Tripe

Tripe

Other Names
stomach, tripas, tripoux, trippa

Description
Tripe is a generic term referring to the stomach of various animals including cows, pigs and sheep. It’s most commonly used to refer to honeycomb tripe (pictured above) which is the second stomach of a cow, however the first and third stomachs can also be called tripe. Confused yet? It get’s more complicated. Tripe comes in 3 varieties: green, cleaned, and bleached.

Green tripe is the organ as it comes out of the animal and needs to have the contents removed and thoroughly cleaned, otherwise you might get a mouthful of the cow’s last meal. It is typically greenish brown or gray in color and you aren’t likely to find it in the US since the USDA requires that tripe be cleaned before it can be sold to consumers.

Cleaned tripe is just what it sounds like. It’s been washed and the contents of the stomach are removed. This is the best way to get it as it requires less cleaning but it doesn’t have the swimming pool smell of bleached tripe. It’s hard to find in the US though, as most processors take the next step to bleach it.

Bleached tripe is the “cleanest” having been soaked in chlorine and they are almost pure white in color, but they smell strongly of chlorine and need to be soaked in a couple changes of cold water to reduce the odor. This is the most common variety found in the US.

What’s it taste like?
Depending on what animal it comes from and how it’s prepared the odors vary, but it typically has a gamey aroma that smells a bit like what the stomach used to contain. If cooked properly the smell should be masked by other ingredients as tripe readily picks up other flavours. Texturally it’s tough and almost crunchy when lightly cooked, but gets spongy and tender as it cooks for a longer period of time. As it softens the collagen become gelatin giving it a texture similar to other cuts of meat that are high in connective tissue content.

Where do I get it?
While it’s rare for it to show up in a supermarket, you should be able to find it at the butcher, or in Latin or Asian ethnic grocers.

When is it best?
There is no season.

How do I use it?
It’s used across Europe, Asia and Latin America. The typical preparation is to clean it, par boil it, then braise it for several hours over low heat to tenderize it.

Menudo

Nutrition
High in protein, calcium and iron.

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Mmmm–menudo, anyone?! I must admit, I’ve never tried it, but I think I’d like it if it were prepared correctly. Nothing wrong with a whole lot of gelatin-y goodness!

  • http://chefthecity.blogspot.com kayce.

    ok, so no need to waste my milk soaking the tripe… i’ll just diligently change the water til it smells fine. :)) great tripe picture, btw!

  • http://www.justgetfloury.com Ginny

    I love tripe in Pho! :) Although I think I may have to stay away from cooking it myself, yikes!

  • http://www.cococooks.blogspot.com courtney

    I actually liked it cut into small pieces for a Hotpot dinner. Didnt taste like anyhting after simmering in the hot broth for a while. And cruncy too.You see it a lot here.

  • Pingback: Menudo | [ No Recipes ]

  • Meghan

    Why, in God’s name, would you ever, EVER want to eat this? Surely, there must be a famine going on before someone could consider eating this. No offense. I just don’t get it.

  • http://www.whiskblog.com/ Shari

    I don’t think I could eat that! Did you?

  • Gazel

    I love tripe! Love it in Pho, love it in Kare Kare, love it in Chinese dishes. Grew up with this.

    And for people asking why, it tastes good. Sure, it’s stomach.. but don’t judge what you didn’t taste. :

  • http://www.omnomicon.com aleta

    I’m with Gazel…whatever happened to at least *trying* to use the whole animal? Sheesh.

    That said, I always order it out of my Pho. I always knew what it was, but I think I owe tripe a try.

  • http://kirbyvonscrumptious.blogspot.com Kirby!

    I’ve always been curious about tripe… I see it whenever I stop by the Jons in my neighborhood, but it just looks too crazy to buy!! Maybe I should give it a try… I’ve heard menudo is so tasty…

  • http://legaladdictivestimulants.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    I’ve had tripe in my Pho before but, must admit, I couldn’t “stomach” it! (ok, horrible pun!) :) On the other hand, my friend orders extra tripe in his Pho!

  • Yenswky

    It’s a fantastic thing to add to beef stew, actually more soup than stew. Try it with some fattier cuts of meet and a tendon and stew up some awesome beef soup. =)

  • Guest

    Somethings are better left a mystery. D:

  • Ivan van der Merwe

    In South Africa we eat tripe. The african folk call green tripe strong tripe.
    I do not enjoy it. It is popular in a good curry sauce also using a lot of onions and some garlic.  Cook in a pressure cooker for about an hour. Cut the tripe into 1 inch strips. Then when soft drain the liquid and add cornstarch to thicken it. Once thick stir it back into the tripe.  withwith boiled rice

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