Juicy inside and crispy outside, Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork is delicious and perfect as a side dish or a finger food. The sweet and sour juice from the grilled tomato goes so well with the thinly sliced pork belly strips. You only need to season with salt and pepper to grill them.
I made my Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork on a skewers, so the would fit nicely onto the Yakitori menu (even though the recipe does not use chicken). As such, I grilled them in the oven griller, but you can also cook them in a frying pan.
Just like my Sautéed Mountain Yam (Nagaimo) recipe, I got the recipe for today’s dish from the Japanese TV series called Shinya Shokudō (深夜食堂, Midnight Diner). It looked so easy and the way the actor ate Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork made me want to try it and post the recipe.
When tomatoes are grilled, they become sweet which makes it a perfect match with pork.
What’s in my Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork
You only need mini tomatoes and thinly sliced pork. I used just salt and pepper to season the pork.
- Mini Roma tomatoes or grape tomatoes – elongated round (oval shape) mini tomatoes
- Thinly sliced (1-2mm/1⁄32-3⁄32″ thick) pork belly strips
- Salt and pepper
Oval-shaped Roma tomatoes or grape tomatoes are the best for today’s dish as it is easier to wrap them with a strip of sliced pork. But cherry tomatoes can work too. My mini Roma tomatoes were about 3.5cm/1⅜” long, 2.5cm/1” wide. If you are using cherry tomatoes, a diameter of about 3cm/1⅛” would be best.
Pork belly contains a good amount of fat, which makes the grilled tomatoes tastier. The meat is juicier than other cuts of pork.
In addition to the above ingredients, you will need bamboo skewers called teppō gushi. If you can only find round bamboo skewers, use 2 skewers per serving because the tomatoes rotate easily if you put them through just one round skewer.
How to make Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork
The process of making today’s dish is very simple. Watch the video.
- Wrap each tomato with a pork belly strip.
- Put three wrapped tomatoes through each bamboo skewer.
- Season the skewered wrapped tomatoes with salt and pepper, then grill.
There is a little technique that you need to apply when putting the wrapped tomatoes through a bamboo skewer.
When putting the first tomato through a skewer, position the tomato with the end of the pork belly strip closer to the tip of the skewer. The pork belly strip end will not be at the bottom of the skewer.
Similarly for the 3rd tomato, position it so that the end of the pork belly strip is away from the tip of the skewer. The 2nd tomato can either be facing the same way as the first tomato or the 3rd tomato.
This will place the end of the pork belly strips between the wrapped tomatoes, preventing the pork belly strips from tearing and coming off the tomatoes.
Different Style and Cooking Methods
My style of Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork is just one example of how you can make them. If you don’t have bamboo skewers, you can make single wrapped tomatoes using toothpicks to secure the end of the pork belly strip. You can also put 4 or 5 tomatoes on a skewer if your skewer is long.
If you only have a normal-size tomato, you can slice it into about 1cm thick semi-circle pieces and wrap each piece with a pork belly strip.
I grilled the skewered wrapped tomatoes in the oven grill, but you can use broiler, BBQ, or a yakitori grill/hibachi grill.
You can also cook them in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Single wrapped tomatoes are best suited for cooking in a frying pan. Compared to grilling, the dish will become a bit oily because the fat of the pork belly will stay in the pan instead of dripping away. But it is as tasty as the grilled pork-wrapped tomatoes.
If you Google search ‘wrapped tomato’ recipe, the majority of the recipes use bacon strips. Why don’t you try pork belly strips for a change? Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork is a quick and easy dish. It is a perfect addition to a BBQ party or a Yakitori party.
Watch How To Make It
Juicy inside and crispy outside, Grilled Mini Tomatoes Wrapped in Pork is a delicious dish that is perfect as a side dish or a finger food. The sweet and sour juice from the grilled tomato goes so well with the thinly sliced pork belly strips. Watch the video.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 15 mini Roma tomatoes (note 1)
- 15 strips of thinly sliced pork belly (note 2)
- Salt and pepper
- 5 teppō gushi (note 3)
Place a pork belly strip vertically on a cutting board and place a tomato on the edge of the pork strip closest to you, placing the long ends of the tomato horizontally.
Wrap the tomato with the pork belly strip by rolling the tomato with the pork. Repeat for the remaining 14 tomatoes.
Hold a wrapped tomato with the end of the pork strip facing up. Put a teppō gushi through the wrapped tomato from the bottom so that the end of the pork belly strip is closer to the tip of the skewer.
Put the second wrapped tomato through the skewer, ensuring that the skewer goes through close to the end of the pork belly strip.
Hold the third wrapped tomato with the end of the pork belly strip facing down, then put the skewer through so that the end of the pork belly strip is facing towards the 2nd wrapped tomato.
Repeat steps 3,4, and 5 for the remaining tomatoes. You will have 5 skewers each with 3 wrapped tomatoes.
Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper over both sides of the tomato skewers.
Wrap the handle of the teppō gushi with a small piece of aluminium foil. This prevents the bamboo handles from burning.
Place the skewers on a grilling rack lined with aluminium foil and grill for 5 minutes.
Turn the skewers over and grill for further 5 minutes.
Remove the aluminium foil from the skewer and serve immediately.
1. Oval-shaped mini tomatoes such as Roma tomatoes and grape tomatoes are best suited for today’s dish as they are easier to wrap with a pork belly strip. They also grill faster than round cherry tomatoes.
My Roma tomatoes were about 3.5cm/1⅜” long, 2.5cm/1” wide.
2. It is best to use shabu-shabu slices, i.e., 1-1.5mm/1⁄32-1⁄16" thick or 2mm/3⁄32" thick thinly sliced pork belly. You will find that any thicker pork belly strips are a bit chewy when grilled.
My pork belly was about 15cm/6" long and 3.5-4cm/1⅜-1½" wide. It weighed 115g/4.1oz in total. It doesn't matter if the length and/or total weight of your pork belly strips varies.
3. I used teppō gushi so that the round tomato wouldn't rotate around the skewer. If you only have standard thin round skewers, you may want to put two skewers through to prevent the tomatoes from rotating.
4. Nutrition per skewer.
serving: 47g calories: 124kcal fat: 12g (18%) saturated fat: 4.5g (23%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 1.3g monounsaturated fat: 5.7g cholesterol: 17mg (6%) sodium: 61mg (3%) potassium: 99mg (3%) carbohydrates: 1g (0%) dietary fibre: 0.3g (1%) sugar: 0.6g protein: 2.4g vitamin a: 4% vitamin c: 5.5% calcium: 0.3% iron: 1.1%