For Mexican food lovers, tomatillos are no stranger to our taste. Some people might even consider them a representation of the delicious and iconic Mexican flavor.
Tomatillo fruit is a must-have ingredient in many Latin American and Mexican cuisine. It comes from the Physalis philadelphica species with a distinguished flavor that you can find in many Mexican foods.
Although it might taste like tomatoes, preparing these small and round fruits is not simple. If you don’t know how to peel tomatillos, you might risk spoiling your dish’s flavor. For a great and authentic Mexican Salsa, take a look at my post below!
What Do Tomatillos Look Like?
From the nightshade family, tomatillos are similar to peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. They have a golf-ball-size with many tiny seeds inside. Not only varying in skin colors, like green, yellow, and purple, the fresh tomatillos also differ in flavor depending on their color. Among all shades, green tomatillos are the most common type you can find in the market.
One common feature that every shade bears is they all wear a papery husk coat. That’s why people call them the Mexican husk tomato. As there is no nutritional value in these husks, it is common to discard them before cooking.
When choosing tomatillos, you need to avoid those with black or shriveled husks, as they indicate spoilage. Nice Tomatillos should have a crisp and brown husk outside with firm skin.
These green tomatoes fit just right for the iconic Mexican Salsa Verde with their sweet, citrusy, and tart flavor. You can enjoy them raw as a topping in salads and hot dogs or cooked as a base in green salsas, nachos, and enchiladas.
How To Peel Tomatillos
Tomatillos are similar to our regular tomatoes in terms of texture and flavor. However, tomatillos might require more steps to prepare because of their interesting cover.
Even though tomatillos bear lots of nutritional value inside their flesh, their coat, however, is just a papery husk. That’s why you should learn how to husk a tomatillo to get rid of the flavorless and useless husks. After removing the husks, peeling tomatillos by cleaning and blanching them is next to soften the tomatillo texture.
Before the peeling process, you should properly soak your small tomatillos inside a bowl full of warm water for 3-5 minutes. This action helps loosen the husks’ structure for easy removal.
How Do You Remove Husks From Tomatillos?
Aside from a bowl of Mexican green tomatoes, it’s a must to prepare a paring knife for this job. Once you’re ready, let’s take one tomatillo on the cutting board and start husking tomatillos.
So, how to husk tomatillos? Use the paring knife to cut the stem of the raw tomatillo first. This cut should only be far enough to remove the hard area. You can pull out the husk and the stem that go together. Once all your tomatillos reveal their fresh green skin, it’s time to give them a nice bath.
How Do You Clean Tomatillos?
The Mexican tomatillo’s husks produce a sticky film to grasp its skin. Removing the husks will expose these films, which can give your dish a weird taste. Thus, cleaning tomatillos with water before cooking is important to keep their best flavor. Let’s learn how to clean tomatillos at ease with the guideline below.
You can put all of your tomatillos inside a strainer under running water. Then, rinse each green fruit and wipe out any tomatillo sticky residue on their skin.
Next, it is necessary to blanch these tasty tomatillos to prevent tough skin after cooking. This method will help us peel their skin off easily while retaining the color and flavor of these tomatillos. After blanching, they will be ready for any Mexican dishes. Here is how to wash tomatillos:
- Take out two large pots. Fill a gallon of water in one pot and cold water with ice on the other.
- Bring the regular water pot to a boil.
- After that, put the tomatillos inside the pot and boil them for 3 minutes.
- Once you have finished boiling the pot, pour out the water and transfer the boiling tomatillos to the cold water pot. Leave it there for 3 minutes to cool down.
- Use the tip of your knife to pierce the tomatillo’s skin and peel them off.
How To Cut Tomatillos For Salsa
Delicious salsa plates can never be enjoyable without diced tomatillos. These small blocks with sweet and sour tastes elevate the whole experience. How to cut a tomatillo for Salsa is not an easy task. Let me show you how.
As tomatillos have firm skin, you will need a sharp knife to cut through them easily. You should make use of a standard kitchen knife and a cutting board for this task.
These tomatillos can be quite small, so you should be careful not to cut your fingers. Normally, I would curl my fingers inside so the knife blade can only touch my knuckles.
In case you might want to prepare chopped tomatillos for your Salsa, let’s follow to see how we can deal with this fruit. First off, you would like to cut your tomatillo in half, and hold these pieces together.
After that, you need to put them on each other like a stack and turn them to 90 degrees. Make two sharp vertical cuts. Then repeat the first step to achieve smaller dice.
Make use of some onions and garlic to saute with your evenly diced tomatillos. When the tomatillos are mildly browned and soft, there goes your delicious green sauce. You can enjoy this sauce with some melting cheese, beans, tortillas, and chicken.
The tomatillos can give you a brief of the Mexican sense with its traditional and unique taste. Though sharing the same bloodline as tomatoes, tomatillos possess a different look and preparation process that you need to learn to make a great tomatillo-based dish.
After this post, I hope the issue of how to peel tomatillos would no longer get in your way. Now you can feel free to try delicious recipes with this amazing material.