HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


TRIPE....Settle this argument, conoscente only... please!!!

O.K. I regard tripe as a gift from the Gods. The problem/discussion is some of my associates say "Make sure you buy boiled tripe not Green Tripe". My answer is, all tripe sold in the U.S. is cleaned and boiled before offered for sale. Green tripe is very rank in its aroma, I tried to use it in France.It reminds me of Auntie who went down to the cellar, and 6 months later she is still there. Basically, it stinks so badly in its raw form it could not be handled in a retail butcher/supermarket. Also raw tripe, uncleaned is a digestive organ so it is chock full of all kinds of partially digested organic matter.

Now, to the "meat" of the discussion. If all tripe is boiled before sale, does that negate the need to boil it for several hours prior to finishing and serving the dish? Do you give a long boil to tripe you buy in a store? or proceed to the saute, fry, braise step of the prep.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Boil first to tenderize and cleanse for me..........how long depends on whether it will be used in a soup or braised in a liquid or sauce..

    1. I still boil to tenderize. Even though the tripe has been "cleaned," there is still a palpable odor that is produced when you boil at home.

      1. boil first... even if just for a few minutes... then braise (with other pieces of offal and tomato, onion, garlic, hot peppers, herbs., olive oil.. oh what a wonderful dish my grandfather used to make for us)

        4 Replies
        1. re: cgarner

          Thanks, The additional boiling is what I thought, I think the boiling before sale is, as all of you said to clean it more than tenderize.
          Can't wait to make a good Trippa Romana!!!!!!!

          1. re: ospreycove

            I work in a beef packing plant and the tripe isn't boiled but scalded before packaged. It goes into something like a washing machine.

            On a side note we've had customers call and ask if they can get unscalded tripe. They say ours is too clean and no longer has a grassy flavor.

            1. re: aziline

              G-Pop got his unscalded (uncooked, boiled,etc ) from the butcher, it SMELLED to the high heaven when he would cook it and he'd go through several water changes too... Brave souls willing to get 'raw' tripe today, bless their adventurous spirit (and hopefully their ventillation systems in the kitchen!)

              1. re: aziline

                Aziline............good info thanks: II guess there are still the "purists" around.

                Cgarner ....Your G-Pop was one of the "purists"

                scalded vs. boiled must be the operative word.

                Thanks to you both!!

          2. If you'd ever read the first chapter of Orwell's "The Road to Wigan Pier", you'd never eat tripe again.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FrankD

              As I am not from England, nor a socialist, and have read Wigan Pier; I still think and enjoy Tripe as a "Gift from the Gods".

            2. One large Asian grocery, 99Ranch, sells both raw (but clean and scalded) tripe, and cooked. I don't recall buying the cooked, so can't say how tender it is.

              Anyways I usually parboil tripe, just to get rid of remaining smells, and then cook it in plenty of water till nearly tender. Sometimes I'll include a foot (cow or pig) to give more body to the broth. At a later date I'll cook it further with aromatics and spices to make the style I want (Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Ecuadorian, etc). The one that's in the fridge now includes tomatoes, pimenton, and chickpeas (i.e. Spanish).

              2 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                Paulj, Good idea; I have not looked in our Asian groceries for Tripe; Thanks!!

                1. re: paulj

                  Paulj, the cooked tripe from 99 Ranch (at least the one in El Cerrito) is al dente. But since it usually requires some additional cooking according to a recipe, the finished dish should be just right. I try not to go much past 30 minutes or so, to retain a little of that rubbery character. Oh, I'm talking about honeycomb tripe.

                2. I had a lengthy discussion about my mother about this, the following is what I've gathered from our conversation and collective experience. My mother has never worked with "cleaned" tripe (she won't touch the stuff - she doesn't trust what's been done to the tripe in the 'cleaning' process), I have never worked with raw tripe (but ate plenty of it growing up).

                  When you buy your tripe from the market and it appears white, it means it has been treated/bleached to remove the color and odor. (As my mother says - it's doesn't look like that naturally!) It's also possible/probable that it has been par-cooked to some degree. However, I personally find that cleaned (white) tripe can have a bleachy-smell.

                  With untreated tripe, a long simmer is necessary to both tenderize and sanitize the product. With most treated tripe, a (shorter) simmer is still necessary to tenderize, and IMHO, to get rid of that bleachy smell.

                  I find that YMMV when it comes to the amount of time required for tenderizing tripe, and is also largely dependent on personal taste. My mother likes her tripe almost hard, and loves gnawing on it. I like that too in small doses but also like my tripe nice and tender. I always taste my tripe periodically while boiling so I know when to stop.

                  You're right ospreycove - tripe is a gift!

                  I do the same thing as Paulj - I'll boil my tripe with some feet (cow or pig) and then use the resulting broth/meat for various soups and stews. Also love making stock with tripe, feet, and tail. TripeFootTail menudo is delicious!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Joonjoon, Where does your Mother find colored or "green" tripe?

                      1. re: joonjoon

                        Joon...hmmmm, a little far for my Saturday night feast!!!!

                    1. re: joonjoon

                      I concur with the part about the chemically treated pale-looking tripe.

                      I have never cooked with tripe, but regularly enjoy them at the dimsum restaurants, which is always pale in colour, with just the barest of brown from the sauces. I only recently learned that in better dimsum restaurants, in Hong Kong for example, they serve versions that are more brown (or green?) that have not been treated and certainly tastier.

                      1. re: tarteaucitron

                        Watch Bizarre Foods or No Reservations to learn how much flavor that green stuff adds to the GI parts of the animal!

                        1. re: paulj

                          Paulj As I stated in my original post; I have tried to use "green Tripe" but had problems getting rid of the overwhelmingly powerful aroma of partially digested grass and other hints of intestinal actions.
                          Now having said that, the intestines of baby lamb, Pajata, are prepared, not cleaned, with the partially digested mother's milk still in them. In Lazio, this savory dish is served as a secondi by itself, or as a pasta course sauce. This is a very mild dish, compared to the "Green tripe" preparations.