Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pig Stomach Stir Fry

Last week we were in the grocery store when J discovered an interesting section in the meat department. There were all kinds of fun stuff - tripe, pig stomach, pig ears, pig feet, and cow tongue. At first I was completely grossed out by the stomach. It was kind of wrinkled and limp and, well, I'll just let you have a look.

pig stomach

After we returned home sans pig parts, I really started considering it as an option. So we went back the next day and I bought the stomach and ears. I decided to tackle the stomach first.

I open the package. Apparently we bought two stomachs.
stomach #1
stomach #2

Anyway, there they sat in all their glory. I searched the Internet for proper ways to clean the stomachs. Our store didn't sell the raw stomachs, so we got the prepared stomachs, but they still needed washing. One of them, actually. I froze the smaller stomach for later use.

To Clean the Stomach:
Rub the stomach with kosher salt and let it sit for an hour. Make sure to rub the inside too. Mine slimed me. The stomach's juices were really flowing by the end of the hour.

Rinse it and turn it inside out. Rub more salt on it, rinse, and continue, making sure to get the inside of the stomach and the outside.

The inside was cool - it had some lining in there and stuff.
inside out stomach

Once you've done that, boil in some water for a couple of minutes. It should get kind of hard and stiff. Repeat the rinsing process. I rubbed the stomach with some lime juice in an effort to get rid of the offensive smell. Also, if you see any white stuff that looks like fat, it is fat. Trim it off.

When you're boiling the stomach, take a whiff of it. It's an odor like none I've ever smelled before.

The lime juice sort of helped though.

Next, boil the stomach for 1-2 hours or until you can poke through it easily with a fork.

boiled stomach
After boiling for 2 hours.

It is ready for your recipe.

I stir fried the stomach and served it over rice.

from here
1 pig’s stomach
3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
1 medium size ginger (skinned and finely sliced/chopped)
2 Tbsp dark sweet soy sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish Sauce
2 Tbsp black vinegar
4 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Cup of water or chicken stock

Slice the stomach into bite size pieces. Mix together the dark sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and water. I used chicken stock.

halved stomach

Preheat the wok/pan. Add the sesame and ginger. Saute until ginger is crispy. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the pig stomach, saute for about a minute. Add the liquid mixture and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced. It should make a nice sauce.

stomach stir fry

I bet if you gave this to someone and didn't tell them what it was, they'd happily try it out. The sauce was very good and the stomach was not bad. It was a bit chewy and did have a distinct taste. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011



It's definitely autumn around here these days - it's really cold at night. I wanted to make something that would warm me up from the inside. Also, I actually had a few days off, so I took advantage of that to make bagels. It's a two day process.

I've been working my way through The Bread Baker's Apprentice and so far it's been a fantastic book. All of the recipes have turned out, although that may be partly due to my habit of repeatedly checking to make sure I'm following the recipe exactly. It's the perfectionism in me I guess.

Makes 12 large bagels.

1 teaspoon yeast
4 cups bread flour
2.5 c water, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon yeast
3.75 cups bread flour
2.75 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons malt powder, or 1 tablespoon malt syrup or honey or brown sugar

To finish:
1 tablespoon baking soda
seeds/salts for topping

1. Make the sponge by stirring the yeast into the flour in a bowl. Add the water and stir until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.


After sitting for two hours, it was nice and bubbly.

2. To make the dough, in the same bowl, add 3 cups of the flour and all the salt and malt. I used a tablespoon of brown sugar. Stir till the ingredients make a ball.


3. Transfer dough to counter and knead at least ten minutes. There shouldn't be any raw flour - all the ingredients should be incorporated. This dough needs to pass the windowpane test.
This dough was the stiffest I've ever worked with.

4. Immediately divide the dough into pieces. I weighed mine to make them pretty equal. They should be about 4.5 ounces for standard bagels. If you want, make them smaller. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and let rest for about 20 minutes.

5. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and mist lightly with spray oil.

6. Shape the bagels. You can either poke a hole in the middle of the roll and gently widen it or roll the dough into ropes and connect the two ends to make a circle. Place the shaped bagels on the pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 20 minutes.

7. Check to see if they're ready to be retarded by using the float test. Fill a bowl with room temperature or cool water and place a bagel in it. It should float within ten seconds of being dropped into the water. If it does, return the bagel to the pan and pat it dry gently. Put the pans in the refrigerator overnight.

If it doesn't float, return to the pan, pat dry, and continue proofing. Check the tester every 10-20 minutes until it floats.

8. When you are ready to bake the bagels, preheat oven to 500F. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Peter Reinhart must have had a huge pot of water. I used the biggest one we had and still had to the do the bagels one by one.

9. Boil the bagels for 1 minute, flip them, and boil for another minute. Sprinkle a parchment lined sheet pan with cornmeal. If you want to top your bagels, do so as soon as they come out of the water.

10. Once all of the bagels are done boiling, bake for 5 minutes.* Rotate the pans and reduce oven to 450F once you've rotated them. Bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool.
*I did my bagels in batches. I re-used the parchment paper from the first batch, which was wet from where the bagels were sitting. My second batch, the bagels that were baked on the wet places came out kind of soggy on the bottom. So...don't do that...make sure your parchment paper is dry.