Beef tripe Chinese recipe
Dim Sum Tripe Stew is one of those dishes that you either love or won’t touch with a ten foot pole. Guess which category I’m in? Read on and you’ll find out!
Dim sum tripe stew, or niu za (牛雜), is pronounced phonetically in Cantonese as gau tzop (excuse the weird spelling). Like many of these old and classic dishes, there usually is a variety of organ meats included in this dish but over the years, the ingredient list was reduced and became more simple, thank goodness for that! Tripe is the main and sometimes only ingredient of the dish, along with Chinese turnips, so these are the ingedients we used for our version. If you go to a Cantonese dim sum place, you can order a little bowl of this, and they’ll give you a bit of hot oil for dipping. When we were kids, the “elders” (our moms, dads, and grandparents) would always order it and sometimes prepare it at home.
Quite honestly, tripe isn’t for everyone. Borrowing a phrase from Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods fame, it can have quite a “barnyard-y” taste to it, but hey…some people avoid lamb for the same reason. We really just wanted to do this recipe for people who grew up with it, or those who would be interested in trying it.
We’ve had tripe a few different ways. When we visited Madrid, braised tripe was served as tapas. We also had it in a stew in Tuscany. In these European-type applications, the tripe is often cooked until it’s incredibly soft. The Chinese don’t cook it as long, so the tripe retains its texture.
This is one of those traditional, archival recipes that we feel we have a duty to share here on The Woks of Life. It may be a little weird and unfamiliar to some, but it’s a classic Chinese dish. For the record, I grew up with this dish, like it, and order it every so often when we have dim sum out. This homemade version is pretty authentic! Here’s what you need to prepare it:
For Stage 1:
For Stage 2:
Thoroughly rinse the tripe under cold running water. In your wok, add the tripe, water, salt, ginger, scallion, and shaoxing wine. Place it over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Remove the tripe from the wok and rinse with cold water. put in a colander to drain. This step “cleans” the tripe and makes the flavor a little bit more mild.
After the tripe has cooled, cut it into 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch pieces. In Dim Sum restaurants that serve this dish, this is generally the minimum size because the tripe will shrink further as it cooks. But you can really cut whatever size you prefer.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the oil, ginger slices, and star anise.
Let it cook for about 30 seconds. Turn the heat to high and immediately add the tripe. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Add the shaoxing wine and stir another 30 seconds.
Next, add soy sauces, brown sugar, water, sesame oil and white pepper. Add the turnips. Stir until everything’s combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn it down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
The turnips should be tender by now, you like it softer, then you can certainly cook it a bit longer. Taste for seasoning, and if it needs more salt, then add some now.
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