Of all the offal I’ve eaten, I have never worked up the courage to try tongue. It seems such a silly thing of which to be squeamish, but, nevertheless, I have been all these years. The whole skin peeling thing weirded me right out…
One of the things I have really appreciated about our move to Red Deer has been much more direct access to local producers without having to pay the premiums demanded of trendy, upscale farmers’ markets and boutique grocery stores (not that either of those don’t have their place!).
I’ve written before about the largely underappreciated yak meat market. Well, it just so happens that our yak supplier is a Central Alberta local and makes trips into Red Deer pretty regularly! I love getting to connect with the hard-working men and women who raise my food, and it makes me appreciate what’s on my plate just that much more!
Anyways, it just so happened that there was a yak tongue available a while back, so I decided to get over myself and take the plunge. And boy, am I glad I did! It has become a regular part of our order now, or at least whenever there is one available.
To cook the tongue, place in a slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours with enough water to cover the tongue and some aromatics (I used onion, bay leaves, garlic, carrots, and celery) and salt to taste. Remove from the slow cooker and allow to cool a little bit so you can handle it, but not too much otherwise it becomes difficult to peel the skin off. Save the water as it makes a great addition to your next batch of bone broth. Once the tongue has cooled enough for you to handle, cut a slit in the top of the tongue and peel the skin off and trim the rough end. This also makes a great addition to bone broth. You will be left with a lovely, flavourful, tender meat. At this point, the tongue can either be sliced or pulled and used as desired. For this recipe, you will want it pulled.
Where my tongue hesitancy stemmed from the preparation, Scott’s was most definitely from the consuming. I needed a recipe that would make him forget he was eating tongue, and something that would also be toddler-approved (though I think Scott might be fussier than the toddler…). What better way than to mix it into a flavourful fried rice where, coincidentally, it would also be difficult to pick out!
I have been tinkering with my fried cauli rice recipe for a little while now (basically whenever I can get 50% off organic cauliflower at Superstore), and the pulled tongue has been a fantastic addition, both for flavour and nutrient-density. I typically get two recipes out of one yak tongue. And I’m pleased to report that both the husband and the toddler went back for seconds!
Tongue Fried “Rice”
- 3+ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cauliflower head, riced
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1/4 of a small head purple cabbage, finely shredded
- salt to taste
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground mace, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried basil, to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1-1 1/2 cups prepared pulled tongue
- 1/2 bunch green onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, coarse chopped
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet on med-high.
- Add cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, salt, mace, and basil. Stir and pan fry until al dente. Add coconut aminos.
- Stir in tongue and cook to heat through. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Remove from heat and stir in green onions and cilantro.
- Fill your bowl, garnish with some cilantro leaves, and enjoy!
- If egg yolks (or whole eggs for that matter) and/or green peas are a safe reintroduction for you, they make great additions to this dish.