What is it? What can you make with it?
Tripe with Sausage
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What is Tripe? What is Beef Tripe?

Tripe comes from the stomach lining of beef. There is also tripe from pork and sheep but beef tripe is the most common type.

The stomach of a cow has four chambers. Tripe can be from either of the first three chambers. Honeycomb tripe comes from the second stomach chamber. Its name alludes to the honeycomb pattern on the inside of the tripe. Because honeycomb tripe has the best flavor and is the most tender, it is the favored tripe for cooking. The flat, plain and smooth blanket tripe from the first stomach, and the bible or book tripe from the third stomach are less desirable.

What is Tripe Used for?

Tripe is used in many cuisines, often in tripe soup such as in the Thai noodle soup pho, and in Mexican menudo. The Cajun andouille sausage is also made with tripe.

Before using tripe, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any impurities. It is also bleached, which gives it a creamy white color. As a final step before cooking, trip is either precooked, also called parboiled, or it is briefly immersed in boiling water. That type of tripe is sold as scalded tripe.

Because of its tough consistency, tripe requires long cooking.

Some Popular Tripe Recipes

Roman-style beef tripe in a delicious marinara sauce. "When prepared in this method, tripe has a pleasantly mild, but distinct flavor," says Chef John. "When it comes to great sauces for dipping crusty Italian bread, it doesn't get any better than this."

Here's a white Sonora-style Mexican menudo soup made with beef tripe and white hominy. Garnish with ground pequin chile.

"This simple, nourishing stew of tripe and vegetables is found in innumerable variations throughout Latin America and around the Caribbean," says Amy. "On the islands of Aruba and Curaçao, it is known as sopi mondongo. Cooking Puerto Rican food is a bit similar to Island and Spain cuisine; it has a distinctive flavor combined with foreign influences using native seasonings and ingredients. Serve in deep bowls with white rice and avocados."

Puerto Rican Mondongo
Photo by Andre Santana

"This may sound odd, but tripe, when properly prepared, is an amazing thing," says wsf. "With the milk bath, and the harsh heat of frying, it loses quite a bit of its intimidating harsh flavor. This is a fun appetizer for your pork lovers, and will have them guessing as to what part of the porker you just fried! The sauce uses the traditional combo for any recipe that is deviled: mustard, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce."

"This dish depends on how much of each ingredient you put in it," says ksalinas. "It just depends on how much you wish to make. This dish takes a while to prepare and to cook but it is worth it. The spices are always according to how hot or spicy you like your food. It tastes better on the second day. If you want to make more, increase the ingredients. If you want less, decrease the ingredients. I learned this on my own and my husband, who is Mexican, loves it. It will please the most avid Mexican food lover."

Photo by bd.weld