Traditional tomate aux crevettes, tomaat garnaal or shrimp stuffed tomatoes… This is a Belgian summer classic! These tomatoes are very easy to make in advance. And they also bring back lots of lovely childhood memories…
What a delicious recipe this is!
Let’s talk about another Belgian classic type of food: tomate aux crevettes in French!
Or in other words shrimp stuffed tomatoes. You can also find it by the name of tomaat garnaal in Flemish. But before you run off to the grocery store, these ’crevettes’ or little pink shrimp are not the usual king or tiger prawns you and me usually prepare.
You can find these tiny little grey buggers in just a couple of places, in the North Sea for example between Belgium and the UK.
The French called them ’crevette grise’, it’s grey shrimp or brown shrimp in English and grijze garnaal in Flemish. You might also know them under the name of bay shrimp maybe. But they all mean the same little shrimp.
Of course you can use any other type of cooked prawns if you can’t get any brown shrimp around where you live. Just boil them, chop them up and then follow the rest of the recipe below.
It is that simple.
So how should you serve this tomate aux crevettes or shrimp stuffed tomatoes?
Well here in Belgium you will find them on lots of restaurant menus. As a starter or as a main course. First of all we always serve this tomate aux crevettes cold. Usually you can choose whether you want to have one or two. One is more than enough as a starter. It often comes with a little salad on the side.
If you want to have it as a main course, then usually you will get two of these tomate aux crevettes. Also with a salad, and a portion of Belgian fries.
If makes a delicious summer lunch. But you can also find it as a starter on Christmas day in lots of Belgian families.
My mom would sometimes serve it as a Christmas starter. And for those who didn’t like grey shrimp, then she would stuff the tomatoes with a tuna salad instead.
Belgian Tomate Aux Crevettes (Shrimp Stuffed Tomatoes)
I am making mayo from scratch for this shrimp stuffed tomatoes here.
Don’t panic yet.
Because you can also use store bought mayo of course! I just felt like making my own mayo from scratch that day.
Are yo in for a challenge? Or you can also check out how to make fresh mayonnaise in just 5 minutes… Yes, you can do that in just 5 minutes! If you are OK with eating raw eggs that is and if you have a blender or stick blender.
Here are a couple of other lovely recipes with grey North Sea shrimp that I prepared over the years: buttermilk mash with poached eggs, fried skate wing with butter sauce and grey shrimp and a delicate leek and white wine soup!
But one of my all time brown shrimp favorites?
That definitely must be those famous Belgian shrimp croquettes or croquettes aux crevettes. What a delicacy! These croquettes (we call them garnaalkroket in Flemish) are very popular. You can even eat them as a street snack. And also as a starter or a main course in lost of restaurants.
I haven’t made any croquettes with grey shrimp before but my Spanish prawn croquette version was quite close though! I had a lot of fun preparing those croquettes. They are a bit of a challenge and take some time to prepare, but we loved them!
Enjoy this tomate aux crevettes recipe!
Tomate Aux Crevettes Recipe
- 4 large fresh tomatoes
- 12,5 oz grey North Sea shrimp (350 g), peeled
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp strong mustard
- ½ cup groundnut oil (120 ml)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- a handful fresh parsley
- You can peel the tomatoes if you prefer. Therefore make a little incision on the bottom and poach the tomatoes in hot water for 15 seconds.
- Then peel them. I kept the skins on. Slice off the tops of the tomatoes.
- Remove the inside and seeds. Clean it up nicely. Try not to pierce the skin.
- Then place the tomatoes in the fridge. Now make the mayonnaise (if you are using store-bought mayo, skip the following steps). Add the egg yolk and the strong mustard to a large mixing bowl. Season with a little pepper and salt.
- The yolk should be at room temperature. If the ingredients are too cold, the mayo will split more easily. Then beat the yolk mixture quickly using a large balloon whisk.
- Then add the groundnut oil, drop by drop. Whisk in between additions. Don’t add too much in the beginning or the mayo will split right away.
- Keep on whisking the egg yolk and oil mixture firmly until it becomes a little creamier and thicker. Then add little splashes of the groundnut oil. The mayo should gradually come together and start to look glossy. Take your time. Once you have added all the groundnut oil, add the lemon juice. This will make the mayo paler. Then check the seasoning of the thick mayo and add extra pepper, salt, strong mustard or lemon juice to taste.
- Transfer the grey shrimp to a large bowl and add the chopped parsley. Season with pepper and salt.
- Stir and then add the (freshly made) mayo.
- Stir the shrimp well again.
- With a tablespoon fill the empty tomatoes with the shrimp salad.
- Serve cold.