I returned to Chinatown and easily picked up tongue or lengua [leng-gwah]. I picked the veal’s tongue because, well, the pig’s tongue looked like a part of the male anatomy. There is another Spanish-influenced dish, lengua estofada, but I wanted a dish that was more appropriate for spring, so I decided to make something lighter. My mother watched me cook and gave me simple instructions from what she could remember from her aunt, my Apong.
When I unwrapped the tongue, this massive muscle was in front of me and I thought, How the hell do I peel the skin off? After boiling it for about an hour, the skin actually turned white. It looked like a small foot than a tongue! Peeling the skin off was as easy as taking off a sock. Weird, I know, but you’ll see what I mean when you try it.
1 vealâ€™s tongue, washed thoroughly with salt under cold running water
3 fresh green chili peppers
1 red onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, halved and sliced
2 tbsps soy sauce
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
salt, pepper, olive oil
1. Simmer tongue in a large pot of water, about 1 hour. Remove from pot and let cool enough to handle. Peel skin from tongue and trim gristle. Cut into 1/4-inch slices.
2. In a large wok, sautÃ© garlic and onions. Add chilis. Add tongue pieces and brown both sides. Stir in soy sauce and tomatoes and cook until soft. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until tongue is tender. Season with salt to taste and sprinkle with parsley to serve.