Tripe and other chewy bits
5 February, 2021
Why you should give tripe a go and where to eat it in Chatswood?
OK, let’s get it out of the way. Yes, tripe is the lining of an animal’s stomach, usually cows. But we’re here to convince you that while tripe might not be your first pick on the menu, you should definitely give it a go!
In many countries across Asia, particularly China, tripe is a celebrated food that stars in many dishes. And happily, here in Chatswood, we’ve got some of Sydney’s best and most authentic Chinese restaurants where delicious tripe dishes will help to expand your palate and your culinary horizons.
Are you ready? Let’s get stuck in.
Offal-ly good for you
There’s four different types of tripe, depending on which stomach chamber it came from. Honeycomb tripe from the second stomach chamber is generally considered to have the most palatable flavour. There’s also omasum tripe, abomasum tripe and blanket tripe (although blanket tripe is considered the least desirable).
Offal meats, like tripe, liver, hearts, kidneys and more are packed with nutrition. Tripe for example is high in protein but low in fat and is a good source of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin B12, selenium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. Tripe contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein.
Organ meats like tripe also help to make your diet more sustainable. It’s a more affordable protein source than premium cuts like steak, and it supports the philosophy of nose-to-tail eating. Nose-to-tail means that you are eating more of the animal, reducing food waste. This helps to overcome some serious issues of modern meat production, as there is more demand for premium cuts and less in-demand cuts like organs are often thrown away. This is environmentally wasteful, not to mention disrespectful of the animals and the value of their life.
It’s all about the cooking method
If you’ve been scarred by terrible offal dishes in the past, let the experts show you how it’s done. Tripe is best when it’s slowly cooked over several hours, usually in some form of stew and plenty of spices to enhance the bland flavour. It’s popular in Italy in a tomato stew, and the classic British preparation is boiled with onions and milk. But we say it’s China that does tripe best, as these Chatswood restaurants show:
- Chongqing-style hot pot, like that at Memory Tongue in Chatswood, is a great way to introduce yourself to dishes like tripe, with the menu featuring three different tripe dishes as well as other offal options like pork kidneys, duck gizzard and chicken feet.
- Tripe is also fantastic paired with chilli, like the beef tripe, pork intestines and duck blood jelly in chilli oil from China Chilli, also at Chatswood Interchange. The restaurant also offers mixed duck meat, duck gizzard, pig ear slices and beef tripe slices and omasum beef tripe with chilli sauce on the side.
- Sichuan-favourite Spicy Joint also dishes up tripe and duck blood in chili sauce, and beef tendon and tripe with chili sauce.
Are you ready to expand your culinary horizons?
Next time you’re eating at one of your Chatswood favourites, why not try something new? Embrace the different flavours and textures and take a step towards better understanding of other food cultures.