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My husband regularly dries meat on our roof - fish, beef, pork. He puts whatever it is on a tray, covers it, and chucks it on the tin roof over our garage.

So, I got to thinking after an order of sundried tomato and feta cheese bruschetta bread at an Italian restaurant.... these sundried tomatoes are yummy little devils. Surely I could put some tomatoes on the roof and voila! sundried tomatoes. Right??? :o

There's obviously more to it than that. Any of you cooking enthusiasts out there know how to dry them properly outside in the sun? Are there other ingredients besides tomatoes? Any tried and true methods out there? Helpful hints?

Thanks guys. :D

Cheers,

TT

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:D:D:o:D:D As you can see I too am a fan. I have made them (albeit in the UK from big tomatoes) by just slicing them lengthways and putting them on a baking tray - trial and error showed that the flatter they are the better and cooking them in a very low oven for hours. Never tried it here but now have the impetus to. Good luck :D:D
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I looked this up last week as I had the same idea and yearning for a nice pasta with sun dried tomatoes.

This is the link that I found

http://www.recipelink.com/mf/0/2052

Sun-drying (approximately 3 days):

Dry in hot weather, with relatively low humidity.

Place tomatoes, cut side down, in shallow wood-framed trays with nylon

netting for the bottom of the trays. Cover trays with protective netting

(or cheesecloth). Place in direct sun, raised from the ground on blocks or

anything else that allows air to circulate under the trays. Turn the

tomatoes over after about 1 1/2 days, to expose the cut side to the sun.

Place the trays in a sheltered spot after sundown, or if the weather turns

bad.

After the tomatoes are dry, store in air-tight containers, or pack in oil.

To pack in oil:

Dip each tomato into a small dish of white wine vinegar. Shake off the

excess vinegar and pack them in olive oil. Make sure they are completely

immersed in the oil.

When the jar is full, cap it tightly and store at *cool* room temperature

for at least a month before using. They may be stored in the refrigerator,

but the oil will solidify at refrigerator temperatures (it quickly

reliquifies at room temperature however).

As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to

keep the remaining tomatoes covered.

The author notes that she has stored oil-packed tomatoes in her pantry for

over a year with tremendous success. She also notes that she has tried a

number of methods to pack the tomatoes in oil, but she says the vinegar

treatment is the difference between a good dried tomato and a great one.

It is also important from a food safety standpoint, as it acidifies the

oil and discourages growth of bacteria and mold.

****** WARNING ********

Do *NOT* add fresh garlic cloves to oil-packed dried tomatoes, UNLESS you

store them in the refrigerator. Garlic is a low-acid food which, when

placed in oil, creates a low-acid anaerobic environment - the perfect

growth medium for botulinum bacteria if the mixture is not refrigerated.

Botulism poisoning is characterized by a very high mortality rate. Be safe

and add your garlic to the dried tomatoes as part of the recipe for them

*after* they come out of the oil.

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I've searched google and found recipes online, but it's as though they've been written for people who live in more temperate climate.

I've searched this forum as well and have only come up with a similar kind of recipe.

Was just wondering if anyone has personally made them here and has any tips particular to how the recipes need to be adapted to Thailand.

For example, in Canada, clothes take all day to dry, whereas here, my laundry's dry in an hour. And fish only seems to take about 3 hours to dry in the hot season. Is it possible to over dry tomatoes? Or are some tomatoes here that are better than others? I only have the budget to buy them from the local market, so the expensive foreign supermarket varieties are definitely out.

Anyway, guess I'll go ahead and try it and then if there's anything that goes especially well or especially badly, I'll post so others will know.

Cheers,

TT

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well my Thai wife and I are currently trying the bamboo tray outside drying method hanging from a pole. We slice some home grown "Better Boy's" (seeds from U.S. and very good propagated from containers the to plastic bags . Now what to do with all these big,ripe,jucy tomatoes. Usaually I make Salsa or pico de gallo. Italian sauce...but this is my first experience with drying usually canning or pickeling the green one or frying...seems to be working . We have been cutting pretty thin because of the rainy weather or has been a little cloudy for drying the thick ones but working..dried in about 3 days. We also have some tomatoes in a box that get the calcium carbide rock ripening treatment. These are ripening very well. We pick green due to the wetness and tomatoes laying one the ground plus wet plus heat causes rot. That's it for now..just like to know what to do with these dried tomatoes. You can freeze them as well till you have time for cooking and canning..in my case too many at the present.

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Well, I just had my first try at sun drying the tomatoes.

Not a big success.

It took 3 days under a hot sun and the tomatoes still weren't dry.

But I understand my mistake, I should have removed more of the meaty juicy part. On the 2nd day I realised my mistake but it was too late and the tomatoes started to rot. :D

I am not defeated, :o

I will try again tomorrow.

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Well, I just had my first try at sun drying the tomatoes.

Not a big success.

It took 3 days under a hot sun and the tomatoes still weren't dry.

But I understand my mistake, I should have removed more of the meaty juicy part. On the 2nd day I realised my mistake but it was too late and the tomatoes started to rot. :D

I am not defeated, :o

I will try again tomorrow.

Yes, keep trying and let us know how you get on.

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3 days and they still weren't dry??? Must really need to take out the wet seedy part.

Anyway, when I spoke to a friend about my plans, she replied "I won't eat anything you dry on the roof until after the hot season's finished." And she's right, I think. With all the burning and dust around, everything gets covered in the stuff and tomatoes are sure to get gritty from all the crap in the air.

Guess I'll have to wait until November... :o

Cheers,

TT

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And now my 2nd attempt:

So I removed the juicy part.

and I quartered the tomatoes.

The 1st day under the sun was a very good start. :D

On the second day, it was sunny when I left for work but it later turned to rain so I came home to wet prunish looking tomato quarters. :D

Ok, Next week, I will try again. :o

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last time i was in kullu valley they were baking them in the sun. all that is required is a tray that allows drying from underside (woven bamboo) and i would add a scree so flies cannot get to them. be choosy about the tomato's get the reddest and ripest. you might also look online to find out what the italians use (roma?) - i would not doubt there is a special tomato grown to give best flavor dried also, too much skin or meat may not be good either - of course any 'will do'.

my nana used to make these as well in much same manner.

NOTE: re-reading your post im not necc surprised that it takes longer than 3 days. i dont think quartering them is a good idea they will be little bits when dry.

maybe even a week. im not at all sure that having them in the direct sun 10 hours a day is a good thing as you can lose too much water too quickly and will reduce the size of the tomato (think roast in the oven w/ heat too high) either but if you say still not dry then they are not drying too fast. lots of water in tomato's esp the big ones be patient. wet them w/ water at least (better olive oil) before eating and great with all sorts of cheese.

Edited by h5n1
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I just had a go at drying slices of tomato and eggplant, after reading this thread. 2 days are enough in the tropical sun, the only prob was that the tomatoes stuck to the bamboo, so I ended up with tiny bits rather than dried slices.

Never mind, next batch is on its way...

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I'm really interested in this thread as I use sun-dried tomatoes in all my tomato dishs and I have not seen them for sale in Thailand. Keep us informed of your progress.

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I'm really interested in this thread as I use sun-dried tomatoes in all my tomato dishs and I have not seen them for sale in Thailand. Keep us informed of your progress.

Rim Ping Supermarket (CM) have sundried tomatoes in oil, and I would imagine other supermarkets with decent delicatessen sections have them as well.

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