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L.A. Times Test Kitchen tips: Peeling and seeding tomatoes

Tomatoeskirkmckoy

When a recipe calls for a peeled and seeded tomato (or tomato concassé), rest assured. There is an easy way to peel the tomato -- and the method works for peeling many fruits and vegetables. Seeding is simple too.

The steps are illustrated after the jump. If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

-- Noelle Carter and Hye Jung Hong
twitter/noellecarter

Photos: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times (top). Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times (below)

Step 1: Mark an "X" at the bottom of a tomato, just through the skin.

Photo1

Step 2: Submerge the tomato in a pan of boiling water to loosen the skin. You do not want to cook the tomato.

Photo2

Step 3: The skin should start to peel away from the "X" after about 30 seconds. As soon as the skin is loosened, immediately remove the tomato to a bowl of ice water to chill.

Photo3

Step 4: Peel the skin away from the tomato using your fingers or a knife. The skin should peel easily.

Photo5

Step 5: Slice the top and bottom off of the tomato.

Photo6

Step 6: Slice along the length of the tomato on one side, then lay the tomato on its side on a cutting board. Insert the knife, and run it along the inside of the tomato, where the flesh meets the seeds, to core and seed.

Photo7

 
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Or you could get a Messermeister peeler.

I used to do this but now mostly use the Spanish box grater method (cut in half, rub cut half on box grater). As recently discovered by Heston Blumenthal the seeds and gel actually has more tomato flavor than the flesh so for most uses it's kind of silly to throw them out.


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