red Onion Salad

  • 1medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 14cup white wine vinegar
  • 14cup chopped cilantro
  • 12teaspoon salt
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, let sit for 20 minutes before serving.