I only started eating ox tongue a few years ago when I had Japanese BBQ at Torimatsu. After that meal, I fell in love with the slightly chewy, crunchy and fragrant meat that many people probably wouldn’t touch. It’s not an easy meat to prepare but it’s quite cheap compared to other meats. I used to buy them for $4-5 each at good butchers and recently they were around $5-6 each. Not too bad if you ask me for the amount of enjoyment I get out of it.
Have you ever seen a tongue un-skinned? It’s not a pretty sight. Yuye used to skin the tongue himself which took about half hour each and was a very tedious task. Now we’ve found a store in Springvale that skins the tongue for us at an extra $1 per tongue. It’s a good deal!
Always pick a thicker tongue if available and I recommend asking your local butcher where you buy the ox tongue from to skin it for you as it really saves time. If you can’t find a place to skin it then do the following:
1. Freeze tongue for a few hours until roughly 80% frozen. It needs to be firm but not too hard so you can still get your knife through.
2. Slice all the skin off with a sharp knife, don’t be afraid to waste a bit of meat on it. The part that can be eaten is the fatty upper tongue part. The fattier it looks, the more tender it would be when cooked.
3. The skinned non-fatty parts (ie. the tip of the tongue and side parts that are not fatty) can be used in stews.
Although it’s not pretty, it really does taste good. Trust me. 😉
The tongue also needs to be around 80% frozen to be able to cut into thin pieces after it’s skinned. Yuye used to cut this by hand but I convinced him to cut it with our meat slicer which is a lot easier and less time consuming.
Ox Tongue with ponzu sauce
– 1 ox tongue, skinned
– 30ml ponzu sauce*
– 1/2 lemon
– salt and pepper
– chilli powder (optional)
1. Lightly salt and pepper ox tongue pieces (add chilli powder if you want a bit of heat)
2. Heat pan on high and add a small splash of cooking oil
3. Space each piece of ox tongue out and cook until golden brown
4. Pour ponzu sauce into a small bowl, add squeeze of lemon in the sauce or on the ox tongue pieces, serve immediately.
*Ponzu sauce is a Japanese dipping sauce which contains soy sauce and yuzu (a type of citrus fruit). This sauce can be purchased from all good Asian grocery stores. If the sauce can’t be obtained, you can substitute it with a mix of soy sauce and lemon juice.
Question time: Are you a fan of trying obscure foods and have you ever tried ox tongue? Did you like it?