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Ox Penis. Seriously.

I was in a huge Asian market in central New Jersey today and saw, in the frozen food section, piled high, at least 3 dozen ox penises. I’ve been in this store many times and never noticed them. Not that they weren’t there, but seems to me that a big sign reading “Penis,” in English, would have caught my eye before.

I know about eating penis to promote virility, but I thought that was mostly dried powder. Googling wasn’t particularly informative. I’m guessing the store might have been unusually well stocked with this item in celebration of the year of the ox? If so, what do you think people might have been doing with it? On topic, please. I’m thinking in terms of home-cooked dishes here. And would everyone partake?

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  1. Maybe it isn't really "ox".......like oxtail isn't really from ox.
    That's as far as I'm going to go with this.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monku

      An ox is/was a large steer used primarily for draft purposes. Since they aren't used generally for that purpose anymore, I'm guessing the term is somewhat obsolete. So a "cow tail" and an "ox tail" are pretty much the same thing now. I'm guessing an ox penis is named the same way. Which still doesn't give OP any idea of how to cook it. Joan, did you google "steer penis"?

      1. re: c oliver

        Oxen and their equipment are far from obsolete in the developing world outside of the US.

        JoanN, you're lucky to have such a well hung market.

    2. There is a restaurant in San Jose, CA called Bun Bo Hue An Nam, which makes a special Bun Bo Hue with ox penis added to the rest of the offal (pork leg, beef leg, pig's blood). A couple of places in Hong Kong serve it with noodle soup. It is basically just like any other delicacy--a piece of muscle with an interesting texture and !ahem! possible medicinal properties.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sfbing

        We Asians are always about the "possible medicinal properties".

        1. A Chow video blog from a penis restaurant in Beijing:


          1. Seriously Joan.. Here's a couple of sites with recipes I found...

            Fuschia Dunlop speaks:

            2 Replies
            1. re: Gio

              Thanks, Gio. Did a cursory search, but hadn't found an actual recipe.

              What surprised me about this was that these were in a middle-class suburban supermarket, obviously meant for home cooks. It wasn't some bragging-rights restaurant or nasty bits wannabe. And it's hard for me to believe that a place like this would have such a large quantity of a product if they didn't have a very good expectation of selling it.

              1. re: JoanN

                Yes, I agree. I suppose home cooks would have wanted the item in honor of the Chinese New Year. But here it is a month later and there are still so many unsold. The restaurant Dunlop mentions does have it on the menu regularly...it's in such demand.

            2. Just curious........what was the price? per pound or whatever you want.

              6 Replies
              1. re: monku

                What an interesting question. I'm ashamed to say I didn't even look. It wasn't posted on the sign, the store was pretty crowded on a Sunday afternoon, and I guess I didn't want to be seen to be examining the product too closely. If we weren't expecting a foot of snow tonight I'd go right back tomorrow and find out.

                1. re: JoanN

                  OK.......I'm sure they'll still be there when the snow clears.

                  Now I've got something else to look for in the Chinese markets here in the Los Angeles area. Not to buy.....just looking.

                  1. re: monku

                    They will be, but I might not. This is a market near my mom's house, not mine. If I can get there before I have to leave I'll be sure to do so and post back.

                  1. re: monku

                    I think they are sold by the inch.

                  2. i've seen penis on menus (not my own) in france

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: thew

                      I feel like anything I write is going to be removed for being in bad taste, but can you tell me if the penises appeared to be... God, I know this post will be removed...recognizable as such? I ask because I have prepared testicles (Richard Olney's book calls them "frivolity fritters") and they were a treat deep-fried. Once I had soaked them and removed the flaps of meat, they could have been mistaken for any sliced deep fried thing. I'm guessing the ox penis would be served in such a way that calls attention to what is rather than disguises it? Because of the placebo effect? (strong like bull) God help me, I want to try it.

                      1. re: Laddie Din

                        yes. the looked just like big steaming bull c*cks. being french - in sauce

                        1. re: Laddie Din

                          The presentation for the recipe I cited above is slices of meat elaboratly cut into star shapes and placed on a bed of greens.....
                          Google "ox penis recipes" in Images.

                          1. re: Laddie Din

                            They were approximately two feet long and about an inch-and-a-half (maybe less) in diameter. The recipe Gio linked to above has you steam it and then cut it lengthwise to remove the urethra before slicing so, no, not served in a way that highlights it's "medicinal properties."

                            1. re: JoanN

                              Re cooking procedures

                              A well used muscle requires a long, hot braise Otherwise the meat will be chewy rather than soft - but that's a personal preference. And from the pictures, this cut of meat seems nature-made for lardons or the spit.

                              1. re: alwayscooking

                                But if it's a steer, it's not well used.

                                Or even if it/they are from Gomers.

                        2. I've seen them in a market in Oakland Chinatown, and it was a while ago so not for year of the ox. They were long and thin tubes, a non-muscle looking kind of meat. I'd guess it's the spongy erectile tissue itself--in any case, it appeared to be skinned and blanched and pale like ready to cook tripe.

                          I have not bought them, nor to my knowledge eaten them. I suppose if there was some amazingly yummy dish to be made with them as there is with kidneys I might.

                          1. We love the Hong Kong Supermarket. We stock up every time we visit. Will look for the weenies next time we visit. Pair w/ durian?

                            1. A friend who is a member of the Explorers' Club attends their annual meeting and banquet every year at this time in NYC. It has been among the many odd delicacies featured at that event.

                              2 Replies
                                1. re: alwayscooking

                                  From their Events Calendar: "Note: While the event honors some of the most important and prestigious leaders in the world of exploration, it is also known for its rather untraditional reception – one that features an “exotic” array of such “culinary delights” such as Infused Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, Honey Glazed Tarantulas, Scorpion Bruschetta, Sweet and Sour Bovine Penis with Pad Thai Noodles, Vertebrate Optic Globular Capsule Mousse, Maggots Suspended in Beet Gelee and other mouth-watering delicacies. Of course, there’ll be “regular” hors d’oeuvres for those less adventurous as well as a tribute to this year’s theme, featuring a “cornucopia” of exotic nuts, fruits, edible flowers and other tasty items."

                                  Groucho (I think it was he, at any rate) hit the nail on the head with that comment about not wanting to join any club that would have him as a member! Amen...

                              1. Forwarded this thread to my bro in Las Vegas. He replied that Ox swanstuk is commonly fourd in the Mexican supermarkets there.
                                Stuff your tamale with that, Scargod.

                                1. If you go to the Chicago board and look around a bit you may find some archived past discussions of the African chuck wagons that sell lunch all over downtown. Apparently penis is one of the meats of choice. Said to be full of gristle.

                                  1. One of our local markets sells this as "beef pizzle." If you Google *pizzle* you'll mostly come up with pet food chewie toys. Still, we're talking supermarket vittles here, so I don't feel so averse to trying it (hey, we eat pigs' ears in this house), but I'd really need a little kick in the rear to tell me WHY I should be trying this specialty meat. Aside from the "makes you strong" argument.



                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                      Around here the dog treats are called Bully Sticks, so maybe they come from bulls and not steers? I mean if you're trying to google for info.

                                    2. I haven't seen these presented whole in any of the LA area Asian markets, but always as stacks of lengthwise slices laid into your typical meat-case yellow tray with the clear plastic over it, and a label saying Bull Pizzle. It clearly is not muscle so much as a form of sinew, like bundles of silvery ribbon. First time I saw any I was with my wife's family, and her dad and brother and I had a simultaneously sympathetic reaction: OOoowwwww!

                                      1. there is some stuff about this in Fuschia Dunlop's first cookbook.
                                        I think in the commentary to the oxtail recipe, to the effect that sometimes it is referred to as the "tail" check it out.,

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: jen kalb

                                          Thanks for pointing that out, jen. I hadn't seen it. She talks about having enjoyed something called ox whip soup and thinking that "whip" was just another word for "tail" before discovering that it was a euphemism for something else.

                                          Again, though, she mentions it as something served in a restaurant as opposed to something that might be made at home.

                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            I just did a search - Gary Soup offers a recipe for this elsewhere


                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              That's the recipe Gio linked to above. Doesn't really make you want to run right out and try it, does it?