Your Essential Guide to Sun-Dried Tomatoes: What to Buy and How to Properly Use them

If you are running a restaurant business or a food manufacturing business, you know that the ingredients you choose are of vital importance. Your ingredients can make or break a dish or food item, and it’s essential to choose the freshest ingredients possible. But what if the ingredients you need are not essentially ‘fresh’ as in the case of sun-dried tomatoes? If you need sun-dried tomatoes for your restaurant or food manufacturing enterprise, here’s what you need to know: your essential guide to sun-dried tomatoes, what to buy, and how to properly use them.

Your choices

You have two basic choices when it comes to sun-dried tomatoes: dry-packed and sun-dried tomatoes in oil. Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes are sold in packs or bags, much like dried fruit, and need to be rehydrated or reconstituted with water before cooking, especially if they will not be used in a dish that has a liquid (e.g. salads or spreads). Meanwhile, sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil are available in different varieties – they can be sold whole, they can be chopped into bite-sized pieces, or they can be julienned or sliced into strips. Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil can also contain a variety of herbs as well as spices that add flavour to the oil.

It’s essentially up to you which kind of sun-dried tomato you prefer or need for your establishment. Most restaurants opt for both, and most also use the oil which comes with the sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil in order to dress up salads and dips.

The proper use of dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes

As mentioned, dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes need to be rehydrated if they are not to be cooked in a liquid (if they will be placed in a salad or spread). To rehydrate or reconstitute sun-dried tomatoes, simply soak them in water (preferably warm) for about 30 minutes or until they are pliable and soft. You can also preserve the liquid where they have been soaking and use it for sauces and stocks.

Aside from water, you can use broth, wine, stock, and other liquids to rehydrate dry-packed tomatoes, as well-known sun-dried and semi-dried tomato suppliers like suggest. It is important, however, to use the tomatoes several days after they have been rehydrated; otherwise, you can store them in oil in a refrigerator for as long as two weeks.

The proper use of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

It may be necessary to drain the sun-dried tomatoes before adding them to a dish or recipe. The tomatoes should be covered in oil if they will not be used for some time, so make sure to add more oil to the jar if you take only a portion. These need to be stored in the refrigerator as well.


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