Fried Tomato Sandwich With Lemon-Basil Sour Cream & Chile Oil

October  4, 2022
9 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • makes 4 sandwiches
Test Kitchen Notes

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What You'll Need
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Fried Tomato Sandwich With Lemon-Basil Sour Cream & Chile Oil
  • Lemon-Basil Sour Cream & Chile Oil
  • Lemon-Basil Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives or scallions (green parts only)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly black ground pepper
  • Chile Oil
  • 20 grams dried chiles de árbol, stemmed (you can also seed the chiles for a milder sauce)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fried Tomato Sandwiches
  • 8 slices of your favorite sandwich bread (such as sourdough, ciabatta, miche, or others)
  • 2 pounds large tomatoes (ripe but still firm), cut into ½” slices
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large, room-temperature eggs, beaten to blend
  • 3 cups panko
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided (plus more as needed)
  • Lemon-Basil Sour Cream (recipe above)
  • Spicy Chile Oil (recipe above)
  • Torn basil and/or parsley leaves, shaved Parmesan, chopped chives, thinly sliced cucumber, and lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Lemon-Basil Sour Cream & Chile Oil
  2. To make the lemon-basil sour cream: In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, basil, chives, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauce can be made 8 hours ahead; just cover and chill until use.
  3. To make the chile oil: Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend, starting on low and gradually increasing to high speed, until completely smooth and the sides of the blender jar are warm to the touch, 2 to 5 minutes. Chile oil can be made 1 week ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature until you're ready to use it.
  1. Fried Tomato Sandwiches
  2. Heat a large skillet or griddle on medium-high and toast bread halves on both sides until deep golden-brown and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Place flour in a shallow bowl (a pie plate works best). Place eggs in another shallow bowl. Place panko in a third shallow bowl. Season flour, eggs, and panko with salt and pepper.
  4. Working one at a time, season tomato slices with salt and pepper, then dredge cut sides in flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to bowl with egg and turn to coat. Lift from bowl, letting excess drip off. Coat in panko, pressing to adhere, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Heat 3 tablespoons oil (plus more as needed) in same large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, Cook tomatoes until coating is deep golden brown about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining oil and tomatoes.
  6. Spread a few tablespoons of the lemon-basil cream on each slice of bread. Layer a few slices of cucumber over 4 of the pieces of bread, then top with 2 to 3 pieces of fried tomato, basil leaves, chives, Parmesan cheese, and a squeeze of lemon. Drizzle with chile oil and close the sandwich with the remaining slices of bread. Serve remaining cream alongside.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SalmaSiddiqui
  • Jessamin
  • Andrea
  • Amy
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

11 Reviews

SalmaSiddiqui July 20, 2022
This recipe is well worth the effort. I was nervous about pan frying but it went smoothly and the lemon sour cream will pair beautifully with a multitude of dishes. Highly recommend giving this recipe a shot!
Jessamin November 7, 2021
This was the best sandwich I've ever made or ate. I made it exactly as written. I want to bathe in the lemon-basil sour cream. I almost skipped the chile oil thinking everything would be too oily and I'm so glad I did not, it was wonderful. My husband and I exclaimed once at the the beginning of the meal (Sunday brunch) and absolutely didn't speak for the next 20 minutes while eating, it was that good. Used heirloom tomatoes with a big fat green mixed in, and a fried egg on the side. I will make this forever.
Andrea September 19, 2021
We also added bacon, and fried the tomatoes in the bacon fat with a bit of added olive oil, then used homemade sourdough bread and homegrown Thai basil. My husband added sliced onions to his...overall we thought this was an absolute must repeat.
Amy September 14, 2021
what kind of mandoline do you use? can you please recommend?
lazysusankitchen September 13, 2021
Oh yes. After reading other reviews, I pivoted my whole dinner plan at 6 pm this evening when I realised I had most of the ingredients… and it really is all THAT. Such a great way to use delicious, ripe tomatoes, and my lips are still tingling from the chile oil as I type this. Had ricotta, not sour cream so I used that with a little cream stirred in to loosen it. Served open-faced sandwiches but you could easily lose the bread altogether and not even miss it.
Elly H. September 13, 2021
I never knew there was such a thing as fried green tomatoes. Growing up my British mother would slice ripe tomatoes thick, fry them uncoated in bacon grease and pop them, along with some bacon, on top of toast or if it was for herself, she'd also fry the bread in the bacon grease.
dorit.nelson August 31, 2021
This was soooo yummy! Made it with tomatos and bread from farmers market! Absolute new fave and will need to make again :)
[email protected] August 29, 2021
This was absolutely phenomenal! Well worth the effort, and a new summer go to!
Alexandraslp8 August 28, 2021
Made this incredible sandwich and the spa water to go with it and OMG it is to die for. Love the addition of the homemade chile oil, it really takes it over the top! Every component of this sandwich is on point. 5 stars!!
JacquelineW August 22, 2021
I love everything about this -- from the sandwich to the spa water to the nails and dog and Rick!
khardy August 21, 2021
We made this recipe tonight and it was SO good that I had to write about it immediately (and this is my first review EVER on a recipe!). My partner and I thought this was a) the best sandwich we've ever eaten and b) one of the best things we've ever eaten. The combination of cool and warm, crunchy and soft, fresh and rich was SPOT ON! He added bacon and I had it vegetarian and both were amazing (obviously). We love you Rick!