Our apologies for the delay in new ingredients. Clint and I just had a baby and have been busy attending to her needs rather than cooking and blogging. This week’s ingredient was something I cooked awhile ago, but didn’t have a chance to post until now. Enjoy!
This entry’s ingredient marks my first foray into some more adventurous culinary territory: tripe. Tripe is not for the faint of heart. For those unfamiliar with this ingredient, tripe is essentially animal stomach – more commonly cow’s stomach, but sometimes lamb, sheep, or pork stomach as well. There are several different varieties of tripe, depending on the part of the stomach you’re using: smooth tripe, honeycomb tripe, and leaf tripe. (I’m not much of a culinary expert, but here’s a site that explains a little more the different types of tripe, along with descriptions of other organ meats: Types of Offal)
Having grown up in an Indonesian household, I am not that unfamiliar with tripe. My mom would make it once in awhile when my dad was out of town (although as a child, I did have my reservations in eating the unusual looking piece of meat in my soup). When I got to college, I discovered pho, and would always order mine with the tripe. It’s an acquired taste, and the texture (somewhat chewy) can be a turnoff for some people. But tripe, when cooked well, can be quite tasty, and really absorbs the flavors of the broth that it’s cooked in.
Surprisingly, (or maybe not surprisingly, since tripe is a pretty inexpensive ingredient) tripe is found in a variety of different cuisines from all parts of the world:
• Asia: Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Filipino
• Western Europe: French, Italian, Spanish, Irish, English, German, Scottish
• Eastern Europe: Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech, Croatian
• African: Nigerian, South African, Zimbabwean
• North African/Middle East: Moroccan, Jordanian, Iranian
• Latin America: Mexican, Ecuadorian, Chilean
For this entry’s recipe, I decided to pay homage to my childhood and make an Indonesian recipe. I found a recipe for Soto Babat (Beef Tripe Soup) on an Indonesian food blog (Indonesia Eats blog) but in preparing my soup, I decided to take some liberties on the recipe and make some modifications.
Soto Babat (Indonesian Beef Tripe Soup)
Ingredients for soup:
1 lb. beef tripe (thoroughly cleaned!)
4 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 lime, quartered
2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1 leek, sliced (just the stem)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
5 cups of broth (beef broth, but you can also add some vegetable broth if you want)
3 ears of corn (kernels only)
5 stalks of celery, sliced (with leaves)
fried garlic or fried onions, for garnish
Ingredients for rempah (spice mix):
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. turmeric powder
Step by step:
1) In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add tripe, 2 bay leaves, 2 lime slices, coriander powder, and 1 lemongrass stalk, salt (for flavor). Cook for 30 minutes. Drain and cut into chunks or slices. Set aside on a plate.
2) Grind ingredients for rempah until it becomes a paste consistency.
3) In the same large pot, stir fry rempah, 2 bay leaves, the rest of the lime slices, 1 lemongrass, and leek until fragrant.
4) Add cooked tripe and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add corn and celery. Season with salt, sugar, and pepper.
5) Serve hot in bowls, garnished with fried garlic or fried onions.
Overall, I was pretty satisfied with this recipe, the flavors reminded me of Indonesia, and the addition of corn and celery helped to create a more nutritionally balanced meal. Clint, however, just couldn’t get past the texture of the tripe. Oh well. I guess I’ll follow in my mom’s footsteps and make this meal when Clint’s out of town…