My husband, Speedy, discovers the most unusual recipes. Ironically, the ones he finds are recipes I won’t even give a second thought to and I start asking myself why I didn’t discover them in the first place.
This deep fried crispy beef tripe is one of them. He saw something similar on a British web site (the site no longer exists) back in 2010, tweaked the recipe and came up with a winner. This is just an updated version with better and more illustrative photos.
The recipe. It’s so simple, really. It’s the long simmering time for the tripe to become tender that requires patience. It’s a process that you just can’t hurry up. A pressure cooker will shorten the cooking time but if you like total control over the texture, a slow cooker or simmering on the stovetop is a better idea. You can check the tripe’s progress occasionally so that there’s no risk of overcooking it.
Whichever way you choose to cook the tripe, the rest of the procedure for frying it is the same. You cut the tripe into strips, you marinate the tender strips, you toss in starch then deep fry.
Starch, not flour? If you use wheat flour, you had better consume the tripe fast because the crispy coating will stay that way for long. If you use starch, the fried tripe will stay crisp longer. Note, however, that starch should be used sparingly. A little dusting goes a long way. Overdo the starch and the coating will be too dense.
The frying part does not take long. Five to seven minutes over high heat and the surface of the tripe turns perfectly golden and crisp. For best results, fry the tripe in batches. You don’t want them to clamp together and neither do you want the temperature of the oil to drop.
Deep fried crispy beef tripe
For simmering the tripe
Vietnamese mixed fish sauce
- ¼ to ⅓ cup corn starch
- cooking oil
Simmer the tripe
- Rinse the tripe well. Use a soft brush to scrub the surface to remove any impurities. Rinse again and place in a pot.
- Pour enough water into the pot to cover the tripe completely. Bring to the boil and boil hard for about 10 minutes. Drain, discard the water and rinse the tripe well.
- Put the tripe in a clean pot and cover with water. Add the salt, peppercorns, garlic, shallot, ginger and bay leaf. Simmer until tender. Top with water as needed every two hours or so.
- Drain the tripe and cool.
Marinate the tripe
- Cut the cooled tripe into strips about half an inch wide and three inches long.
- Place the tripe strips in a bowl, add half of the Vietnamese mixed fish sauce. Mix well.
- Cover the bowl and marinate the tripe in the fridge overnight.
Deep fry the tripe
- Heat enough cooking oil in a wok or pan to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Drain the tripe and discard the strips of kaffir lime leaves.
- Add the starch to the drained tripe and toss to coat each piece well with starch.
- When the oil is hot, drop the starched tripe strips into it. Fry, about 10 to 12 pieces at a time, until a deep golden crust forms on the surface of the tripe.
- Drain the deep-fried tripe on a rack or a stack of paper towels.
- Serve the deep-fried crispy tripe with the remaining half of the Vietnamese mixed fish sauce for dipping.