Pork skin noodles – making noodles out of pig skin

uncooked pig noodles

This is not your usual noodle dish. The noodles are made of pig skin. It’s not pork noodles – it’s pig skin noodles! The noodle is not the carbohydrate in this dish – it’s the protein! I first came across this in an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America. I did a quick search for the restaurant that serves this and came across a blog post that describes exactly how to make pig noodles out of pig skin.

making pig noodles

I had to source for the pig skin – most butchers don’t sell pig skin. It’s either discarded or meant to be sold with the cut of meat. However, I went to Sanbanto – an organic farm-to-table butcher cum restaurant and made my unusual request.

pig skin softening

The clerk was puzzled for a second while processing what I really wanted and took a bag from under the counter. She gave it to me free of charge. I wonder why it was bagged like that in the first place but it didn’t register right then coz I got into a conversation of what I wanted to do with the pig skin – to make noodles!

pork belly skin

The pig skin I got is from the belly (as can be seen from the teats) and I tried slicing it but the skin proved to be way too tough for any of my knives so I decided to wait until I’ve finished it. I wanted to make pig skin noodle ramen like the post I read in From Belly to Bacon – but with a different twist. I’ll do a two animal broth!

chicken carcass pork bone

You will need:

  • Pig skin (find sheets so it’s easier to cut strips of noodles)
  • Pork bone for soup
  • Chicken carcass
  • Edible flowers

chicken pork stock

I used a chicken carcass and a large pig bone for soups in my cooker. There are ramen places like Santouka Ramen that’s famous for their chicken broth and other Japanese ones who use the traditional pork broth. I wanted a combination of both.

pig skin sheets

The rice cooker was filled up to 1.8 litres of water, after the displacement made by the chicken carcass and pig bone. I also threw in the pig skin so it’ll be easier to cut once it’s tender and cooked.

making pig skin noodles

I took:

  • 14 hours
  • 4 litres of water
  • 4 refills

stirring stock

to boil the ramen stock. It was an overnight event with alarms set to refill the cooker.

boiling stock

However, I made a *very big mistake* – I left the pig skin in too long. I should have taken it out at the 2 hour point and cut strips out of it. I left it in for the entire 14 hour duration and it was a soggy mess when I attempted to slice it into strips of noodles.

pig-skin

It was quite a feat since everything in the cooker was pulverized and reduced into a very yummy and gelatinous goo. I did manage to slice it and poured the broth (it’s way thicker than what you’ll associate with this word) over it for a bowl of ramen.

refill broth

This is my first attempt. I would like to do two things differently next time:

  1. Take the pig skin out after 3 minutes of boiling to cut into strips of pig noodles
  2. Freeze and strain the gelatinous broth through muslin cloth to create consomme – a very clear broth – to highlight the pig noodles better

reduced broth

The end result after 14 hours of boiling – very hearty and thick semi-liquid with a consistency more like lard than water. We both liked a small bowl but eating more than that would be quite a challenge due to the heavy stock.

slicing pig skin

This is quite soggy but ideally the pig skin should just be soft enough to slice though…

sliced pig noodles

…and retain a very al dente texture!

pig noodles carb

My better half managed to eat her bowl though. I did hers with some rice vermicelli to provide some carbohydrates – the pig skin noodle is the protein in this dish!

pig skin noodle ramen

The stock is simply poured out after layering the pig skin noodles in a bowl. I also did some decorating with edible flowers – not just for aesthetics but to provide a refreshing crunch and a (semi) balanced meal. smirk

pig skin noodles

Mine was a pure pork skin noodle made out of pig skin ramen with broth from the chicken and swine stock. It was a fun and interesting cooking experiment that I’ll like to try again with consomme and a quail egg! :)

Stewed pig’s tongue

cooking pig tongue

I figured a pig’s tongue would be rather long, considering the size of the greedy animal, but I was still surprised by the sheer length of it. It prompted me to do the Gene Simmons pose – reckon this pig’s tongue beats his anytime. ;)

pigs tongue

Well, since pig’s tongue is considered offal – it’s pretty cheap. I got it for RM 3.90 for the entire muscle. Tongue used to be a common food in England but they use ox tongue instead of our porcine friend. I don’t know how to cook it, but I figured I might as well give it a shot and see how it turns out.

slicing pig tongue

I have worked with pig’s heart (both sliced in soup and with the entire organ in pasta), pig’s tail and even pig’s ears (which is quite delicious but missing from my archives due to a catastrophic category mishap). I’m not quite sure what to do with pig’s tongue but that’s never stopped me before. Heh!

pig tongue

I settled on slicing up the muscle into bite sized pieces after it has been defrosted. Give it a tongue lashing. Discipline it with your knife! It’s all muscle so I decided to marinate it first before stewing it.

pigs tongue muscle

You will need:

  • Pig’s tongue
  • A sharp knife (seriously)
  • Soy sauce (dark and light)
  • McCormick’s Season-All Salt
  • McCormick’s Italian Herbs
  • Ground black pepper (coarse)

pig tongue marinated

I mixed everything into the sliced pig’s tongue and gently massaged the condiments into it. I don’t know if it makes a difference, I just felt like doing it. This is left for about 2 hours before the cooking process started.

frying pigs tongue

Stewing pig’s tongue is easy – you just need to dump the marinated muscle into a pan and cook it slowly on low heat. Whenever you see the gravy evaporating, just add more soy sauce. I left it for about an hour, turning it over once in a while. You can still see the papillae and taste buds of the pig on the tongue! Amazing!

stewed pigs tongue

The finished dish tasted rather good to be honest. It’s not as tender as I’ll like it to be, but I reckon that can be remedied by smashing it with a hammer (or using meat tenderizer). It has a nice texture to it – it’s yielding, but firm. The chewy stewed pig’s tongue goes very well with steamed rice.

…and besides, there’s just something about introducing another animal’s tongue to your own that’s very appealing in itself. :)

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