Tomato Fish Sauce Salad

Early Girl Tomatoes have hit the market and I am beyond excited! Months of bland, watery tomatoes are finally coming to an end and I’m dreaming up all the super savory ways to enjoy them at their peak freshness. Here, fish sauce amps up the natural umami notes of the tomato and spicy chili vinegar and lime juice add some serious pop.


  • Taste constantly as you make this recipe. Tomatoes can take on a good deal of salt, without tasting over salty. 
  • After eating the salad, you will have a good amount of salty and spicy tomato water left over. Save this for use in salad dressings!

Serves 3

  • 3 large ripe summer tomatoes
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1-2 thai red chilies, thinly sliced
  • Rice vinegar
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ¾ tablespoon fish sauce, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped mint and cilantro for garnish
  1. Cut the tomatoes into small wedges and place in a bowl. Add ¾ tsp of salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes. The tomatoes will slowly release their juices. 
  2. Place the sliced chilies in a small bowl and cover with rice vinegar (about 1-2 tbsp). Set aside. 
  3. Once the tomatoes are ready, add the fish sauce, red onion, lime juice, and lime zest. 
  4. For subtle heat, add a bit of the now spicy rice vinegar to the bowl. For more spice, add the pickled chilies as well. 
  5. Stir and taste. Add more fish sauce or chili vinegar if desired.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with lots of freshly ground pepper, a hefty drizzle of olive, and fresh herbs.