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For those who love offals, which are your favorite?

kobetobiko Jan 5, 2009 07:12 PM

Hi my chowhound friends,

First off, just a disclaimer: If you don't like offals or you find them disgusting, you should stop reading right here. This will not be a pleasant post for you. In fact, possible side effects might include upset stomach, nausea, dizziness, and .... Anyway, hit return and read other posts.

If you are anything like me who love pretty much any kind of offals exist (I have yet to find one that I don't eat, at least), I am curious - Which kinds of offals are your favorite?

For me, the top 3 will be:
1. Tongue - Beef tongue, lamb tongue, veal tongue, even duck tongue (well, this is a little different, of course), you name it. My favorite got to be the shioyaki kobe gyutan - Japanese styled salt-grilled premium kobe beef tongue in THICK cut (Food Porn Pic attached). Those were out of this world - and I don't use these words lightly. I will pick them over a real kobe beef steak anyday.

2. Brains - Again, cow, lamb, pig, even the little ones in squab or goose. They are all good. People said brain is like sweetbread in texture but IMO brain is so much creamier and more luscious with a unique flavor. Too bad that they are so hard to find in restaurants and I just have to settle for sweetbreads which have a similar texture but less character. (note: I do like sweetbreads)

3. Headcheese or any kind of dishes/ terrines that compose of head meat. I love the mix of gelatinous skins and fatty meat together with other bits of offals. I will never attempt to make it myself since it involves so much work, but I always order it when I see it on the menu.

Of course, I still like my share of tripes, kidneys, livers, bone marrows, pig trotters, etc etc., but the top 3 were disclosed above. What are your favorites? I would love to hear. Feel free to include the types of preparation you like associated with your favorite offals.

NOTE: To make the reading manageable, let's list out 3 of your favorites, and EXCLUE FOIE GRAS. I LOVE foie gras but I don't think it should be included in this list that we are discussing.

Let's get started!

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  1. meatn3 RE: kobetobiko Jan 5, 2009 07:47 PM

    Sweetbreads, marrow, liver

    I have not tried brains, your description encourages me to remedy that!

    1 Reply
    1. re: meatn3
      tatamagouche RE: meatn3 Jan 6, 2009 09:03 AM

      2 out of your 3: sweetbreads, marrow, heart

    2. hotteacher1976 RE: kobetobiko Jan 5, 2009 09:09 PM

      Liver (beef)

      Gizzards (chicken)

      1. paulj RE: kobetobiko Jan 5, 2009 10:57 PM

        Based on what I most often buy and fix:
        - feet, cow and pig, used for both the gelatinous broth, and skin
        - tripe (cow)
        - tongue, cow, but pig is cheaper

        less frequently I buy pigs ears (another gelatinous item, mostly skin), and gizzards (chicken and duck)
        blood sausage (Mexican morongo is easiest to find) and head cheese are also occasional purchases.

        2 Replies
        1. re: paulj
          hotteacher1976 RE: paulj Jan 8, 2009 11:30 PM

          I love Pigs' feet boiled down in French Onion soup.

          1. re: paulj
            bigjeff RE: paulj Jan 20, 2009 03:55 PM

            I'm with you man! love getting the budget cuts at the supermarket; pork neck bones are great just for throwing in the oven.

          2. JungMann RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 06:12 AM

            I absolutely adore lightly fried sweetbreads: slightly crisp on the outside, crispy and buttery on the inside. Tongue and tripe are flip sides of the same coin for me; their delicate richness and tenderness are equally intoxicating, though I eat the latter far more often than the former. Whether in morcillas, pudding or (my favorite dish) dinuguan, my third favorite, blood, adds a minerality and vitality to a dish that is incomparable. I think it's safe to say that I would die without blood. Other than kidneys, I don't think there's an awful cut of offal out there.

            1. linguafood RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 07:54 AM

              Kobe, that beef tongue looks fantastic!

              I like calf's liver, calf's brains, sweetbreads, and kidneys. Obviously, tongue. I've yet to try other animals' brains such as lamb. Chicken liver & hearts.

              I shy away from pork offal because of the high levels of toxins, but pork liver is generally widely available in regular German grocery stores.

              If I had to pick a fave, it would have to be sweetbreads. Those are just delicious. Tripe I found to be rather uninspiring...

              1. Miss Needle RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 08:09 AM

                Interesting question. I would have to say my top three are

                1. Tongue
                2. Tripe
                3. Liver

                Those are the three I've been eating since I was a kid -- perhaps that has something to do with it.

                My least favorites are blood and lung, though I haven't had spleen yet.

                1. Sam Fujisaka RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 08:17 AM

                  Tripe (mondongo and laab); chicken heart (stroganoff) and beef heart (raw pickled or marinanded and BBQ); beef tongue (cooked, sliced thin, served cold); chicken gizzards (teriyaki); smoked beef lung (teriyaki); chicken liver (pate) and beef liver (w/ onions); head cheese; pigs feet (chile relleno); pork kidney (steak and kidney pie); blood (dinuguan); chicken intestines (crispy fried); sweetbreads (lightly fried); cow brain (baked in-head served with tortillas and beer - and the rest of the head).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    Gio RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 6, 2009 08:42 AM

                    Sam: 3 faves only. We know you'll eat anything.....LOL

                    My 3 favorites are:
                    1. Calves liver - I like this medium rare very simply prepared..onions, EVOO, a little salt & pepper. That's it.
                    2. Marrow - Again, simply roasted & served with a shallot/parsley sauce.
                    3. Lamb or veal sweetbreads - I've never cooked them, but if they're on a menu, I'll order.

                    I, too, have been eating these delicacies since childhood along with lamb kidney, my 4th favorite.....

                    1. re: Gio
                      Sam Fujisaka RE: Gio Jan 6, 2009 08:48 AM

                      Ooops, Joe, missed that three's the limit: guess it would have to be tripe, heart (chicken and beef), and liver (chicken, calf).

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                        kobetobiko RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 7, 2009 01:18 PM

                        No worries Sam! I love your list. I have had beef heart before (Japanese / Korean BBQ and hot pot) but never raw pickled. Where did you have it?

                        And the smoked beef lung in teriyaki sauce sounds intriguing!

                        1. re: kobetobiko
                          Sam Fujisaka RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 03:07 PM

                          Pickled is a beef heart ceviche. Make it at home: combine white vinegar with some salt, chopped fresh spicy/HOT chiles, and some feather sliced red onion, bring that to a boil in the MW or pan and let cool. Finely slice the heart (very rich so not that much) into bite sized pieces and place in fitted container, pour over the cooled vinegar solution, place in the ref for a couple of days before consuming. Serve with hot gohan.

                          The smoked lung here is great. Just cut off a piece, rinse under running water, slice thinly, and simmer a bit in a thin teriyaki sauce (mine is just shoyu, vinegar, bit of water, some sugar, lots of finely grated ginger, and thin sliced gasrlic as an option. Serve with hot gohan.

                  2. porker RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 02:22 PM

                    Number one is pig skin.
                    Perhaps not true offal, but if feet and tail are in the mix, me thinks skin is eligible. Crispy chicharon or stewed for tacos or ground for sausage. Yucatecos make a deep fried pork belly with skin on, 'castacan', one of the best things I've put in my mouth.
                    #2 is a tie between feet and tail - its a texture thing.
                    #3 beef tendon, either in pho, or in a chinese anise sauce.

                    1. l
                      Lucia RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 06:05 PM

                      Sweetbreads, marrow, liver. Brains were a childhood favorite (grew up in Eastern Europe), but I haven't revisted them in years.
                      I haven't gone the tongue or tripe (afraid it might be too chewy?), but I'm game. I'm not a huge headcheese fan as I don't like the texture of aspic (jello is a no-no for me).

                      1. pinkprimp RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 06:20 PM

                        Just three? Oh how can I choose? If I reeeeaaallly had to though, I guess my three favourite would be sweetbreads, marrow and pigs' feet.

                        1. purple goddess RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 08:13 PM

                          calves liver with brown onion gravy and bacon

                          and brains, preferably wrapped in a thin sliver of parm, penko-crumbed and deep fried, served with a tomato chutney.

                          1. bitsubeats RE: kobetobiko Jan 6, 2009 08:27 PM

                            love love love liver (cow, calf, or fowl) and gizzards...so cheap and tasty. Both taste excellent grilled on a korean style table top grill and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little sesame oil.

                            also love the random offal that comes on the side of soondae. I think it's pig offal and I can only recognize stomach, heart, and liver, and theres always one that looks unfamiliar. But my god, dip that stuff in some salted shrimp sauce and WHOOOWEE good stuff

                            1. l
                              lcool RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 08:21 AM

                              LIVER 1. Whitetail Deer / Mule deer / Moose / Elk /
                              2. Duck / Goose / Calf all cooked whole and sliced and served like a small roast
                              3. Goat / Sheep / Lamb / Pork as a component in Pate' etc
                              Sweetbreads ; thymus or pancreas
                              4. Marrow,gelatinous connective tissue,duck and chicken feet,pig feet
                              5. Gizzards / stomachs ;turkey,duck,goose,chicken and so on
                              All the rest in some form or another.animal heads etc.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: lcool
                                kobetobiko RE: lcool Jan 7, 2009 10:22 AM

                                >>LIVER 1. Whitetail Deer / Mule deer / Moose / Elk /

                                Wow! First post that I saw something that I haven't tried before!

                                Do they taste very different from say beef or calf's liver? Gamier perhaps?

                                1. re: kobetobiko
                                  lcool RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 10:45 AM

                                  Yes they are very different from "domestic" varieties.Diet and excercise change the flavor profile of the "innards" as much as the meat.Discreetly gamey would apply to the taste.Yet when FRESH odorless before cooking ,very gentle aroma notes while cooking.Our policy as a family of livestock raisers and hunters is to eat the liver on day of kill.Often the liver is more meat like,less rich than cattle etc.(leaner diet).The exception or compromise might be the Whitetails that "PAVE" our hay stacks in the winter.They get very fat hanging out ,eating for free and staying warm.
                                  Unlike Pronghorns and Mule Deer who aren't so acclimated to us that we try to help in rough years.

                              2. f
                                fickle RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 08:57 AM

                                Definitely cheek, tongue, sweetbreads, marrow and liver. I know, I can't count but I can't limit it to just 3! And lobster tomalley though I read somewhere that I shouldn't be eating it because of the toxin levels but it's so good...

                                1. b
                                  bdachow RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 09:39 AM

                                  All the bits are so yummy, it's next to impossible to decide a top 3 but will give it a whirl.

                                  1. Liver - love it in congee, hot pot and at dim sum. Creamy texture of non-overcooked liver is absolutely sublime.
                                  2. Tendon - doesn't tend to taste like anything but the sauce it's in (goes for chicken feet as well) but the softness of well prepared tendon is sublime, mine comes in the form of dim sum and pho.
                                  3. Lung - slightly squidgy texture that I love when mom used to make it in soup but way too labour intensive for me to attempt on my own, plus there's no availability here. This one's probably a nostalgia thing, love it at dim sum too.

                                  Of course, this list doesn't preclude me from saying that everything else I love too (tongue could be tied for 3rd), spleen, marrow, gizzards, sweetbreads, etc. What can I say, love my bits!

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: bdachow
                                    kobetobiko RE: bdachow Jan 7, 2009 10:23 AM

                                    Oh i love lung too. Particularly the Chinese soup that have pig's lungs and takes long hour to cook. Too bad I have NEVER seen them here in Manhattan (or the US).

                                    1. re: kobetobiko
                                      Miss Needle RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 11:24 AM

                                      I don't know if this is the soup you're talking about but a few years ago I had a Chinese soup at Grand Harmony during dim sum on Mott Street that had lungs and other offal bits in it. I think it was just a special thing because I haven't seen that soup ever since. You may want to give it a shot.

                                      1. re: kobetobiko
                                        Sam Fujisaka RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 01:03 PM

                                        One great thing about Colombia - smoked lung, great and inexpensive!

                                        1. re: kobetobiko
                                          bdachow RE: kobetobiko Jan 8, 2009 08:25 AM

                                          Yeah, my mom used to put it into her watercress soup. Oh the memories...it did take forever to prep the fresh lungs from the butcher though. She was always filling them with water and pushing it back out until the water ran clear. It wasn't something I got all the time so am rather fond of it!

                                          1. re: kobetobiko
                                            tmso RE: kobetobiko Jan 9, 2009 01:29 AM

                                            Yeah, lung is great. Too bad for Americans it's illegal to sell for food in the US. Still, if you ask nicely you can sometimes find lung soup, in SF at least.

                                            I'm only familiar with Chinese and various European preparations of lung ... Sam's mention of Colombian smoked lung as me thinking I need to expand my experiences here...

                                            1. re: tmso
                                              bdachow RE: tmso Jan 9, 2009 08:23 AM

                                              TMSO, I didn't realize that it's illegal to sell for food in the US. That's a real shame, it's a pretty darn tasty piece of offal. Do you know, offhand, why it's illegal?

                                              1. re: bdachow
                                                tmso RE: bdachow Jan 16, 2009 06:33 AM

                                                Its sale is illegal, according to references people found in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/537488

                                                Not sure why, and it was news to me. When I lived in the US, I thought it was just not usually eaten, not verboten. Certainly, if true, it can't be a law that's enforced with any vigor.

                                              2. re: tmso
                                                Hunicsz RE: tmso Jan 9, 2009 08:39 PM

                                                Are you sure that it's illegal??? I seen it at several restaurants in the SF bay area, and seen it at many more. Not just hole in the wall joints, either. I find it hard to believe that it's illegal.

                                                1. re: tmso
                                                  Hughlipton RE: tmso Jan 19, 2009 04:02 PM

                                                  Had lung soup in Munich about 12 years ago. My mother always talked about it and i had to try it. Loved it.

                                            2. Chinon00 RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 11:44 AM

                                              Calves liver served rare in a mustard and vinegar sauce with mashed potatoes and an Alsace Riesling. Are you kidding me? It don't get no betta'.

                                              1. v
                                                vttp926 RE: kobetobiko Jan 7, 2009 02:49 PM

                                                the only offal i even like are duck/chicken hearts. i sometimes eat chicken gizzards but everything else i don't like.

                                                1. billieboy RE: kobetobiko Jan 8, 2009 06:48 PM

                                                  I was recently give a large amount of deer liver (Farmed). Very nice. Like calf liver but a bit milder.
                                                  My wife used to make tongue all the time. I liked the taste, but has an odd texture.
                                                  Heart is wonderful
                                                  Chicken livers are candy to me.

                                                  1. BamiaWruz RE: kobetobiko Jan 8, 2009 07:48 PM

                                                    Liver, cooked with lots of onions
                                                    Kidney, always have it's been my favourite since childhood
                                                    Heart (beef and chicken, quail too since I found one in a frozen quail)
                                                    Beef tongue, cold in a sandwhich, yum.
                                                    Beef and other marrow.

                                                    Other members of my family enjoy sheep ear (crunchy) and cartilage in the chicken along with almost the entire animal!!

                                                    1. t
                                                      tmso RE: kobetobiko Jan 9, 2009 01:39 AM

                                                      Just three, that's a tough choice.

                                                      I guess number one has to be pork tripe. Between andouillette and menudo and fried chitterlings and trippa with tomato sauce ... mmmm. If I can just call this "tripes" and throw in beef tripe in its various forms, esp all together à la mode de Caen, this is the clear winner.

                                                      Number two would be veal kidneys. Cooked rare with mushrooms, served with a nice little pan sauce, I'll eat as much as I'm given. I think Dog invented bistros to make just this dish and save us all the cleaning and prep for it.

                                                      Number three would be trotters. Can I cheat and include all feet (chicken, ducks) here? If so, even better.

                                                      Not that I turn my nose up to tongue, sweetbreads, lung or liver, mind you!

                                                      And as for all of you listing bone marrow: please! That's not offal, that's normal meat!

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: tmso
                                                        Sam Fujisaka RE: tmso Jan 9, 2009 04:51 AM

                                                        So are tongue and trotters (just normal meat)!!

                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                          tmso RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 9, 2009 05:35 AM

                                                          Actually, I guess this probably varies from culture to culture. In France you get liver and kidneys at the butcher counter, not just the tripe counter. The feet are considered offal, though. I thought bones were pretty consistently considered normal meat throughout occidental cultures, but I could be mistaken, I suppose.

                                                          In any case, if you veto my trotters, I'll promote sweetbreads up to number 3 :-)

                                                          1. re: tmso
                                                            Sam Fujisaka RE: tmso Jan 9, 2009 05:36 AM

                                                            Ha! We get it all at the same counter.

                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                              tmso RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 9, 2009 05:42 AM

                                                              No triperias? Do the butchers do a better job cleaning the parts for you, since they're going to be having them around all that meat?

                                                              1. re: tmso
                                                                Sam Fujisaka RE: tmso Jan 9, 2009 09:04 AM

                                                                All the "offal" and other variety meats are displayed super clean(ed) in separate but adjacent areas in the displays. The lung, as I mentioned, is clean and smoked. The butchers will do just about anything you ask in terms of further knifework. No "triperias".

                                                      2. FourSeasons RE: kobetobiko Jan 9, 2009 05:02 AM

                                                        Top 3: Goose web, Goose intestine, Duck blood.
                                                        Followed closely by Beef tongue, Pork liver, Cow brain.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: FourSeasons
                                                          PegS RE: FourSeasons Jan 9, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                          1. Bone marrow 2. Pig ears 3. Uhhhh, sweetbreads? Or duck feet?

                                                          Do I kicked out of the club if I admit I can't eat liver or kidney? But I eat just about everything else: tripe, hearts, tongue, brain, intestines, pig's feet, etc.

                                                          1. re: FourSeasons
                                                            kobetobiko RE: FourSeasons Jan 9, 2009 10:55 AM

                                                            Hi 4Seasons,

                                                            I love goose web too! I particularly like the Chiu Chow styled marinated goose web, so good! They are abundant in Hong Kong but you can't even find geese (hardly) in Manhattan.

                                                            Duck blood, another of my favorite, with chinese chives! But again, here they are chewy gummy touch pig or duck blood, nothing like the silky ones in Asia.

                                                            Now you are torturing me! j/k

                                                            1. re: kobetobiko
                                                              FourSeasons RE: kobetobiko Jan 9, 2009 07:35 PM

                                                              Hi Ko:

                                                              You maybe surprised but the health authority in Singapore has banned duck blood so I only get to eat it when I travel to China.

                                                              Oh, I meant Pork kidney, not liver on my above list. And I forgot to add beef stomach too. BTW, this post just remind me to better check my cholesterol level soon...

                                                              1. re: FourSeasons
                                                                kobetobiko RE: FourSeasons Jan 9, 2009 08:22 PM

                                                                Oh really? banned duck blood? Is that because of the bird flu?

                                                                I really like pork kidney too, especially in congee or just plain boiled with ginger and scallion soy sauce as dipping.

                                                                Cholesterol? What cholesterol? I only know that they are rich in iron which we need ;P

                                                                1. re: kobetobiko
                                                                  FourSeasons RE: kobetobiko Jan 9, 2009 08:51 PM

                                                                  I think it is due to bird flu. They think blood carries the highest risk of disease.

                                                                  Haha...I pray my doctor give me the same advise as you do.

                                                          2. rednyellow RE: kobetobiko Jan 9, 2009 09:14 AM

                                                            I love sweetbreads, they're a "gotta have" item if on a good restaurants menu. I get cravings for good calf liver a few times a year. Tongue is great, but never as good as what I grew up with, so rarely order it out. Lamb's tongue on a salad is fantastic. Have any K.C. fans ever actually tried Lark's Tongue in Aspic?

                                                            1. a
                                                              AngelSanctuary RE: kobetobiko Jan 14, 2009 03:05 PM

                                                              Oooh this is hard...

                                                              Beef tongue, kinda like your picture (I drooled btw). I like them really tender.

                                                              Tendons, LOVE the texture and when it's braised, it's just so flavorful!

                                                              Chicken hearts, I love that kinda texture as well! Does butt count? If you guys are going to say feet and tail...butts should count, those are heaven!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: AngelSanctuary
                                                                paulj RE: AngelSanctuary Jan 14, 2009 08:49 PM

                                                                By butt, I assume you mean the fatty tail piece of a bird. I don't about them being heavenly, but I have heard some names with religious associations - parson's nose or pope's nose.

                                                                If you like your tongue tender, take a look at pork tongues. Being smaller, they cook to the tender stage faster. Since the skin isn't as tough, removing it is a bit more fiddly. The thicker parts of beef tongue skin come off like a glove. I have not had a chance to try lambs tongue, or duck tongues.

                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                  bdachow RE: paulj Jan 16, 2009 06:11 AM

                                                                  Duck tongue is fantastic. I used to spend time with my mom removing the bone up the middle of the tongue and then she braised them in a sweetened soy/ginger/mandarin peel combo. Was heavenly as the tongues had a little snap still in them but were nice and tender. Ah those were the days.

                                                                2. re: AngelSanctuary
                                                                  kobetobiko RE: AngelSanctuary Jan 20, 2009 02:05 PM

                                                                  Oh, I love a big butt :P Yes, butts is definitely included. I love it as yakitori!

                                                                3. DockPotato RE: kobetobiko Jan 15, 2009 12:05 AM

                                                                  1) Head Cheese - smoked, unsmoked, with paprika or plain.
                                                                  3) Chopped Liver - or any chicken liver or liver dish for that matter.
                                                                  2) Haggis - even on days other than Jan 25.

                                                                  1. m
                                                                    moh RE: kobetobiko Jan 16, 2009 09:04 PM

                                                                    Difficult task to limit the list to three....

                                                                    1. Chicken gizzards: this is a childhood favorite. Boiled, then dipped in salt, pepper and crushed sesame seed, with a touch of kochukaru (dried Korean crushed chiles), or panfried with kochuchang based sauce. I also had some wonderful gizzard kebabs in Ghana once, and boy were they surprised we ate them.

                                                                    2. Spleen: seasoned raw spleen, or stirfried in a Korean fashion. another childhood favorite. Spleen is very hard to get, which makes me sad.

                                                                    3. Heart in many forms: roasted chicken hearts, Peruvian marinated beef hearts grilled on a skewer (anticuchos), szechuan thinly sliced heart (and tongue) in a spicy sauce that we recently found in a resto in Montreal. I love the texture and the flavour of the meat.

                                                                    ACK! Can't stop at three....

                                                                    4. Blood sausage: Korean soondae, black pudding, morcilla, boudin noir.

                                                                    5. Liver in all forms. I am particularly fond of chicken liver pates, but liver and onions, chopped liver, all these things float my boat.

                                                                    6. Pig's feet, preferably done in a French style, but it is also an excellent addition to stews.

                                                                    7. Sweetbreads, best done in a French style with a very rich fond de veau based sauce.

                                                                    8. My love of the chicken butt has been well documented.

                                                                    9. I am not a major fan of kidney, but I must say I love a good steak and kidney pie.

                                                                    But for whatever reason, I can't get past the brain thing.

                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                    1. re: moh
                                                                      bitsubeats RE: moh Jan 18, 2009 10:59 AM

                                                                      Hey Moh, do you like the korean version of pig's feet where they are boiled and then put in the fridge so that they firm up and congeal? I LOVE pigs feet that way and dipped in saeojutt or the gochugaru salt. So good with beer

                                                                      1. re: bitsubeats
                                                                        moh RE: bitsubeats Jan 18, 2009 11:11 AM

                                                                        Bitsubeats, I have had thinly sliced pork served this way with the salt and saeojutt, and I suspect some of the versions I have had were made with pig's feet. This would explain all the great collagen and texture of this thinly sliced pork! But I have never had (to my knowledge) Korean pig feet where I have recognized the meat as a foot. My mum is a little bit picky and squeamish, and I doubt she has made this herself. But I love pork in all its manifestations, and I agree that seh-woo-jot and the gochugaru salt is a fabulous way to enjoy pork! And if I haven't yet had the pig foot version, then I know I would probably love it, as I have yet to meet a pig foot that i didn't like.

                                                                        Gosh! You are making me crave this now! What to do...

                                                                        1. re: moh
                                                                          bitsubeats RE: moh Jan 18, 2009 11:26 AM

                                                                          oh my mother makes it in "whole foot" form. I like to bite the "toes" off and gnaw on them. I have never seen it served this way, but I prefer it this way really. I like the texture a little bit better

                                                                          1. re: bitsubeats
                                                                            moh RE: bitsubeats Jan 18, 2009 11:28 AM

                                                                            Dang! Would love this dish in the whole foot form! Green with envy now.... :)

                                                                            1. re: moh
                                                                              paulj RE: moh Jan 18, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                              One of my more memorable meals in Ecuador was one where I ordered mondongo (a cow foot soup with a peanut finish) as the soup course, and breaded pigs feet as the main. I don't recall, though, how thoroughly they boned the feet, or how large of pieces were when breaded and fried. I've made the soup a number of times, but have never tried fixing feet this way. I've read that if you want to serve the feet whole, it is best to wrap them in cheese cloth so they retain their shape during the long simmer.

                                                                              The first time I cooked pigs ears, I followed a French recipe, which called for spreading prepared mustard on the cooked ears, coating them in bread crumbs, drizzle with butter, and broil. In recent years I've just cut the ears into strips, and used them to enrich stews.

                                                                        2. re: bitsubeats
                                                                          oana RE: bitsubeats Jan 21, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                                          it's incredible; I wonder what the origin of this dish is since it made it all the way to Romania. I remember having this dish as a child during the holidays. my dad would make it and then put it outside in the cold to firm up and we would peek out every so often with excitment to see if they were ready ...such fond memories of food ...thanks for sharing bitsubeats.
                                                                          happy eating, Oana

                                                                        3. re: moh
                                                                          oana RE: moh Jan 21, 2009 07:53 AM

                                                                          moh WHICH resto in Montreal please! :) I am constantly searching for offal out but it is so rare that I come accross anything other than calf's liver or marrow.
                                                                          happy eating, Oana

                                                                          1. re: oana
                                                                            moh RE: oana Jan 21, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                                            Oana, I have started a thread for offal in Montreal on the Quebec board:


                                                                            Hope that helps!

                                                                            1. re: moh
                                                                              oana RE: moh Jan 21, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                                              fabulous! :) thank you moh.
                                                                              happy eating, Oana

                                                                        4. l
                                                                          Louise RE: kobetobiko Jan 17, 2009 07:05 PM

                                                                          1. Chicken liver prepared in any way imaginable
                                                                          2. Tripe, in pho
                                                                          3. Pork skin in that shredded mix on Vietnamese combo rice plates

                                                                          Pork kidney is good too, tastes like chicken liver though a PITA to prepare and I got diaper rash on my hands the one time I prepared it.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Louise
                                                                            AJC RE: Louise Jan 18, 2009 10:49 AM

                                                                            As this is my first posting on this site, I thought I had found Nirvanah when I read the Topic Heading. I just adore offal, but you guys seem to have covered all the options!
                                                                            However, my top three are:
                                                                            Sweetbreads - particularly English Lamb sweetbreads in the Spring
                                                                            Andouiette sausage - with a cheap red wine in the South of France
                                                                            Brains - lightly poached and then gently fried and served on toast - now, theres a hangover cure!
                                                                            .. and then theres Chicken Livers fried with a touch of molasses, tripe casserole, pigs cheek ... to name but a few

                                                                            1. re: AJC
                                                                              dolores RE: AJC Jan 18, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                                              At the top of my list and something I no longer find -- pig's ears, sliced into tasty cartiliginous (word?) tidbits in jars. Feet are next in goodness, but I haven't bought any lately.

                                                                              Next are gizzards, fried with lots of black pepper or as my mother used to make them (along with chicken feet) in the Sunday gravy.

                                                                              I was off my game yesterday at a store snapping up a H/D pint before it is no longer a pint. A gentleman behind me was buying chicken feet and gizzards, both in plastic wrapped packages. I never knew this store had them. I refrained from asking him, per my usual, a host of questions on why he had them and how he was going to make them. The two combined must be delish.

                                                                              And yes to livers, chicken with mayo and relish and calves quite rare with ketchup and Tabasco. It's been years.

                                                                              1. re: AJC
                                                                                kobetobiko RE: AJC Jan 20, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                                                Hi AJC,

                                                                                Welcome to Chowhound! I am glad that your first post here is on my favorite food: Offals!

                                                                                Please feel free to share your offal loves and findings!

                                                                            2. e
                                                                              emerilcantcook RE: kobetobiko Jan 18, 2009 04:31 PM

                                                                              Sweetbreads, fried. Crunchy on the outside, creamy inside.

                                                                              Suckling lamb intestines, Turkish food cart style (very similar to kokoretsi). Seasoned aggressively with oregano and pepper flakes, char grilled and then chopped. This is served as a sandwich on white bread, with optional chopped tomatoes and green peppers. Spicy fermented turnip juice on the side, you will send the fiercest hangover back to where it belongs.

                                                                              Marrow, roasted in bone. With salt, on bread.

                                                                              I eat most parts of animals; but however hard I try, I can't eat the cartilage.

                                                                              1. paulj RE: kobetobiko Jan 19, 2009 11:32 PM

                                                                                Tony Bourdain, in his latest Washington DC episode, predicted that the next 'big thing' is cartilage, while eating a sandwich with Vietnamese style headcheese.

                                                                                He liked the raw chopped meat at the Ethiopian place, but had trouble chewing larger pieces of raw meat.


                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                  Sam Fujisaka RE: paulj Jan 20, 2009 01:29 AM

                                                                                  Can't imagine raw meat in Ethiopia. In the areas where cattle are raised, the amount of flies is just incredible. All over you all of the time!! Tons.

                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                    paulj RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 20, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                                                    He was eating at an Ethiopian restaurant in DC. They showed the meat being cut from legs hanging in the cooler. My guess it was goat or mutton. The fat was yellow. So fly contamination would not have been a problem.

                                                                                    Still it was traditional Ethiopian style. Having seen the Bizarre Foods episode on Ethiopia I can quite understand your point. Curiously I have not seen any reruns of that BF Ethiopia episode. I wonder if someone or other objected to some aspect of it.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                      pinstripeprincess RE: paulj Jan 20, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                                      was it kitfo? typically it is beef, at least in north america, and so i'm unaware if in ethiopia there are various names for similar dishes with different animals as i haven't been exposed to that.

                                                                                      the restaurants i've had it in will have you specify how well done you'd prefer it though it is mostly suggested raw if not somewhat seared and that is they way i like it. very tasty stuff when spiced properly.

                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                        Sam Fujisaka RE: paulj Jan 20, 2009 02:38 PM

                                                                                        My Ethiopian friends in traditional rural areas hang meat above the cooking fire to smoke it over several days to a week. But any fresh raw meat in the cattle raising villages would be covered with a layer of flies about two inches thick within seconds. Anytime you're outside the flies are walking around on your head and face. People you talk to have flies walking around on their faces.

                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                          linguafood RE: Sam Fujisaka Jan 21, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                                                          That would drive me absolutely insane. I rode horses for most of my youth, and flies like horses. A lot. You'd hit your head/helmet, and have 10 dead flies fall on the ground. They were everywhere -- stable, kitchen, bedrooms.

                                                                                          And the sound of two flies 'doing it' in (or very close to) my ear remains one of my least favorite to be woken up by.....

                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                            Passadumkeg RE: linguafood Jan 21, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                                                            Hey, Sam, wouldn't linguafood South American outdoors carnecerias (butcher shops)? Germany is so clean and orderly I bet the flies are sterile.
                                                                                            go eat a curry wurst for me, would you please?

                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                              linguafood RE: Passadumkeg Jan 22, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                                                              I'll have one in the spring. I've never been much of a fan, but I finally found a place where it actually tastes really, really good == homemade sauce with peppers cooked down, nice and spicy.

                                                                                              Other than that, I find currywurst overrated.

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                Passadumkeg RE: linguafood Jan 22, 2009 02:50 PM

                                                                                                I haven't tried them yet, but I'm the wurst kind of guy. My fondest memory of wurst was at the Munich Zoo in the mid-eighties. We were on Christmas Holiday from Helsinki and it was incredibly warm (shirt sleeves!) My wife was pregnant w/ our 2nd and the eldest and I (He just became a father earlier this month in Seoul.) visited the food kiosk and sat looking at the giraffes noshing on knockwurst on a round roll. We both loved them. A magic moment of life. So simple, so good.

                                                                                  2. Passadumkeg RE: kobetobiko Jan 20, 2009 04:32 AM

                                                                                    When I shoot a deer, the liver is the first organ I cook.
                                                                                    Let me start this over. When I hunt (and fish), I use all the offal of the animal.
                                                                                    So I just say:
                                                                                    1. deer
                                                                                    2. duck
                                                                                    3. cod family (roe, tongue & cheeks and liver.)

                                                                                    1. p
                                                                                      pepoling RE: kobetobiko Jan 20, 2009 06:28 AM

                                                                                      1. Tripe - if it's on the menu, I get it. The texture is so delicious, just the right mix of chewy and tender. My favorite food of ALL.
                                                                                      2. Liver in any form - calf's liver done very rare..chicken livers on a salad...mixed w/ heart and lung in beuschel...liver dumplings...
                                                                                      3. Tie between headcheese (does that count?), tongue, marrow
                                                                                      Sweetbreads and lungs are good too.....don't care for kidney. smells like uh...what comes out of it.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: pepoling
                                                                                        Tom from Raleigh RE: pepoling Jan 20, 2009 06:55 AM

                                                                                        Last week in Paris had cow udder salad for the first time at a place called Ribouldingue that specializes in offal. It was formed into a terrine and sliced like a cold cut. Quite tasty.

                                                                                        I've tried most every cut of offal I can get my hands on. Lung, testicle, brains, kidney, eye. I find I like the fattier cuts. Thank God my chlorestoral is sub 200.

                                                                                        1. I love pork belly. It's like bacon but more luscious. Has to be my favorite.
                                                                                        2. Heart is great, almost like steak.
                                                                                        3. Tripe and sweetbreads tie for third place

                                                                                        1. re: Tom from Raleigh
                                                                                          tmso RE: Tom from Raleigh Jan 21, 2009 03:20 AM

                                                                                          Oh no, you need to pick a new #1 :) Pork belly is just a cut of meat, not offal. Yeah, it tastes like bacon ... because it's the cut that American bacon is made out of!

                                                                                          Boy, and here I thought that bone was pushing the definition.

                                                                                          1. re: tmso
                                                                                            paulj RE: tmso Jan 21, 2009 07:00 AM

                                                                                            But if the belly includes the skin, that counts as organ meat :) At least in medicine, skin is often talked about as skin. And parts like ear and feet are largely skin.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                              Humbucker RE: paulj Jan 21, 2009 09:31 AM

                                                                                              So is skin-on chicken breast offal, too? I know a lot of people who would be horrified if it was.

                                                                                              1. re: Humbucker
                                                                                                paulj RE: Humbucker Jan 21, 2009 11:09 AM

                                                                                                well, chicken butt has been mentioned already. I think they were referring to the fatty skin tail piece, not the cloaca (which I've only seen eaten on a Bizarre Foods Japan episode) .

                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                  kobetobiko RE: paulj Jan 21, 2009 02:56 PM

                                                                                                  No, I am really referring to the chicken butt, not the fatty skin close to the butt.

                                                                                      2. bigjeff RE: kobetobiko Jan 20, 2009 03:01 PM


                                                                                        1. w
                                                                                          wayne keyser RE: kobetobiko Jan 20, 2009 06:10 PM

                                                                                          Mince them all up, add cornmeal and country sausage seasoning, form in loaf pan, slice 1/2" thick and fry ... it's scrapple! Yum!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: wayne keyser
                                                                                            Passadumkeg RE: wayne keyser Jan 21, 2009 02:25 AM

                                                                                            Jeesus boom! Say now, don't forget the apple butter, just for nice.
                                                                                            I miss jellied pig's feet and head cheese too.

                                                                                          2. f
                                                                                            foufou RE: kobetobiko Jan 23, 2009 03:49 AM

                                                                                            chitterlings (pork intestine); how maws (stomach); hog head cheese; calf's liver; chicken liver (spread or fried)

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