Slivered pig’s ears really have it all. Pig’s ears are the perfect squeeze for those that enjoy textural wonderlands and appreciate complexly diverse mouth-feel.
Asians really cherish texture in cuisine. In some regards, texture can be more important than taste. Many Asian delicacies really don’t taste that amazing – unlike truffles or pressed duck. What makes these ingredients delicacies are its mouth feel and sensation.
Pig’s ear by no means is considered a delicacy, but by all means is it definitely fun eating. The contrasting gelatinous and crackling textures, both seductively playing off one another, is a masterpiece ballet in one’s boca. Move over Lincoln Center, this showing is relocated to Chinatown.
Pig’s ear small dish – zhu erduo xiao cai
Here is one Taiwanese/Chinese way to enjoy pig’s ears. In this version the pig’s ears are braised n a seasoned liquid to delicate tenderness. It is then sliced into slivers and tossed with a seasoned soy sauce. The seasoning in this soy sauce can literary be anything, so let the creativity flow.
The pig’s ear and seasoned soy sauce mixture is pressed together in a mold and left to cool. Due to the fattiness of the pork, the mold congeals. Once the unctuous offal jello mold sets, the slab of pig’s ear goodness to sliced into thin wafers and enjoyed room temperature with chili sauce. This is an ultimate dish to enjoy when in a large gathering. Fun to experience and easy to share with a group. The outer layer’s fatty and collagen like gelatinous feel pairing with the crunchy center of ear cartilage is an exquisite and scrumptious composition.
Pig’s ear and the offal movement
The idea of eating pig’s ears surely is off-putting to some, but as Yao Ming blatantly puts it in his Fab 5 T-Mobile commercial to Barkley and D-Wade, “Don’t be a baby.” In America, we are far removed from eating out of necessity. This is obviously a great social and economic accomplishment. Because of this though, ingredients like pig’s ears, cow tongues, pork brains, fish cheeks, are labeled as “gross” and not as frequently served in main-stream dining establishments.
Luckily, the offal movement is picking up legs and turning minds. These changes are thanks to pioneering and humble chefs that pay homage to all parts of the animal in addition to the mainstream curiosity birthed by shows like Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. The proliferation of large Asian and Latino communities in America (and their vastly more interesting and diverse shopping marts) also lend a hoof (hand) as it is getting easier for the average Jane/Joe to have around the corner access to offal and other less common animal parts.
Additional pig’s ears recipes
Pig’s ears are great braised then fried. In this cooking manner, the ears become even more crunchy and can be eaten like pork rinds or served as a topping for pastas and salads. I am hoping to get my hands on some pig’s ears soon so I can wear my glasses and decimate my kitchen. Surely, a glutinous fried egg and pig’s ear sandwich and a Borzino style pasta dish with pig’s ears would be on the menu. Here are a few more pig’s ears recipes from around the web: