Tripe is enjoyed worldwide in a variety of dishes including Mexican menudo, Spanish stew, Chinese dim sum and Italian Trippa alla Romana. Cows are ruminants, which are mammals with stomachs comprised of four chambers. Beef tripe is the lining from these stomach chambers. There are four types of tripe, with the honeycomb variety being the most tender and readily available. Flat tripe can also be found in certain specialty markets. Both varieties can be prepared in the same way. Like other offal, tripe might be considered strange or unappetizing to those unfamiliar with cooking and eating it. However, flavorful ingredients and careful preparation will transform bland scrap meat into a tasty delicacy.
Things You'll Need
- Sharp knife
- Large bowl
- Large pot
- Large bowl of ice water
- Tight fitting lid for pot
- Paper towels
- Cutting board
- Desired seasoning such as garlic, ginger, onion, salt, pepper, sugar, and herbs
- Steaming insert
Trim any fat from the beef tripe with a sharp knife. Wash the tripe thoroughly under cold, running water. Place it in a large bowl and cover with water so that the tripe is completely submerged. Soak in the refrigerator overnight then discard the soaking water.
Blanch the beef tripe to remove some of the strong flavor. Place the tripe in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Add a handful of salt to the pot. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Transfer the tripe from the hot water to a bowl of ice water to halt cooking. Discard the cooking water.
Wash the tripe off again. Fill the washed out pot with enough water to submerge the tripe. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and add a handful of salt to the water. Add the beef tripe, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about two-and-a-half hours. Remove the tripe and pat dry with paper towels. Continue on, or refrigerate for up to four days if serving later.
Place the beef tripe on a cutting board. Slice it with a sharp knife into long strips that are about about one inch in width, or cut it into one to two inch squares. Season the tripe as you choose with flavors such as garlic, ginger, onion, salt, pepper, sugar and herbs. Toss to coat.
Prepare a large pot for steaming. Add enough water to the pot so that it will just barely reach the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
Place the seasoned beef tripe into the steamer basket. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Check the tripe after about 10 minutes of cooking to ensure that the water level is still high enough. Add more water if needed. Allow the tripe to steam for about 30 minutes to infuse it with flavors and soften it.
Remove the tripe. Serve immediately on its own or add to your favorite recipe.
Tips & Warnings
- Tripe is often sold already cleaned and precooked. If you are using cooked tripe, simply rinse it off, cut it into strips or squares, then steam.
- Try serving steamed tripe with a variety of little Chinese steamed dishes for dim sum. Alternatively, add your steamed tripe to soup or broth, or serve it over rice or in pasta.
- As an alternative to steaming, precooked tripe can be seasoned, then sauteed or fried in oil.
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