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Fried Tomatillos with Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli

5 from 5 votes

Move over fried green tomatoes, Fried Tomatillos are in town! Bright, citrusy, tangy, and with a golden-brown and crunchy exterior, these Fried Tomatillos are so good! Serve them with spicy cilantro-jalapeno aioli or your favorite salsa!

Fried tomatillos on a black plate drizzled with cilantro-jalapeno aioli.

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With a crunchy, golden brown outside and soft, tangy tomatillo inside, these Fried Tomatillos are just about the tastiest side dish. So easy to make and needing only a handful of ingredients and some seasoning, everybody can make this tasty treat. Serve your pan-fried tomatillos with a delish cilantro-jalapeno aioli or your favorite sauce or salsa.

Everyone is going to gobble these tasty tomatillos up, so make sure you’ve got enough for everyone!

What you’ll love about Fried Tomatillos with Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli


  • They’re crunchy, tangy, citrusy, and oh-so-good!
  • This is an easy recipe that everyone will love!
  • The aioli is spicy and so easy to make!
A top-down shot of fried tomatillos on a white platter.

What Are Tomatillos?

Tomatillos might look like green tomatoes, but they’re not tomatoes at all. Also known as Mexican husk tomatoes, tomatillo means little tomato in Spanish, but these nightshades are more closely related to gooseberries than tomatoes. They are sold in a papery husk that you’ll need to remove before dicing, and wash them, too, because dirt and sticky sap can get trapped under the surface of the husks.

Look for firm, bright green tomatillos when buying them at the store. Size isn’t so important – they can be small or large – they all work in this easy Tomatillo Pico de Gallo.

Tomatillos on a white background.

Ingredients

  • Cooking oil – Avocado or peanut oil is great for shallow frying.
  • Tomatillos – About 1 pound, hulled, washed, and sliced about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal – White or yellow cornmeal is fine.
  • Salt – I use kosher salt. Use half as much salt if you’re using table salt.
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric – Optional but adds a lovely golden color.
  • Garlic powder – Powder, not salt.
  • Onion powder – Powder, not salt.
  • Egg
  • Milk
Labeled ingredients to make fried tomatillos.

How To Make The Best Fried Tomatillos

  1. Mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, cumin, turmeric, garlic powder, and onion powder in a shallow bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg and milk in another shallow bowl.
  3. Add about 1/2 an inch of oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet (cast-iron works great!) and heat it until about 375-F, or until a pinch of flour dances and sizzles when added to the oil.
  4. Dunk the sliced tomatillos into the flour mixture and then into the egg and milk, coating it all over. Then, dredge it through the flour mixture one final time, patting the flour on the tomatillo lightly to help it stick.
  5. Place the floured tomatillos aside until they’re all done, and the oil is hot.
  6. Carefully lay a battered slice of tomatillo into the hot oil, and repeat until the skillet is full but not crowded.
  7. Cook the tomatillos for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, then flip it and cook an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown on the other side.
  8. Remove from the oil and serve immediately. Pass the cilantro-jalapeno aioli and dig in!

Ingredients to Make Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli

  • Mayonnaise – Any brand, full or low-fat, will work.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro, tough stems picked off.
  • Jalapeno – Seeds and membrane removed if you don’t like it too spicy.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves.
  • Lime juice – From a fresh lime.
  • Cumin
  • Salt and pepper – To taste.
Labeled ingredients to make cilantro-jalapeno aioli.

How To Make The Best Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • You can make the cilantro-jalapeno aioli ahead of time – up to 2-3 days, and keep it in the fridge.
  • Don’t like cilantro? Use parsley in the aioli instead of cilantro.
  • Avoid flour mittens by keeping one hand for the wet application (the tomatillos in egg-milk) and use the other hand for dredging the tomatillo slices in the flour.
  • Working with hot oil is dangerous – keep kids away from the stove and be wary of splashes.
  • A slotted spoon or slotted spatula works best for removing the fried tomatillos from the pan. Tongs may puncture them, and the liquid inside can sizzle and splash.

Recommended

Tomatillo sauce in a jar.
Tomatillo pico de gallo in a black serving dish.
Sweet Potato Cornbread in a black skillet.

Make It A Meal

Fried Tomatillos are delicious as an appetizer or as a side dish. Pair them with a tasty sandwich loaded with smoked pork lunch meat, a tasty quesadilla, pork tenderloin, or a great steak. Don’t forget about dessert! These Turtle Brownies are too good to pass up!

Storage

The cilantro-jalapeno aioli will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for several days, but once cooked, the Fried Tomatillos are best eaten fresh.

Step By Step Process

Fried tomatillos on a black plate drizzled with cilantro-jalapeno aioli.
Print Pin
5 from 5 votes

Fried Tomatillos with Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli

Crispy and golden brown on the outside and tangy and juicy inside, Fried Tomatillos are the perfect appetizer or side dish. Easy to make, and with a zippy Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli on the side, this dish is just too good go pass up!
Course Appetizers, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Tex-Mex
Keyword aioli, cilantro, cornmeal, fried tomatillos, jalapeno, tomatillos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 395kcal
Author Chef Jenn

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos husked, washed, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • cooking oil enough to be about 1/2 inch in the bottom of your skillet

Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup cilantro tough stems removed
  • 1 jalapeno seeds and membrane removed (at least remove the seeds as they don't puree nicely)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, cumin, turmeric, garlic powder, and onion powder in a shallow bowl.
  • Whisk the egg and milk in another shallow bowl.
  • Add about 1/2 an inch of oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet (cast-iron works great!) and heat it until about 375-F, or until a pinch of flour dances and sizzles when added to the oil.
  • Dunk the sliced tomatillos into the flour mixture and then into the egg and milk mixture, coating it all over. Dredge it one more time through the flour mixture, then set it aside.
  • Carefully lay a battered slice of tomatillo into the hot oil, and repeat until the skillet is full but not crowded.
  • Cook the tomatillos for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, then flip it and cook an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown on the other side.
  • Remove from the oil and serve immediately. Pass the cilantro-jalapeno aioli and dig in!

To Make The Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli

  • Pop all the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • You can make the cilantro-jalapeno aioli ahead of time – up to 2-3 days, and keep it in the fridge.
  • Don’t like cilantro? Use parsley in the aioli instead of cilantro.
  • Avoid flour mittens by keeping one hand for the wet application (the tomatillos in egg-milk) and use the other hand for dredging the tomatillo slices in the flour.
  • Working with hot oil is dangerous – keep kids away from the stove and be wary of splashes.
  • A slotted spoon or slotted spatula works best for removing the fried tomatillos from the pan. Tongs may puncture them, and the liquid inside can sizzle and splash.

Nutrition

Serving: 3slices | Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 411IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn

5 thoughts on “Fried Tomatillos with Cilantro-Jalapeno Aioli”

  1. 5 stars
    I have been missing tomatillos since I moved away from the southwest. I’m so glad I found this recipe so I could make them myself. It was delicious!

    Reply

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