Offal Is Not Always Awful!...Pork Tongue

My mother is a great cook.  I grew up eating great home cooked meals everyday. I have to credit her for my good palate.  We both can replicate food we had at restaurants.  None of my siblings cook, especially my little sister.  But she is very talented in making reservations and giving out orders.  She also does extensive research and knows where hot new restaurants are. My kids always enjoy going out with "Na Taeng."  One year when we visited Thailand, my sister invited me and my son to stay at her house.  My son, being a foodie's son, knowing the reputation of his non-cooking aunt, was worried about what we would eat there.  It turned out, we went out to great restaurants every night.  She would ask us what we would like to have for breakfast.  In the morning, her assistant would carry a tray of what we ordered and place it in front of our bedroom door.  The tray was removed once we finished our meal, much like a five-star hotel.  For lunch, her assistant would drive us to restaurants of our choice.  Life is good.  My son is no longer worried when we have an invitation to stay at my sister's house.

My mother normally makes Thai food but she also makes soups, stews, pies, and cakes.  One of our favorites for her non-Thai dishes is beef tongue stew.  It was a treat every time she made it.  The tongue needed to be cleaned by dipping in hot water and scraping repeatedly.  It was a tedious process but we always appreciated her work greatly.  For that reason, I had not made tongue stew for myself.  She made it for us when she visited us in Seattle.

A few years back, I had a real chef in my Thai language class at the UW.  Food occasionally came up in our discussion and I found out how to prepare tongue. It was a game changer.  Pressure cooked tongue is the key.  The skin slips off like nobody's business.  I was thrilled.  Now I regularly order grass fed beef tongue to make tongue stew and a filling for tacos.

I have always been intrigued with pork tongue and lamb tongue so today I am making something out of pork tongue to bring to the Offalicious dinner.  I marinate tongues overnight in salt, pepper, and thyme to draw out some moisture.  Then I sous vide the tongues for 12 hours.  It has the right texture. It is soft yet with good bite to it. Unlike beef tongue, pork tongue skin is much thinner so there is no need to remove it.

The tongue is thinly sliced and then heated with grass fed ghee.  Yes, grass fed ghee!  Tongue is actually lean.  It needs some fat to juice it up.  I added a dash of fish sauce to salt it up a bit.  It's so delicious.  From now on, I will cook tongue in grass fed ghee!  Now the tongue is ready to be plated.

I put sliced cucumber on a plate, then scatter the luscious tongue over the cucumber. Thinly sliced green onions as well as fried shallots top the tongue.  A dressing made of chopped parsley, garlic, lime juice, sweet chili sauce, jalapeños, fish sauce, maple syrup, are drizzled all over.

Now, this is a dish my mother would be proud of!

Sous vide pork tongue with cucumber and Thai dressing