How to Peel and Seed Fresh Tomatoes

Tomatoes are often the foundation of many of my meals – from shakshuka to lasagna, beef chili to ratatouille. I try to use fresh tomatoes as often as possible, but when they’re not in stock I have a few go-to canned options.

Five beefsteak tomatoes
Five ripe beefsteak tomatoes

Since I’ve started buying all my fresh produce at a local produce-rescuing program held throughout Arizona, I’m often left with more veggies than I can handle. More on this in another post.

Beefsteak tomato
A ripe beefsteak tomato with an ‘X’ incision

This week I had to think of a creative way to use 5 large beefsteak tomatoes, which were about to reach their prime. I decided on a coconut seafood curry, which is one of my favourites. Instead of using a can of diced tomatoes, I’m substituting them for my lovely beefsteaks. 

When using fresh tomatoes in cooking, it’s often a good idea to remove the skin and seeds. The skin on beefsteak tomatoes is very thick and adds an unpleasant texture to dishes. The seeds can be quite bitter too. 

Removing the skin and seeds is not rocket science, and can be done with relative ease. Once you’ve completed the task, you’ll be left with some high quality, skinned and seeded tomato, perfect for any recipe you need. Doing it by hand is a very visceral experience, and it results in tomatoes with lots of body and texture. 

How to peel and seed beefsteak tomatoes


5 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil
  2. Fill another large pot with ice and cold water
  3. Score the underside of the tomatoes with a small ‘X’ incision
  4. Once the water is boiling rapidly, gently place the tomatoes in. Leave them in for no longer than 1 minute. Skins should start to peel away.  
  5. Remove tomatoes and transfer to pot of iced water. 
  6. After a few minutes, remove tomatoes, dry them and peel skin away from the ‘X’ incision. 
  7. Half tomatoes, remove core and push seeds out with your thumb. 
  8. Tomatoes are ready for your dish. 
Beefsteak tomatoes separated into seeds and skins
The final product – tomatoes that have had the skin and seeds removed



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