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Looking for pigs brains in NYC

a
alisonphoto Jan 6, 2009 10:03 AM

i live in brooklyn, but i spent a year living in sichuan province in china. i'm trying to make my own hot pot, and one of my favorite ingredients to cook was pigs brain. this freaks a lot of westerners out, but it is truly delicious, and seems impossible to find in NYC. does anyone know where i may be able to purchase my own fresh pigs brains?

  1. jen kalb Jan 9, 2009 12:40 PM

    wondering, have you tried veal brains in this? they are perhaps more readily available. for example at Eagle Provisions in the So. Slope.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jen kalb
      bigmackdaddy Jan 10, 2009 07:38 AM

      Jen Kalb has actually hit on something. However, I'd ask the folks at Jubilat first. IMO, they're cleaner, they deal with nothing but pork products and they're not as pricey. You might want to ask the management at Applewood where they get their pigs from. They are famous for using whole hogs, organic ones at that. Did you try the butcher on Smith St? I forget the name. There's also Staubitz on Court St. by Baltic.

    2. bigjeff Jan 8, 2009 09:42 AM

      by the way alisonphoto, please share some of your recipes for pig brains!

      3 Replies
      1. re: bigjeff
        a
        alisonphoto Jan 9, 2009 10:32 AM

        i've only had pigs brains i hot pot, in which case you just dump it in the boiling soup and it turns into a kind of flavorful tofu consistency. i'm planning to try to make my own hot pot this coming week. the market on hester and elizabeth is a great market, although i've only seen tripe there, but no brains. i will check again this weekend.

        1. re: alisonphoto
          r
          RedVelvet Jan 9, 2009 12:14 PM

          I never saw brains at deluxe market either but I wouldn't dismiss others' opinions.

          bigjeff - if you need more ideas, I make them breaded and fried or simply sauteed in butter and sprinkled with lemon juice.

          breaded pic - http://www.flickr.com/photos/loladear...

          soak in icy cold water for half an hour, peel the membrane, bring to boil a pot with water (3 qt or larger for about 1 lb brains) with a tablespoon vinegar added, lower the heat to almost nothing and poach them in hot water for 5 min. remove, dry well, salt & pepper and cut in chunks, roll in panko and fry for 2-3 min each side. serve with lemon wedges.

          1. re: RedVelvet
            bigjeff Jan 9, 2009 01:17 PM

            ooh damn. that looks crazy. yum!

      2. bigjeff Jan 8, 2009 06:12 AM

        one of the good markets I like is a butcher place which also sells lots of prepared foods (steam table dishes, buns and dumplings) as well as prepared and marinated meats, its north of canal and is a block wide, with entrances on both Mott st and Elizabeth; I forget the name of the place but it is a single storefront wide and a split level place with all the butcher stuff in the middle and there's tons of good stuff in there. they tend to carry strange organs and also strange seafood; when I went last week they had alligator legs, pig uterus, all kinds of stuff.

        c oliver, is this the deluxe food market you are talking about?

        2 Replies
        1. re: bigjeff
          c oliver Jan 8, 2009 07:16 AM

          Yes it is! It's a mesmerizing place, isn't it??? I've never seen so many "parts."

          1. re: c oliver
            bigjeff Jan 8, 2009 09:41 AM

            the marinated and prepared raw foods is really good for a lot of things; the little dim-sum stye riblets, a lot of ground fish and ground meat for easy dumplings and things, various asian-style marinated stuff that if you didn't quite feel like preparing, its quite good. and the place is always so crowded so there should be good turnover on many of the items. they have tons of different types of fowl as well. thanks for the confirmation!

        2. j
          Jack_ Jan 8, 2009 03:12 AM

          Bet you could get them at the just opened Marlow & Daughters, 75 Broadway, Williamsburg

          1. r
            RedVelvet Jan 6, 2009 06:18 PM

            I bought fresh brains from a meat market along Brighton Beach Ave. just a few weeks ago. I'm so sorry I don't have a precise address, but it's one of the two newly opened meat-markets around BB 3 or 4? One clue would be that they have a small sushi counter right by the entrance/registers.

            @Laddie Din - there's a Chinatown in Brooklyn, chances are you'll find pork ears and tails there. I just saw them today in Flushing C-town. Snout is really hard to come by.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RedVelvet
              w
              wcl Jan 7, 2009 12:05 PM

              I found pork ears and tails in local supermarkets. Years ago, I could also find brains in the supermarkets but I don't know if they still have brains now.

            2. l
              Laddie Din Jan 6, 2009 01:05 PM

              Following along this question: I don't have access to Chinatown--are there any Brooklyn butchers in non-Chinese nabes that carry fresh offal? I ask because there's a recipe in the current Saveur 100 issue for a salad made of pigs' ears and God help me, I'd like to get me some. I'm afraid of the response if I call a lot of butchers and say, do you have pigs' ears... (Saveur says snouts are optional in the salad... a bistro cookbook I have says that tails are also common mixed with ears and snouts in regional French restaurants...)

              I used the word offal in the original post but I suspect these parts are not offal, which is organ meats, no?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Laddie Din
                wleatherette Jan 7, 2009 10:04 AM

                try marlow and daughters, the new butcher shop on broadway in williamsburg. they definitely have tails/ears/etc.

              2. jen kalb Jan 6, 2009 11:49 AM

                Id check out the big stores in the sunset park Chinatown

                3 Replies
                1. re: jen kalb
                  d
                  Dalglish Jan 6, 2009 12:31 PM

                  Jen, I know this is off topic - sort of - but what and where are the big stores in SP? Much easier for me to cycle there than hit Manhattan for lemongrass, thai chilis etc. Thanks.

                  1. re: Dalglish
                    a
                    Amy Mintzer Jan 7, 2009 08:33 AM

                    Try Hong Kong Supermarket, 8th Ave. and 60th, a fully stocked Chinese supermarket, complete with shopping carts. Produce isn't as great as the smaller stores along 8th Ave. (starting around 50th-52nd), but they have everything else, including a full butcher and seafood counter.

                    1. re: Amy Mintzer
                      jen kalb Jan 7, 2009 10:20 AM

                      I agree that Hong Kong is worth a try - there are some smaller stores on 8th (mostly on the E. side of the street) north of Hong Kong which also have good butchers. The other large grocery store in the vicinity is Great Wall on Ft. Ham Parkway at around 68th Street - I havent checked their meats, but its generally a clean, busy market, with excellent produce and parking (relevant to me) - its also convenient to Three Guys, one of the top produce stands in Brooklyn.

                2. c oliver Jan 6, 2009 10:18 AM

                  >>Deluxe Food Market at 79 Elizabeth St. in Chinatown. This is an amazing market. Down the long right side is prepared foods that you can buy by the plate or the pound. Down the left is every imaginable fresh meat, poultry and fish --- and every single part of it. And the middle is dried and frozen things. I bought baby octopus there which was so fun. Even if you don't buy anthing, it's great to just gawk :) >>

                  I just posted this in regard to a totally different question. I know they have brains and I'm guessing pig. They have uteri and ALL parts of ALL animals - as far as I can tell. If you speak Chinese, you could probably call but a trip there is a wondroous thing )

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